A person? An expectation? An idea? A goal?
I recently had to let go of something that I had not only held dear to me for a number of years, but that I had held tightly fisted against my breast – as close to my heart as possible
But I had to let it go, or foresake someone important in my life
It was probably sparked as a young child, fully formed as a teenager and nurtured into young adulthood, but since before I can remember, I have always wanted to have children and I wanted to have them “young” which for me was 26 as a ball park figure.
I remember feeling quite isolated as a child, because there wasn’t many family members close to my age; the older ones were too cool for me, but the younger ones, I always got along with them. So that mothering instinct cultivated early on and the idea of being a young mum was very important to me as I knew that I was a bit of a nana, liked to sleep, liked to lie around, so I wanted to have enough energy for my kids while it was still there. I also, still wanted to look good . . . I suppose like a number of people hope I wanted to be an attractive mum because you’re exposed to mum’s that are tired and exhausted and then you see that one mum who is glowing and radiant and she’s young. As I aged myself, that was less important, but the energy thing . . . my mum was 22 when she had me, both of my grandmothers 18. I wanted to be around and lively for my children and their children and hopefully even their grandchildren. How amazing is it to have a loving grandmother, I didn’t want to miss that either.
I was in a longterm relationship as a young adult and then I wasn’t. So I had to make some adjustments to my timeline and that was okay; “two before 30” I said, that’s surely possible. After a period of singleness I met someone else who also wanted children, but he was slightly younger and more adventurous and as much as he wanted to children, he also wanted to experience the world first. At this point, I’m 26, I’m surpassing the age I initially aimed for and so I think “one by 30 and maybe pregnant with another”. As the days changes, the sense of urgency would build up and it became a contentious point in our relationship. In reality, I was putting so much pressure on myself about something that wasn’t just about me that I was also putting that pressure on him.
Maybe it was the realisation that I couldn’t possibly save enough money for a house, a wedding, children and have gone on an overseas experience by the time I was 30 that made me confront this ideal (and a number of disagreements with the mans of course).
I had to face myself and strip this idea of children early on back. The reality was I was scared that I wouldn’t be energetic enough for my kids, but first of all, who is every energetic enough for their kids?! Those tiny humans are rampaging monsters of destruction (we’re talking at least toddlers right now because the small ones obviously cannot walk or crawl)! Secondly, was it going to do my children justice, was it respectful to them if I rushed the process – if I myself hadn’t allowed time to grow and develop as an individual. Wouldn’t I want to be the best, most wordly experienced person? That’s not to say I have to be that before children, but in a family, shouldn’t parents be number one? If I don’t allow myself the grace of time now, I will never have it again.
Ultimately I would be doing myself and my future children a disservice if I rushed the process and tried to cram it in amongst everything else. It took a few weeks to come to this conclusion, and actually be okay with it; to let it go. In the process I let go of the terrified feeling that my siblings would have children before me (silly I know, but as the eldest child by 7-8 years and grandchild you can see where that feeling of entitlement came from)
But I am telling you, as soon as I let this go, my world opened up and a weight was lifted form my shoulders. I no longer felt that we needed to be married by August of the next year or have a house by December. The financial pressure lifted, knowing that whilst we are not quite financially able right now we will be more able as the years pass by. I also had the opportunity to be excited about travelling, something I’ve never really felt the need to do as children and a home outweighed this, but I am excited!
Even though I’ve let it go, there are still emotions tied to it; like when I found out a much younger friend was pregnant I cried. But that’s okay, I was sad and sometimes it’s still a little bit sad, but those emotions and that fear of not meeting that age-target is no longer as strong as it once was – to say it was gone would be an outright lie. The other day I got paid less than expected and I had a complete meltdown, later I realised it was because those old feelings of being time pressured had come back again and I needed to remind myself to let those go. I am looking forward to being effected less and less by scenarios like that, I don’t want to be held back by thinking everything has to occur by a certain age and you’re only good for a certain amount of time. That’s not how it works. You dictate your own timeline and that means not putting numbers on it and running at your own pace; not the pace dictated by your friends, family or society.
I recently had to let go of something, or foresake someone important in my life; me.
So, what ‘s holding you back?