“Here’s How It Happens” (Day #91)

Ah-ha moments are great.  But they are also deceiving.  Ah-ha moments trick us into thinking we’ve uncovered some immutable truth about ourselves or our relationships or our lives, which we then internalize as The Way Things Are.  I am a person who _______. Done.  End of story.

But the story doesn’t actually end there because people and relationships and lives aren’t immutable things.  The truths we brush up against in these revelatory moments are temporal truths.  Not the Way Things Are.  Just the Way Things Are Right Now.

After my post on Thursday (the product of an ah-ha moment), I received this comment from Kate @ Savour Fare:

Here’s how it happens.  You get pregnant, and you are happy, but if you are normal, you are also scared out of your mind.  Then you have the baby and you are exhausted.  Then you find your groove, and you are happy, but you are consumed — you become the all-encompassing mommy.  You occasionally go out without your baby, but you find yourself talking about her and thinking about her incessantly.  And then you go back to work and you cry because you miss her, because she IS your world.

And time passes, and one day you wake up and you are YOU again.  Not mommy-you, but the old you, the one you recognize.  Except now you have this extra little PERSON in your life, who adds a whole extra dimension of richness and emotion and delight and frustration.  And sometimes even reminds you of yourself.  And you have your world, and your identity, but it’s suddenly in hi-definition.

These wise words, they instantly struck a chord.  “She’s nailed it,” I thought to myself.  “She’s exactly right.”

But then, I realized:  I can’t say for sure if she’s right, because I’m still here, and she – Kate – is already there.  Down the road.  Ahead of me on this mommy path.  And in that moment, I saw a glimpse of where I am headed.  Of who I will be when I get there.

And it was then that I had an even bigger ah-ha moment.

Lil Mil is changing before my eyes.  Growing.  Becoming.  Every day.  And so am I.

My identity isn’t a before and after picture.  I wasn’t That Person then only to become This Person now.  I didn’t leave the “old me” behind to become the “new me.”  I am at once both old and new.  My identity isn’t changing so much as expanding, making room for all the intricacies and complexities and contradictions of a life-in-process.

I am growing.  Becoming.  Every day.

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