“You’re forgetting that you are living a dream. Even though you’re years in now and it’s become your norm, the business or role you have now, was once a dream that you wish you could achieve. This dream that you had always wished for made you believe in yourself and what you really can achieve, again. It got you moving; it catapulted you out of your comfort zone. It awakened your senses. It fired you up. It changed your life. Appreciate every single day that you get the opportunity to do what you love. Appreciate the time you invest in nurturing and growing your vision. Even when it feels like it sucks sometimes. Even when challenges present themselves. Even when you feel like you’re not getting it right or doing enough. Because the fact that you are living your dream is enough.” Collette Werden
I’ve been back at work for a little while now after a glorious and sacred five-month maternity leave. I am beyond grateful for the time that I had at home with my sweet boy–where so much learning and unlearning took place (topic of a future post). It was a beautiful time for our family–learning to be a family of four. And a beautiful time for me personally as I had never had that much time off and was able to really cultivate and grow some passion projects.
But now I’m back at work–and it’s hard–and the struggle feels so real most days. It’s not hard because I don’t like the job, and it’s not hard because I’m not making a difference. And it’s not hard because I don’t love my kids–or my life even. It’s hard because sometimes life is hard and although it is really beautiful too, it is hard. I just read Carry on Warrior by Glennon Doyle, and she talks about life is hard and it’s not because you’re doing it wrong, but that it is brutiful (brutal and beautiful at the same time), and I that thought was comforting.
Letting go of guilt
Most days I feel like I can’t be the mom or teacher that I want to be. Most days I am too tired to clean or cook or complete all of the tasks on my list. Most days I struggle and am reminded of how hard it was the last time I went back to work after maternity leave with my daughter. I thought it was a touch of Postpartum Depression, and maybe it was–but the familiar feeling of being depleted and overwhelmed is back. Except for this time I am determined to combat it in a more healthy way. This time I am opening up to those in my life. This time I am letting go of the guilt and the should of’s.
I used to feel like I shouldn’t be stressed because I had so much to be grateful for, but I am recently leaning into the idea that two things can exist at the exact same time.
I can be totally stressed out and overwhelmed by my life flow and I can be grateful beyond measure for all that I have in my life.
And I’ve learned that just because someone else has a different version of hard than you do in their life doesn’t mean you should trivialize how you feel and how real your struggle is. Because the reality is if you are feeling it, it is real–to you and real to you is the only real that matters.
Some ways I have been staying on top of my overwhelm is to allow myself to feel the feelings and to be honest and vulnerable with others because there is nothing more reassuring than knowing that you are not alone. Through this process, one of my friends shared with me the above quotation (Shannon–shout out to an amazing mother and friend and former neighbor–so grateful to be on this journey with you girl) and it just felt so right.
Because it’s true. My current life. All of it– is a dream that a former version of me had. Synchronistically I remember celebrating New Year’s Eve of 2014 with Shannon, the same friend who shared the quote with me, and I remember saying, “In 2014 I want to get into the world of Montessori and I want to become a mother”. Two weeks later I found out that I was pregnant and was interviewing for a position in the public Montessori sector. And now here I am a mother of two and a Montessori teacher of four years.
In addition to that, more aspects of dreams that former versions of me have had have come to fruition. Living in Charleston, starting a mastermind group, running women’s circles. All of these things were once a dream.
The joy in the journey
So yes–all of this is a dream of mine —and, parts of it suck. The two things can exist at once. Life isn’t so concrete and black and white. I talk about this often with friends and clients, but some of the best parts of life exist in that gray, liminal space. And when we are caught up in worrying how it should be or about where we want to be, we lose sight of the most important part–the joy in the journey. The magic in the mayhem.
I wanted to share this post today to remind you that this “brutiful” life contains part of your very own dream and creation. So often are we inclined to focus on the parts of this life that suck or about getting to the next phase and chapter and we forget to appreciate the one that we are living in now that was part of our deliberate creation. The me four years ago would be honored to have this life. The me six years ago couldn’t even fathom how any of this could come to fruition.
And yet here I am getting stuck in the muck on a daily basis. And it’s okay to feel the feels and process and be vulnerable and real. But to honor the overwhelming call to be present lately, I want to pause and appreciate and remember to remember. I want to honor that older version of me that had the courage to put out there what I really wanted out of life. I want to remind myself that this dream is mine and I can adapt and modify and refine as I see fit.
If you need this reminder today too here it is.
Two things can exist at once, life is “brutiful”, and you get to make choices every day. Don’t forget to pause and remember to remember you are living a dream and sometimes, as Collette Werden reminds us, that is enough.