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Contemplating moments of change
WHEN YOUR YOUNGEST starts to get up and move, it can make a young mother start to think about what the rest of her life is going to look like. Topics such as this are often, understandably, set aside in the blur of new parenthood.

GAYS MILLS - I spent the first morning this week trying not to talk too much. 

This is always a problem for me. I talk too much, too often, and many times without thinking much before I do it. 

I know it is important sometimes to be quiet, and to seek to understand, to listen. But sometimes I feel like there are these moments that just come so close to hitting my proverbial nail right on the head that I just can’t help but shove myself into them. 

In cases like this, it causes me problems because I set out to do a job. My job of talking to people and listening to them tell me their story. 

It’s always helpful when people like to talk. These types of people you can just walk them to the metaphorical ledge and push them off, allowing them to free fall fully into their story, while scrambling to scratch it all down. 

It’s kind of hard to imagine being on the other side of that situation for me. It’s like being on the wrong side of the camera. It just sounds uncomfortable, but, sometimes like today, I can’t help but injecting myself into the situation. 

I was talking with this woman about redefining phases in your life. Changing your life, and what it looks like to be a woman and a mom and a person existing, while being a true vision of what you want to be. 

She willingly shared with me, how, now nearing her mid-40s, she’s hitting her stride in being authentic to herself. Diving head first into this vision of what she wants her life to be. Not just being a supporting actor in the big picture. 

Listening to her tell me the truths about being caught up in creating a perfect vision for others on social media or in the community versus just allowing yourself to be out there raw and open really felt captivating to me. 

I set out a while ago trying to present more of that side of myself to people. Trying not to polish myself to a too shiny, nonrealistic state. I was so awe-inspired by a friend at a funeral who when asked how he was, discarded the typical Midwestern answers of ‘I’m okay’ or “hanging in there!” and told me how he was mad, sad and upset. He made me uncomfortable with his answer, but it was so perfect to me to have someone be honest about how they really felt. I decided in that moment I wanted to do that. I wanted to be who I really am, tell people what I really think, feel, and see. 

And I did, for a while. But, it’s hard in its own way when sometimes you’re just not sure how to feel. And feeling vulnerable can feel just not right, when you’ve spent so much time pretending that you’re not. 

So when you meet with someone like I did today, who found that being vulnerable can really be the ticket to bursting through whatever is holding you back, it can feel a little overwhelming.  

I walked away from my morning feeling kind of foggy. The combination of too much coffee and too much to think about left me reeling a bit. 

So much of my last few years have not really been defined by me. Rather, my supporting role in the lives of others. Although I recognize its importance and know that I am no small player in my own little ecosystem, I am left thinking, what can I do next to define me. 

Maybe it’s the New Year, or the weather making me feel so restless, but I’m walking away from today putting a lot of thought into playing a larger role in my own life and all of the different phases that will hopefully come to pass.