When I was a teenager I once got the idea into my head to type up and post words around my room and bathroom. 17 big bold words that I printed and used packing tape to affix where I thought they'd be most visible. They were to be reminders of things, ideas and ideals. My then boyfriend dismissed them as being childish, dumb and inane. But to me they had meaning and purpose. I taped "Look" onto my mirror to remind myself to really look at myself, not just at the surface but deeper. "Hear" went over my phone to remind me to always give the person I was talking to my full attention. To not just listen to them but to really hear what they were saying. Other words "Hope, Trust, Seek, Kind" were scattered around. They were aspects of me that I wanted to remind myself were good. Things I wanted to achieve more of. As teens we often only see the bad in our lives and selves. These were my own personal affirmations if you will. Each one with many possible meanings. I valued each word. They made me stronger, more confident but also helped me to grow and stretch myself.
Now I feel my idea of self slipping again. I added wife to my titles, then mom, now mom of two. Each time I have had to reconfigure part of me. Not because it was necessarily hard or that I had to change my core self. But because as we evolve in our lives, as we take on new things we must change and adapt. It's not bad, but we can sometimes become so focused on those few changes that we lose sight of the whole. We never stop being who we were before the new titles and roles were added. But that self can get lost in the shuffle and mayhem, especially when it comes to kids. When you have children you must change your focus to someone who can, in no way, fend for themselves. You have to be their world and they yours. Even in all of that you cannot lose sight of your own personal world. To do so could mean that years later risk looking back and having no idea of who you are or were. You may come to resent having taken on so much with little given back.
With kids around you often forget what to work on in your life and self. You are so focused on working on these small people, to help them reach their goals. Your own ideas of who and what you want to be can get pushed away. While you are there to remind your children of their own words who is there to remind you of yours?
So I find myself revisiting these words. Seeing if they all fit to the me I have evolved to. Are there new words I should put in? Are "Honor, Think, Hope, Grow" really where I'm at now or a path I must follow? Do I still embody "Friend, Care, Truth"? Is "Find" still something I must do? I think I would add a few. "Relax, Wait, Patience" should find their way to my walls. Sometimes I think if I could just "Stop" or "Slow" down things would be a bit calmer. I'm sure many think "Close" should be on my laptop. Should I put "Notice" in the playroom? Of all the words on my list the last is, was and always will be the most important. It is one I intend on passing down to my children and letting them chose its meaning, place and value. "Believe".