Friday, February 24, 2012

Decade #5

I have always suffered from an overabundance of self-confidence.  Even when bullied, I always kept my self-worth in focus.  Even then, I knew I was amazing.  But somehow, recently I have loosened my grip on who I am. My me-ness has been buried and I'm having difficulty finding it again.


Now what?

I've been evaluating myself and what all these years and experiences have created. In so many ways I haven't changed.

I still have to fight my impulse to just finish instead of finish well. Fight the impulse to have my voice heard loud and often.  I am not always successful.

I find that I have a harder time than some maintaining close friendships and letting people through the wall I've built around myself because I had to stand on my own so long. I push when what I really want to do is pull closer.

I see my place in my children's lives diminishing and changing, without my consent. I never thought about my kids growing older and leaving the nest, finding their soul mates and moving on with their own life experiences. I feel older myself.

In my mind, I never really thought past this time in my life. I never considered life past full-time mothering, never thought ahead to the middle of my life and pondered what I would be doing with my time.

It's funny, because lately I've looked in the mirror and wondered who that person staring back at me really is. I am the sum of all my experiences, and yet I seem empty and incomplete. No great find at the auction can fill the hole. No number of comments on a post seems to make a dent in the feeling. No organized closet or trip to HomeGoods changes that image in the mirror. What is missing? I can't quite explain it. Is this what a midlife crisis feels like?

My little boys were watching The Lion King on our drive home this week, and Simba's visit from Mufasa really struck me:

You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.

I have more inside me than these cumulative experiences.  I have more to give, more to learn, more to become.  It's waiting there, ready to be unleashed, I just need to find the key to the door.

What does this fifth decade of my life hold in store for me? What is my place in this Circle of Life? I think I'm ready to find out.


  1. Wow. That was beautiful. I wish I could write like that. I feel you just wrote a post that sums up how I feel too. I am excited to see where this journey takes you. If you want a traveling companion, I am ready to go.

  2. This has been a very interesting series; thank you for sharing so much of yourself. I think the first picture feels like everything you've said summed up in a silhouette of you made of green grass. Finding your true self is the greener side.

  3. I remember similar feelings when I was at your stage in life, and I am going through a whole new set of feelings just now, as I move into yet another phase.

    It seems we no more get adjusted than it's time to move on. And that, of course, is progression.

    What a trip, eh?


    PS. I did love this series, Jen.

  4. i'm always amazed at how i can go from super secure to insecure in a matter of months. just depending on what changes life has thrown at me. i'm always stronger and more confident in the end, but it's funny how progress does that. great post!

  5. You are so amazing..and I love how you are able to open up so much in blogland. I still hesitate before hitting publish, and am fearful of comments that I may get from people who know me outside of blogland. Does that make sense? Getting out of the house this year has been a wake up call to who I am, and what I am passionate about. Yet it will all be over in a week and a half when my sub position is over. I'm feeling freaked. The kids are growing and changing, and yet they are gone all day and I feel helpless here at home. I feel guilty staying at home with all of them at school, and yet there is so much I could be doing to help Mark and the kids function in their days. Calgon?! :) Each phase of parenting and just being a woman is so crazy different isn't it? Thanks for sharing deep from you heart and inspiring me to be braver in my little world.

  6. That was a great post. I keep wanting to read more. This self discovery.......good stuff.

  7. I'm a few years older than you so a bit further into the 5th decade. A few more kids gone.
    You did a beautiful job expressing this time in life. It's a bit hard.
    You have to find yourself again for sure!
    For me that meant going to work. I was a homemaker my whole life but with kids leaving and the homemaker gig lessening I found I needed to find something. I have loved working and feeling valued in a job.
    I am also finding other places in my life that have been put aside so I could raise a family.
    It's actually pretty cool!
    Each decade has just gotten better and better for me.
    I hope it does for you too!

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