But let’s be honest, the ‘old’ me is gone. I felt her on her way out when I got pregnant. And I waved a ferocious goodbye to her when Kula officially arrived. That ‘me’ didn’t disappear per say. But she did forever and completely change. And how could she not?! Going through the incredible feat of growing a baby, birthing said baby, breastfeeding and nurturing that baby while also coming to grips with the massive life change both emotionally and mentally is a lot, even for the most capable of us. My body and mind will just never be the same, I did an incredible thing, and there is no turning back.
The entry of ‘motherhood’ on my life’s resume is by no means the last thing that will be listed there, but it is a massive pivot point. A sort of seismic shift in my life, an obvious moment of no return. So grasping at the tendrils, the remainders of my former experience, has little point. Forever more I am inextricably, completely, biologically linked to another human. And this bond will undoubtedly inform every decision I make moving forward.
Intense, yes. Important, yes. Beautiful, way, way, way yes.
So, I’ve decided I must allow the ghost of my old self to dissolve. To melt down, melt away, for if I continually try and make my way back there, to the old version of the me that I knew so well, I will be forever disappointed, unsure, and in constant discord with this new path. And holding on to those small feelings of me, me, me are really just my ego talking. And nothing much magical has ever come from listening to that fool. Because motherhood is undoubtedly the unique work of the soul, that wildish female soul. It is the combined effort of my heart and spirit with a little sprinkle of some otherworldly wisdom.
I’ve been working, on the daily, to come to terms with the fact that if I continue with this futile attempt to chase that dragon, the one that is the old Erin, I will only continue to create internal strife and further suffering. This experience is almost a forced exercise in selflessness. Of putting someone else’s interests ahead of my own. ‘Me’ time, gotta have it, of course. But I’m speaking in the grander sense of the experience. Motherhood is not just some astrix in the book of your life, or so called fork in the road. It is a profound adjustment. A journey with no end. But, perhaps, a journey with greater purpose and magnitude.
And I think if us mommas (hell, us ladies in general) start approaching it from that angle. Start remembering that nothing all that great comes from staying the same, of remaining stagnant in our life’s work. We can not only embrace this total transformation of our lives, we can learn to harness it to help shape a much more conscious and connected version of ourselves. And despite the huge change this has shoved into my life, what I have been searching for, for many years, even before Kula, has been just that… more connection, more meaning, more life in my life.
So for the sake of this new Erin, whomever she turns out to be, I think Kula and I might just ride off into the sunset. Toward our new life, with all it’s fascinating and marvelous twists and turns, as gracefully as we possibly can...