Definitions

I’ve been MIA from here for a couple weeks.

To be honest, I’ve been MIA from my life for the past couple weeks…or months.

I’ve had some really good days. There was one where I felt like I did before kids, before marriage, before teaching. When I felt like me, and it was glorious.

Then my husband left for four days, leaving me with our two kids, school, and two different appointments I had to wrangle both boys and myself to. I rode the high of that one good day, until he got home and I could let myself relax for a minute.

I’ve been struggling with the idea of me lately. I feel so often, that I define myself as someone’s something. My students’ teacher. My kids’ mom. My husband’s wife.

Teacher. Mom. Wife.

It’s in my social media bios. It is who I am. But…it hasn’t always been, right?

I used to be someone. I used to be defined by so much more.

A reader. A friend. The girl who could answer the obscure trivia question at a party, then turn around a down a whiskey coke like it was water. The girl who kissed boys who she didn’t really care about, but they made her feel like maybe she was pretty.

Who I was wasn’t sunshine and rainbows. I struggled with self-medication of unhealthy kinds: read, sex and drinking, but I wasn’t defined by who I was to someone else.

I went home for my ten year class reunion this past weekend, and it was glaringly obvious to me how far removed I am from who I was. I was talking with a friend from high school, and it came around to who we were, what and who we wanted in life, and how much better off we are where we ended up.

I am. I have a beautiful life. A husband who loves me, is attracted to me, and proud of who I am. Two beautiful boys who are going to give me grey hair. A job where I often feel fulfilled, albeit frustrated.

But.

I’m angry that those things define me. Admittedly, often it’s my own doing. It’s easier than saying. Hi. I’m pushing thirty, depressed, anxious, a social drinker who doesn’t know when to stop, a boredom eater, overweight, overwhelmed, empathetic, a fixer, a counselor, friend, stubborn, demanding, focused, driven, nostalgic for a life that seems simpler.

Ah. Simplicity.

I don’t think we’re so easily defined. I think life is so much more complicated, and we’re an ever-evolving sum of a variety of things. There’s beauty in that chaos.

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