Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Next?

Emma has officially been gone now for 25 days at camp and the strangest thing has happened. As much as I have missed her...and I did, I have actually had some real quality time for myself. This is the longest I have ever been away from her and I am thinking it is probably a good thing - for both of us. She is busy growing up and becoming more independent and I have had time to read, write, exercise, look at myself in the mirror, dream, drift, reflect and generally focus exclusively on myself for a change. So now I need to figure out how to sustain this level of introspection when she gets home on Saturday. When we become mothers we have no idea how much of ourselves we are about to put on hold. Initially, we don't notice it much since we're so busy just keeping them clean, fed, safe and alive. The months and years pass by (too quickly) and before you know it, you have become this person you don't recognize as you anymore. I think this is particularly true for stay-at-home moms. I had this very conversation a few weeks back with two of my favorite stay-at-home moms. We talked about life before children (LBC) and how we thought we were going to set the world on fire. We were smart, educated, talented women in a big city and the world was our oyster. For a few years, we did the career thing and I remember how I felt like I owned this town. I buzzed around town in my little VW Rabbit convertible,top down, looking and feeling invincible. I knew every back alley, short cut, one way street, every happening new restaurant, bar and club, small theatre company, you name it - I was in touch with the pulse of Toronto. Life was one giant social engagement. It was fun and exciting. But nothing stays the same forever and one minute I was a one-woman show and the next I was someone's wife, then 5 yrs later, someone else's wife and in the blink of an eye I was Emma's "mom". That's how fast it all seems to have happened now. So for the longest time, I have filled those shoes (almost 15 years) and suddenly, my role is slowly being written out of the script. With my character's role becoming less necessary to the plot-line, I feel like one of those middle-aged soap stars who know their number is almost up. Oh sure, I have 3 years left before she heads off to university, but the light is starting to appear at the end of the tunnel and it got a lot brighter over these past 25 days and nights. (more like a bloody huge spotlight) So, now what? Time to start thinking about the kind of role I want to play next I guess. Sure, I'll always have a bit part as "mom", but I'm looking for a meatier part now. Something I can really sink my teeth into - just not sure what that is yet. The possibilities are endless. And since I have three more years to consider my options, I don't have to jump into anything too hastily. I do know though, in my gut, with the utmost of certainty, I will eventually have to jump. Maybe I better get a good parachute.

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