Thursday, July 09, 2015

One for the CV?

I've always wanted to be truthful and authentic: I've always learned how by accident rather than design. I suspect that, for most people, it takes a kind of (longed-for) epiphany to get beneath each layer of falsity.

Being a mum at home has been a very significant chapter on my journey. In this role, I am forced to observe myself #nofilter way more than is comfortable.

It's inadequate to say every day brings a new challenge. Every day brings a new revelation of who I am; how far that is from who I thought I was; what I can cope with; how I react when I'm not coping. This hasn't happened to me in other relationships or roles, even marriage.

I get too frustrated. I am insufficiently gentle. I am concerned about my arbitrary plans rather than their human development. I relish the power I hold over them in ways that border on the despotic. And ... I am boundlessly creative and adaptable. I am capable of paying great attention and lavishing great care in ways I never thought possible.

What's so enlightening about this job, then? I can't step away and hide behind cliches, learned behaviours, electronic communication, jargon, status or my perceived competence. I can't pretend in all those comfortable ways adults spend a lifetime learning to pretend (and accepting pretence from others). The absolute authenticity, self-absorption and innocence of my children shines a searchlight EVERYWHERE.

I realise how much of my 'working' life was about status and ego-bolstering. I don't think there's anything wrong with that per se but I'm happy to see it for what it was. I see how often I conflate getting my own way with life being fair. I see how often I look for someone else to blame when things don't go well.

This all sounds rather negative. Actually, it's great. Because, falteringly, I think I am learning that whether lots of people admire or listen to me doesn't need to affect my sense of self-worth - because it doesn't affect who I am. That all those things I fixate on making 'just-so' can go to hell in a handcart and the results are often rather enjoyable as long as I take a chill-pill.That blaming people for hard stuff is useless - and usually I have the resources to deal with it, anyway.

It has been a wrench, in some ways, to 'just' hang out with Rowan and Willow for more than two years. It's not the path I expected to take. But, quite honestly, it's been the perfect gift for the person I am.

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