Have you ever had an opportunity to reinvent who you are? If so, how did you do it?
This is where I’m at currently–trying to figure out who I am, what I want to be, and where I go from here. It all started last year when I realized that I no longer wanted to homeschool my children. It wasn’t an instant decision by any means. Instead, it was something I had felt for a long time, but kept trying to fit myself into the “homeschool mom” box even though it made me terribly unhappy.
I realized that my kids needed something different. My middle child was begging me to send her to public school. My son would have loved to stay home because for him, that meant video games. (Yes, I am THAT mom.) Plus, my drive and passion for homeschooling took a giant nose dive from the stress. I was becoming resentful. Looking back, I was probably in burn out mode for years. So I did put my kids in part-time public school as a test run and overall, it went better than I expected.
This year, I enrolled all my kids in school and I have absolutely zero regrets about it. I feel like my kids got the best part of me growing up and that we have a lot of fond memories together. I feel fortunate that I had all that time to connect with them, even if it was bumpy and sometimes exhausting. After all of that, you would think I would be jumping up for joy about having the house to myself and having my kids “out of my hair”.
Actually, quite the opposite.
I dread the silence. I know it’s going to make me lonely. I work from home and I have things to do while they are gone, but I just know I am going to feel sad. And as weird as it sounds from this introvert, I kind of miss being around other people. That doesn’t mean I want to be around them full-time, but it does mean, I feel like I could benefit from having interactions with other beings besides my dog or on social media.
This knowledge of myself has turned into allowing myself to daydream over the summer. What do I want my life to look like now? What were some things I loved to do before I became a mom that I would want to do now? Should I go back to school? Should I try to find a job outside of my house? Or maybe it’s less drastic–maybe finding a meetup group or joining a club of some kind? These are things I haven’t really found the answer to yet.
I know I need to reinvent myself, in a sense. Sure, I’ll always be a mom and a wife. I’ll still have my personality with both strengths and weaknesses. But, now that I worked myself out of a job, I need to think through how I want to reinvent my life. I know a lot of homeschooling moms end their journey and then still stay at home. They volunteer or join books clubs and fall into a simple life. I’m not sure that’s me. And I’m not 60.
I’m fond of all things art, especially hand lettering, watercolors, gouache, and working with ink. I love graphic design as well even though there are a thousand tracks I could pursue — from logos and branding to digitizing art to vectors. I prefer digital art, not marketing & branding. And, I would love to find my passion again in one of these things.
I think this next year, I’ll focus on getting back to a less stressed life. Once I feel more balanced, then I’ll try to figure out what I want to “be” when I “grow up”. For now, I’m living in the midst of uncertainty and learning to be ok with that. I will reinvent myself someday soon, but for now resting from many years of homeschooling and kids seems like a good enough plan.
Would you reinvent yourself if you could? If so, how?