So how does one redefine a life?
I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 10 years after a (too) long stay in the institution that is corporate america. In the past 10 years, I have gone to school for Expressive Arts Therapy, become a certified Kindermusik instructor, had my own preschool/creativity studio for little ones, been the program director for a program that brought expressive arts, drumming and motivational speakers into transitional housing facilities for women.
I’ve fallen in and out of love, had another baby, homeschooled my firstborn, learned about compassionate communication, built community and left a marriage of nearly 20 years that never felt like quite the right fit (which had to do with me, not him).
I now find myself, at age 40, in a place of seeing that my life has always had this “artist” thread. I almost went to school for photography. I almost moved to Europe when I was 18, I wanted to record a CD. Instead of doing these things, I put my energy into nurturing others (hello co-dependency) and wrapped up my identity in my everpresent role as caretaker (yep, I’m a child of an alcoholic although I don’t DEFINE myself that way. I’m just aware of the way the past has shaped the rest of me) and just generally looking at what everyone BUT Kymberlee wanted/needed.
Today, I found an art box filled with paints from about 15 years ago. It hit me really hard. I have always been an artist but never given myself the space to really let that part of me flourish until the past two years.
I’m now clearing out space for just that more and more every day.
I am learning that my kids really are okay when they are being taken care of elsewhere. I’m learning that I can choose my own hours and let time be my friend. I’m learning that the girl who longed to live in Paris and be an artist when she was 13 (that has been my little secret desire that I never truly uttered all this time) is coming alive. She actually likes Seattle and wants to visit Paris or maybe live there a few weeks out of the year…hmmm…
I have a life, friends and children here in Seattle. I love my life. I love this new, courageous part of me that is realizing she isn’t here to fix anyone but is happy just BEing alive and present for each moment as it unfolds. I love this part of me that is standing up for myself and letting go of the need to fix, preach and compartmentalize everything. I am not making commitments to anyone save myself these days. I am taking care of myself and my children and that’s enough for now.
This is MY life and I get to choose how it unfolds. I get to define every texture, color and flavor.
And I am. 🙂