It’s been a while since I posted. No excuses, just allowing life to happen to me is all. I had quite the summer. I said goodbye to one daughter as we safely deposited her onto her college campus in Mississippi. That was a transition I prepared myself for…so I thought. I also said “see you later” to my youngest daughter as we dropped her off in NY, ready to embark on her yearlong adventure abroad in France. I definitely was not prepared for that.
For the last month or so, I have been going through an identity crisis. Daily, I would wake up asking the question…”who am I?”….”what’s my purpose?”…”what do I do now?” See. for all of my adult life, I have been a mother, a mommy, a nurturer, caretaker, confidant, cheerleader, all things to two little people. But now, they are all grown up and don’t require that level of motherhood from me anymore. At best, I can still do those things but from a distance, separated by miles and oceans.
So, for the last month, my husband and I have been depressed. We wouldn’t dare acknowledge it to one another, but our behaviors have spoken the truth. Eating our on the regular, lacking the motivation to move, to go out an live. Obsessing over our daughters’ social media accounts and checking our phones like addicts hoping they will remember they exist and envying the parent they choose to text first. Silly, I know but all of this has been a real part of our adjusting to having an empty nest. But is our nest really empty?
I have gotten so used to the term “empty nest” and began to use it regularly in the months leading up to this change. Sometimes I would utter the words with excitement but most often I would say it in dread. For the last half of my life, I have allowed my role and my responsibilities to define me. I took little time to define myself.
One morning, about a week ago, with the sun shining in my face, I realized I needed to take time to find a new normal and to claim my true identity. Mom, wife, professional are all roles I play but they are not who I am. Me, I am kind, caring, thoughtful, driven, passionate, and full of life. What’s more, my nest isn’t empty at all. It’s full of new and exciting opportunities to live and to love. I have been granted the gift of change and transition. 9 years ago this time I received a cancer diagnosis and didn’t know what that mean for my life. Today I realize that I have been blessed with longevity and somewhat good health to be able to go through this learning and arrive at a new lesson.
So, I’m done sulking. I have a new normal and it’s wonderful. Whether my nest is a nest of four or of two, I can still live a life full of passion, purpose and positivity!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/52774994@N00/126312063″>Flown the Nest</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>