Setting goals. I cringe at the thought. We try to find new things to do or become each New Year. We think that setting the goal will make us a new and improved person. Maybe it does for some of you, but for me my goal this year isn’t about creating a new me, it’s about finding the old. 2018 was a year where I found joy in being a mother, I found passion in being a good co-parent, I found service through being a church youth leader, and I found devotion as a wife to a husband working and going back to school. However, it was also a year where I lost myself. I have spent so much of my time focused on others this year that I lost what the things I need or want are.
In 2014 when I got divorced I focused on myself. It was the year of ME. I sometimes look back as that first year alone, as crazy as this may sound, but as one of the best years of my life. Sure, I was a single mom to a 4 and 8 year old so it wasn’t the easiest year, but somehow I was the most free I’d ever felt. I even got my first tattoo that year to solidify it. “Live Free”. I don’t think I’ve ever shared that with my parents so um yeah hi Mom and Dad, first tattoo…2014…I love you. Please don’t ask to see it. The point is I had no one or nothing holding me back.
I changed a lot that year. My hair changed, my body changed, but most of all my outlook on life was changed. I no longer looked at life through a tunnel seeing only what was in front of me. Instead, my divorce gave me the opportunity to explore what was outside the tunnel. I saw and experienced things I had turned my mind off to before. I left organized religion for awhile, I fell in love with a man I knew my parents wouldn’t approve of, and I bonded with my two daughters in a way only the three of us will ever understand.
Four years later, my life from the outside looking in seems to be complete (see my first post to learn more My Life Explained through Fish Sticks.) And listen it is. It’s a true come back story. Girl gets divorced, girl finds love in most unexpected place, girl befriends ex-husbands wife, and they all live happily ever after in New Jersey. It’s definitely all teed up for the Hallmark Channel. But in the whirlwind of it all, I forgot about that wild and free girl a few years back. The girl who didn’t care what anyone thought of her, who said to hell with it when the kids asked for ice cream for dinner. Who got tattoos, and who looked in the mirror at herself with no regrets.
I realized this year my kids became more independent, that I was consumed in social media, and that my husbands job was our focus, and I’d lost track of what i wanted in a career. It’s not all bad really. My kids becoming independent is awesome and so fun to watch! However it’s hard to find your fit in that new way of life and I imagine I’m not the only mom who’s struggled with that. You spend the first few years of their lives teaching them to do things on their own and then when they do it’s hard to step back. Not only that but I’m not the only mom in their lives anymore. They’ve got two of us. I started to lose myself a little when I wasn’t the only go to person anymore. Let be clear, because mom #2 is reading this. I am grateful that the kids have two moms that love them and support them and that she supports me. However, trying to navigate my new role as they mature and get older and as I share them is overwhelming at times. Granted my kids have LOTS they are still going to need from me (besides money) but I think mom’s you hear me and get what I’m saying.
I also really threw myself into my church calling this past year. I was The Young Women’s President. For those unfamiliar with this title let me just say it’s extremely gratifying and yet time consuming. I loved everything about it. As crazy as it sounds working with teenage girls every Sunday and Wednesday night, as their mentor was probably one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. It’s like God knew exactly what i needed to get me back into church again. Teenage girls! Who’da thunk? I spent so many hours of my life this past year devoted to them, that when I got released in September I lost a little more of myself and felt in a limbo since. I’ve still struggled with this, especially when I drop my 12 year old daughter off at activities and have to drive away. I know God has his timing for all things and I take comfort in that, but dang I miss those girls.
Freehold Ward Young Women 2018
Many of you know I’ve been trying to perfect my co-parenting skills these past few years. I’d say that’s going pretty great. I still have much to learn myself, but Lindsey and I have really thrown ourselves into starting this co-parenting revolution. We’ve worked tirelessly to try to show the world through our story that divorce doesn’t have to be so hard. Yet, it’s funny because teaching people about it is! We’ve sacrificed days off work, nights with our kids and husbands, to really make #teammom work. It’s probably something I’m the most proud of myself for though. I’m not complaining about its success I’m just saying for all those bloggers out there, I feel ya now when you talk about the sacrifice that goes into being a influencer. I am so passionate about it that I think the getting lost comes when I am consumed by it.
The last thing I want to do is say I’ve gotten put on the back burner to my husband job. That isn’t how I feel. I don’t look at his career with hate, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was jealous. When I moved to ND in 2015 to be with him I got an incredible job as an administrative assistant at the local university. It was a place I could have stayed for a very long time. I loved it. I lost that though when we made the move to New Jersey. I lost that drive to become a successful woman. The other day a co-worker said “why don’t you go back to school and get a better job?”. Ugh, yes of course my dream isn’t to work as a server my whole life. Obviously that would be incredible to go find a “big girl job”, but right now my husband is going to school and working on bettering our families financial future. I am in a supportive roll. I am able to be home with my kids because of where I’m at and that works. For now. Especially since Brandon’s job has now taken him out of state for long periods of time. I know though that I am destined for something much better than waiting tables. I know that I have something to give the world and in time (hopefully soon) I’ll find what that is. Right now my roll is to be the Goose to my Maverick.
The point of this entire rant isn’t to complain about 2018, the point is, 2019 is going to be different. I’m going to make it different! So many times I hear people complain about their lives and do nothing to change it. I refuse to be that person. I read somewhere that your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change. So I’ve decided that this year I’m going to be a bit selfish and get back to the things that make only me happy. Writing being the first and foremost on that list. I’m going to care less about how others perceive me and worry about how I see myself. I hope to show my two girls through this next year that being a woman can be empowering. I’m going to search out some of my passions I’ve let slide these past few years and hopefully through experimenting with those things find more purpose. I of course with many women in their thirties thought id have my life together by now. Yet here I am, going into my 34th year in a sort of rut. I don’t want to just be content or stationary anymore, I want to be excited and moving in a direction that’s leading me forward. I’m still searching for what that forward motivation is but the first step is admitting you have a problem right? Well I’m a bit lost and as most moms know when you lose something important to you, you have to search for and think about where you left it last. My goal this year is to find Jessie again. What or who have you lost this past year that needs finding?