We went away this long weekend. Steve played in an annual soccer tournament. I had originally thought we'd all go - as a family. Then I'd changed my mind, thinking that toting two little kids around would be too much work. Then a week before he was to leave, I woke up and realized that if I didn't go then I would be a single mom for 5 days. Weighing out what would be worse, I decided we'd join him after all.
The only catch was that he had already planned to leave a day early to go golfing with one of his teammates - meaning I would have to do the drive to Vernon alone, with two kids.
I actually did quite well. I packed the van myself, like it was a real life game of Tetris. Loaded the kids with toys and snacks. Stopped often. I was very organized. The kids were decently behaved. Someone was watching over us, I'm sure.
The weekend was good. We had a good time. Kids got to go swimming and see and experience different things. We got some sun (glorious sun!!). Steve said he was happy that we went.
I was happy that we went.
I had an interesting time. I discovered some things about myself. Good things...
Most of my life I've said that I don't care what people think of me but if I'm going to be totally honest, that's not very true. I've been self conscious and unsure. I would think (maybe imagine) that people are always judging me. I would strive to be funny and crazy and cool - as to attract a certain crowd of people and "impress" everyone. I would dress a certain way. I would say certain things. Do certain things. Things that weren't necessarily who I wanted to be but I don't know if I knew any better.
I've felt myself changing over the past few years - probably much of it comes from becoming a mother. But some of it also comes from not having things too easy. It's really hard being a mom of two kids 18 months apart. Harder than I could ever put into words. You do things, you sacrifice things, you make things work, you let things go, you miss things, you give things up. You also realize that you can do things that you never would have or thought you could have done before. It's your only choice. You have to, no matter how hard or uncomfortable or inconvenient. Because it's not about you anymore. And you learn to accept it and be proud of your accomplishments and appreciate the little things. You realize you are stronger and tougher and more resilient than you would ever have imagined.
Having vertigo for 7 weeks also changed me. There is something about having a debilitating illness - in your HEAD - that changes you. I totally get how people are different after concussions or car accidents. It's life changing. It really is.
Two IVFs, depression, weight gain, back-to-back pregnancies and everything in between? It's all just added to it. Added to the personal change.
So this weekend, when I found myself in the midst of a group of people that I mostly didn't know, I was surprisingly confident, calm, laid back and self assured.
I was just... me. I didn't try to impress. Couldn't have cared less what people thought of me (for real) and if they liked me or not. There was even a clique of women who have been on this trip every year for many years and who have known each other for a very long time - I didn't bother to even try to get in on their game.
I just did my own thing. Sometimes sitting by myself in the middle of the party, just taking it all in. Enjoying myself. I mean, enjoying MYSELF - my own company. Just being myself.
Interestingly enough, I found that eventually people came to me. Even the clique wanted to hang with me. I had some great conversations. Some good laughs. I met some really fun and nice people. I had a good time. My demeanor drew people to me. By the end of the trip I had met a whole bunch of new people and was known by most everyone there - and strangely enough, not for any of my "Girls Gone Wild" antics - but for just being myself.
Turns out I'm quite likable when I'm just me. Huh. Who knew?
Today is our first full day home and I've been busy doing laundry and emptying duffel bags and catching the kids up on sleep. Aside from being tired and a little bit sunburned I feel pretty good inside. I spent the weekend being the person I am, and I have nothing to regret or wish I'd done differently.
That's a pretty cool thing.