Never would I ever have thought, that at 31 years of age I would be sitting here today in Melbourne, in my living room, writing this post, procrastinating to avoid assignments, moving house, chores and any adulting in general. Ok, well I would probably still be procrastinating but I didn’t pick the other stuff! I think about this often. How different my life turned out to how I envisaged it. Not in a bad way. Just different. But mostly I never thought, regardless of age, finances, status, geographical location or any other perceived life markers; that I would be a single mum of two children.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am one of the lucky ones. Their father and I get along. We are committed to co-parenting the kids in the best way we can and we share them fifty fifty. It was not always so seamless though, as I moved on quite quickly after our breakup which hurt him a great deal. Understandably. And if I could have perceived the outcome of that interesting life experience I most definitely would not have done it. Anyway, I digress… that is for another day… No regrets, just lessons learned…..
Last night was a ripper of a night. One of those unexpected nights where you are unsure of what to expect, so it can make you a little nervy. I had a dinner with some of the mums from school. Now don’t get me wrong, the ones I have had anything to do with up until this point have all been nothing but lovely. Regardless, I was nervous. But what came out of it for me in the end, was how much it was my stuff that lead me to feel this way walking in.
You see I was just 24 when I had my son. Considered today as quite young. I was the youngest in my mothers group and I struggled with resentment of a life I felt I missed out on. I didn’t fulfill any travel, career, relationship expectations I had of myself and my life and then BAM, I’m a mum. To add to that, we only found out when I was already 14 weeks gone. It was a shock. In saying that, clearly I wouldn’t change it and I am proud of how we handled it and the life we have built for our children.
Still, walking into a room with a bunch of mums who to me all have succeeded in so many areas in which I have struggled was intimidating. The mums at my sons school are an impressive bunch. Intelligent, well dressed, successful career women, who have traveled extensively, many in happy marriages and they are confident and wise. I often feel out of place at school drop off and pick up and early on was asked a number of times if I was actually the kids nanny. That cracked me up and I took it as a compliment on one level, but it still made me feel like I was an outsider.
As the night went on and the drinks began to loosen us up and the conversation flowed I was struck by something. It is something I feel I do a lot. I say things I “know” are right and are how I wish I felt but I don’t necessarily believe or feel it to be true. My head knows but my heart hasn’t quite caught up. I was sitting there saying how we all do what we feel is right. We all want the best for our children. We all make mistakes and we are all taking it day by day as no previous life experience can really prepare you for raising a child. They were the words coming out of my mouth.
BUT WAIT! Michelle, that is not really how you feel…..
If that was how I felt, I wouldn’t have gone into the evening feeling less than and not up to scratch. Nervous about what I was going to have to talk about with these women I was holding above me with their successful careers, lives and relationships. I was embarrassed to be myself. I was embarrassed to say I was downsizing to a unit, I am working at a cafe and that I am an eternal student because I change my mind and my priorities like I change my underwear. I was most definitely not practicing what I am preaching.
Funny thing is, they couldn’t have cared less. I caught myself not being open so I changed it around and the women were all very encouraging and supportive. The espresso martinis and vodka lime sodas probably helped erase my filter too to be fair; but it was a conscious decision on my part to not close my heart and be someone I am not to please others around me. And as a result, I had the best time. I laughed so hard, shared stories, learned a lot, got to know some beautiful new people and left feeling positive and proud. I honestly had one of the best nights.
Today, I woke at my girlfriends for a morning giggle and chat about the nights events. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Today, my head was a little bruised – note to self, you really can not pole dance, STOP TRYING – my stomach a little bit precious and my feet a little sore. As for my heart…..
Today my heart is FULL…. Full to the absolute brim and for that I am forever grateful.
Much love, Michelle xx
PS: If only the 1500 words I need for my assignment would flow this easily;) xx