She's A Brick ... House?
Have you ever seen that bumper sticker? It's usually on the back of a minivan ... it says, "I Used To Be Cool".
I am that bumper sticker.
Once upon a time I was an ice skater. A pretty good one, actually. It lead to a professional career and then several seasons as a professional cheerleader of sorts. (Depending on what you classify a hockey ice girl as - I got paid to wear small clothes to NHL games. Call it what you will.) I had a glitzy career in retail - running a sparkly boutique and rubbing elbows with all kinds of Nashvillians. Later, I would move into the business side of the music biz - less glitz, but even more elbow rubbing. All the while I had a very active social life. I was a goer, doer, and see-er. I was constantly surrounded by friends. And while my identity evolved from ice princess to punk princess, to boho, to what-color-should-I-dye-my-hair-today ... I was very Taylor. Identity intact. I might have looked different on any given day ... but I knew who I was. And looking back, that Taylor was pretty cool.
Today, I had a startling realization. Today I realized that my identity ... is a clean house. Pretty far removed from the days of yesteryear, eh?
There's a pretty common theme in my blogs. Basically: Being a mom is crazy hard. Being a stay at home, homeschooling, mother of three, in a state you don't have friends or family in, is like - next level hard. I'm the emotional equivalent of a Crossfit athlete. Or something. Gritty, tough, fighting through whatever challenge comes my way - my emotional muscles are maybe kind of freaky to some, and Crossfittest of all - it's all I can talk about. So yeah, hard. But the thing I guess I struggle with the most in this land of Momming ... is the loss of self.
There are different flavors of Moms. And some are able to keep their identities solidly in line. I applaud them. Unfortunately, I'm a vanilla to their pistachio - I don't know how they do it, but it's not something that is me. I'm not chasing a career. My life is what it is - it's not lacking anything even if I am lacking self. There is joy in my monotony. There is happiness in my mundane. There is excitement in my normalcy. I won't get these fleeting, crazy, hectic, overwhelming and yet oh-so-fulfilling moments back. I relish this time with my family. Though, the burden breaks my back and spirit from time to time.
I wish I could say I was Mother Teresa about life. But I'm no saint. I'm not a(n intentional) martyr. This giving of myself - it makes me gripe-y. I complain. A lot! I feel as though my entire existence is going from one person's needs to the next. Putting out one fire just to turn around to a new blaze. You can catch me on repeat saying, "I AM AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TOTEM POLE!". Jet, Navy, Whippy, Deco, John ... the house. It all comes before Taylor. This is what lead to the whole clean house epiphany. As I was keeping score of all the things I do for others (Told ya - not a saint!) I scanned the list to find something I could take off my plate. The only thing I could think of, was letting go of the "super-clean-all-the-time-house" grip. But it also occurred to me that that's the only thing I feel like I'm really good at. That matters to me. That is for me.
A clean house. It feels sane, even when Navy is trying to burn it down or is throwing God knows what down the air vents. It sparkles, so maybe that's the part former-me relates to? It's all I've got right now ... which. Man. Isn't that sad? This mothering guys ... it's no joke.
So yeah. I used to be cool. But now, I'm a brick ... house? Except. Mine is made of siding.