Monday, April 4, 2011

Identity crisis

This is something that has been on my mind since becoming a mom, but more so lately. It struck me how very different I must be when one of my best friends described me as being someone who thinks things through... What?!?! Me????? So strange. I feel like I started discovering myself when I was about 16/17 then went off to college to finish finding out who I was! I thought I'd finished figuring it out. Then I became a mom. I guess I don't really know who I am anymore. I went from being voted "Most Spontaneous" by my senior class and my mom calling me her 'Hakuna Matata child' to being described as someone who thinks things through. I was one of those people who was super involved. I did student government , I was in a bunch of clubs, I went to all the games, etc. And I didn't do any of it with college in mind. I did it all with socializing in mind. In high school and college I was this lively, fun-loving, spontaneous, free-spirited, flighty, uninhibited, unstable, playful, adventurous, no worries, ungrounded, unreliable, self-centered person (all of those words are words other people used to describe me, though mostly siblings used the more negative ones, but I think they definitely applied :)). Accoring to the 'color code' type tests I was very much a yellow/white....And now...? I don't know who I am. One of my friends recently posted a personality test thing on her blog and I went to take it and started answering, until I realized I didn't even know how to answer. I never finished the quiz because I don't know me anymore, haha!

Through my many thoughts on this the last 2 months or so I have come to a few realizations:
-My being happy is still largely dependent on interacting with others (yes, I realize this is pathetic)
* I get into a funk when I go without socializing for more than a couple days
* It is the thing that is most rejuvenating to me. Sure, scriptures, exercising and going outside and crafting all help, but for me it isn't the same. I NEED people.
-The MOST rejuvenating thing for me is still to go on an adventure with people. It just rarely happens anymore.
* I love just saying 'hey ya wanna...(insert fun active thing here)' and then going and doing it right then and there, no questions asked.
* I hate having to plan my fun. But if I don't it never happens.
-I still care way too much about what other people think of my appearance
* I've really and truly never cared what anyone thought of my personality.. this may seem like I base everything on appearance, but not so. See, I have always been confident in my personality (therefore no reason to care what anyone thinks), but insecure about my looks. Where does this leave me now that I don't really know my personality anymore? I don't know.
-There isn't much room for adventure in my life (I'm not saying this bitterly, but matter-of-fact-ly)
* Save your 'oh but the adventures with children!' (that's NOT the kind of adventure I am referring to. I am well aware of the adventures with children) and the 'but you can still make it work, go for it'... If you say the second one, I am going to assume you are willing to watch my children for about 8 hours so I can go have one. Right, that's what I thought.
-Motherhood has forced me to be a more prepared person.
* I can't count the number of times I've forgotten stuff in the diaper bag or going on trips. Not good when you need something for your baby and you don't have it!!
-Sometimes I feel like a wild bird stuffed in a cage
* No really, I do. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to burst open because this energy inside me wants to break free!

While writing this post, I think I have come to a conclusion:
I don't think I am a whole lot different of a person. I think motherhood has forced me to develop some qualities I wouldn't otherwise possess. I think all these qualities are good ones, though very different from how I was before. The same things make me happy and help me feel good. I am basically a more mellow version of my old self, which I am sure some would say is a good thing. I think just where I am at in life right now I have very few opportunities to be so free.

What inspired me to finally write this post that I have been thinking about and forming for the last few weeks was reading a friends blog last night. She had a picture of her beautiful mother in her early 20's (I think) and said something about how we always think about our moms as just "Mom" and when we finally think of them as a 'woman' we realize we don't know anything about them at all. I was just thinking about it, and how there is so much truth to that, because I think that I am definitely a different person when I'm in 'mom' mode than I am when I'm not. And I'm usually in mom mode. Even after the kids go to bed, I don't usually switch it off. I think switching off mom mode for me is going OUT. Not to go shopping, and not on errands, but OUT for the sole purpose of having FUN, without my kids (but with other people, obviously). Doesn't happen much, but that is okay.

Just in case I come off as sounding like I am miserable and discontent as a mom I want to add this: Being a wife and mother has brought me more joy than I ever knew it was possible to experience, this post is simply about some thoughts I've had lately.


mwoodall said...

Nicole I've definitely got to agree with this blog! I noticed that when we were roommates you were still more in the high school mode that you described and where like the attributes that you listed. But it was so weird to me when we started hanging out again when you were pregnant how different you were. I think I've mentioned it to you before but it was really crazy to me. You were the same but so so so different. It was crazy! I also need to hang out with people to be happy. I don't really have a lot of friends I can hang out with right now. (I have two and one of them I'm going to dinner with tonight and the other one tomorrow night). But it's hard because we have to schedule everything. And it's not the same as college life. So I was thinking maybe the Lord is preparing me for when I'm a mother and can't do all those fun things and hang out with people all the time? Anyway, you are such a good friend to me and I know we'll be friends forever! I love you and I respect you SO MUCH as a mother. I can't wait to be a mom like you!!!

Stephanie said...

I totally understand your need for people. I have it too. I am NOT adventurous like you though, so I can't relate to that. However, I laughed out load when I read the paragraph about peole watching your kids for 8 hours. Haha. Still makes me smile.

The weird thing about life is how we evolve into different people. This sort of reminds me of that talk where the guy said we always make lists of goals we want to accomplish and things we want to do, but never of who we want to BE. I want to make a list like that in the near future.

Landon and Alaina said...

Thanks for the post. I feel the same when it comes to being social. Landon and I just moved to CO and I have one friend here so I am missing all the time I had with lots of friends at home. Sometimes I feel like I am selfish that I just want a whole day to myself to have an adventure without my girl but I think that we are just normal. We need to get away too! Being a mom is a huge blessing but it is also the most full time job we will ever have. Wish we lived closer because I would totally trade you your kids for mine for a day of peace and adventure for both of us! (if only it could be that easy)

Katrina said...

I like this Nicole!! Probably partly because I've only really known you as a mom AND because I am the same way when it comes to socializing. Going out and being with other people is my joy!! It helps restore my confidence and sanity. And there are days when I would love to call someone up and say "lets do this now" and then do it!! :) but I hesitate because all my friends have kids and it's definitely more difficult because I don't know their schedules, their plans, their healthy status(haha), etc. But maybe you and I need to just do more adventures together!! :) I'm sorry we don't live around the corner anymore!! :(
I also understand that motherhood brings out things in you that you would never have fact, I think about that fairly often because I am living with high schoolers these days. I see my siblings who are all those things you listed: social, involved, self-centered, busy beyond busy, etc. And I think, they just have no idea what life is about... Parenting is definitely more strenuous than anything--constantly sacrificing. But that will bring so much in the end. All we have from hs are memories but with parenting we will always have something to show for it and I believe I have definitely come closer to christ by being a mother, more than I ever did consistantly going to seminary and reading scriptures in hs.
Keep up the good work!! Your kids are adorable and so fun because of you! :)

And seriously, mall adventure sometime soon?!?! :) or something...haha...creativity is where I lack. :D

Rachel said...

You're so right. Being a mom can definitely help you develop attributes you might never have possessed before.
I'm with you on the need to be social--I too, need people. I'd go crazy without my other mom friends to go out and talk with. :)

Matt and Mari said...

LOVE you!!!!
(and love the new sammy-jace pic!)

Sharon said...

I haven't even checked your blog lately because I've been in Mom mode. Sorry. I was just thinking you've had your baby and I wanted to know what J name you came up with. Jase is very non eighties. Very good. As for different personalities, I'm way different than who I was 15 - 20 years ago. Ouch, that is a long time. It will get better cuz you will get a babysitter and be free to roam. But you will never have the opportunity to think just about yourself anymore. But it's okay. Life is all about changing and being molded into the person Christ wants you to be. I was a yellow myself. Gone are those days.