Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Confidently cutting the strings and grabbing hold of me

For most people, confidence comes easy. They stride into a room like they belong there, not caring what anyone else might think of their swagger. People gravitate unknowingly toward them and their persona that reaches out and snares people—not in a bad way. Snare might be the wrong word, but you get the picture—confidence with a capital C. This is, for many of us, a struggle-trait. You know, the one thing we wrestle with on a daily basis, and I mean wrestle down to the ground and put a choke hold on it. It’s a visceral thing that can be seen, felt, and actually tamped down. 

I have struggled with confidence for years, even though that may come as a surprise for most of you. I was the one who had my own thoughts, yet didn’t voice them. Or if I did, the ones who said they would have my back slunk slowly into the corner, making me look like a fool—like I was standing alone. Maybe the confidence I have now was always there, I just let others hold it down, like a volcano ready to erupt. A better analogy would be like Old Faithful, which I was, predictable and doing the same darn thing every single day. I didn’t know I was ready to boil over inside.

When I got married, became a wife, then a mother, I put all those things, once again, on the back burner and didn’t let my confidence show. I’m not much of a confronter, so it was easier to just live every day putting my dreams on hold. If I had had more confidence, it may not have taken me so long to pull them to the forefront. I was a prolific poet and storyteller in my teenage years, and somewhere, somehow, I lost that folder of poems that meant so much to me. I may not ever find it, but I’ve amassed a new folder—one filled with dreams beyond imagination that I hope will never fill up.

It’s easy to live a life for others, making ourselves not important in a life that is actually ours. We lose ourselves in our children, our marriages, or our exterior personas, never taking the time to nurture that wild tangle of life that’s inside of us. It needs our breath, hot and full of mystery, blown on the spark so it dances and comes to life. Even though my children and spouse always came first, it wasn’t until I could see in the faint distance a life without my children at home that I could see myself and how I had neglected her all these years. My husband pushed me and pushed me to find that spark inside myself. He pushed me to find that confidence. When I finally found it was when my first daughter flew free of the nest. I could see who I was without her and what I needed to be as life moved forward. I’ll always be mom, but now I need to be Missy as well.

Seasons of this life ebb and flow, and I feel I’m on the edge of a vast, warm sea with the waves licking at my feet. I’m ready to embark on the journey that is mine, whether it be in the work I know I’m meant to do, or the words I’m meant to write. My husband is living his dreams and feels the tug toward more, and so it seems we are embracing our lives post children in the home. Those wonderful souls that took our time, love, and brought so much joy. I see now how God moves and weaves this wonderful, yet separate web for us as a couple and for the kids and what they dream of and are pulled toward. It can never be one piece because we are only here to raise them and send them off. I feel the strings being torn asunder and I can only smile. My confidence and verve for life have been found and the execution of it has begun, and my nerves hum with excitement. And I’m off.

From The Holmes County Bargain Hunter.