Welcome back

Finally, traces of the old me are starting to break through. I missed her. The person who was fearless enough to drive from Virginia to Texas alone, (didn’t matter at all that I have never had a sense of direction while driving), without worrying about what could happen along the way. For example, flat tires, not being able to figure out gas pumps at gas stations, credit card malfunctioning, etc. These are the kinds of thoughts that come to mind now.

This is the kind of thinking that has kept me basically housebound for the last few years. Oh sure, I have seen glimpses of a shadow of my old self occasionally. For example, when I was finally brave enough to walk out, pregnant, of a horribly stressful living situation, taking nothing except my children and some clothes with me. (Furniture was provided later by kind neighbors). This was despite being brainwashed to believe that I couldn’t make it on my own and that no one cared about me.

I wasn’t a complete hermit, as I went to work every day, grocery stores, church, library but that was about it. And even doing that much was exhausting to me.

So today I took all 3 of my children to the zoo and had so much fun that I decided to be brave and take them all to a movie. My youngest child is almost 3 years old, and until today had never even been near a movie theater. All because of my worst case scenario thinking. Thoughts such as, what if she won’t be still, what if they all need to take turns in the restroom throughout the movie, what if they won’t be quiet thereby incurring the wrath of all the other movie goers. I’m happy to report that, as usual, none of my fears came true.  It was a fun, awesome, empowering day.

And now I can be the kind of mom that I’ve always wanted to be, but has been buried under layers of insecurity, fear, emptiness and exhaustion. We are even making plans to venture even further out of my comfort zone, by going to museums, aquariums and wherever else we feel like going.

The worst case scenario thinking hasn’t completely disappeared. For example, I’m going out of the state for a long weekend in about 6 weeks, and am already intermittently plagued by fears of how I haven’t been on an airplane in over a decade, what happens if my bags are lost, and a whole lot of other ridiculous thoughts.

But living outside of my comfort zone is proving to be a wonderful thing. Welcome back to the old me, who  with all of the experiences of the past five years, is a much stronger person who I finally respect, admire and am content to be.

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