This eternal question, asked by Lionel Richie, perfectly sums me up right now.
The thing that makes this question a hard one, is that I’m not asking someone else, I’m asking me.
Who am I looking for?
Which me, is more me, than the others?
I am merely a woman of a certain age trying to re-define herself now that the role of mother, which she was really good at, is evolving into the role of life coach or mentor.
I’ve got to admit that in this role, I feel as I did when I was a young 24 year old, mothering 2 toddlers….slightly fraudulent.
How on earth am I giving advice and bestowing my wisdom, when I haven’t got my shit sorted yet?
I haven’t figured out what it is I want to be when I grow up yet. I’ve had 3 careers so far and I can’t rule out a few more to come.
So much time and thought went in to keeping myself busy, learning new skills, connecting with friends and preparing for the nest emptying, that I didn’t think about who I would become when I had the chance to be anything I wanted.
So I find myself sitting here pondering how to transition into the next version of me.
The me who has spare time, is not as essential in the day to day of the lives of others and someone who is not sure that she is really happy about it, yet.
In my minds eye I still picture me as that young woman with a spring in her step and the world laid out before her.
Images switch from me in a long maxi skirt with flowing hair (my hair has never grown past my shoulders), to me in a business suit walking down the street with a leather briefcase, or now it would be a large Mimco satchel I suppose. Then I am in my active wear running and looking like I enjoy it (definitely a day dream).
I picture me as a young woman in a new relationship, getting engaged and then marrying the man of her dreams. Seeing her grow in her role as wife and mother.
I then see the mother I loved being, with 2 freshly bathed girls cuddled in her lap for a story or a mother laughing with her 2 teenage daughters and sharing stories about their day.
I am all of these women.
I have loved being all of these women.
I continue to be these women and I welcome the ones that will emerge.
They have all played a part in me being the woman I am today and the one I will be tomorrow.
I know change is an organic process and the changes will come as I figure out where this new life is taking me.
I am learning to re-navigate my relationships with my girls and with my husband.
There are new boundaries developing with my girls as they get older and build their own lives, I need to respect them. I am learning to limit my questions regarding all things menstrual and sexual. I have to trust in the bond we share and know that they will come to me if they need me.
My husband and I are learning to be alone again. This too takes practice and a need to consciously make more effort. There are no longer 2 other people there to fill silences or to distract from conversations you might be avoiding.
I also need to insist more that my boundaries are respected in return. I will not feel guilty about not being available to everyone at all times. I have earned my extra hours a week to spend on things that bring me joy.
This next phase and the process I am going through, both excites and terrifies me in equal measure.
Lisa (all 17 versions) XX