Embracing Me

There’s this song by the Velvet Underground that seems to always unleash this feeling of nostalgia within me. Perhaps it’s because I “discovered” this song during my freshman year in high school (thanks to my BFF at that time who was also fellow music afficianado). Or perhaps it’s because the song has this uniquely haunting music box melody to it. Regardless, “Sunday Morning” was one of those songs I recall rewinding and replaying over and over again on my Walkman.

Woulda made for a cool album cover, eh? 😛

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it before on my blog, but my high school BFF and I had aspirations of becoming incredibly large rock stars. (Yes, laugh all you want … but admit it, that thought probably crossed your minds at one point during your high school existence!) Forget that I wasn’t the best of musicians around … I just wanted to be part of something creative.

In any case, my BFF and I came up with this incredible idea to form a band. Armed with many years of piano lessons behind us, we sought to find other people that might be interested in creating the same type of music that we liked.

We didn’t have to go very far to find a few people. One person in particular (we’ll call him S), ended up becoming a pretty good friend of ours*. And it’s also because of him that we found other like-minded musicians. Although we never went further than playing “cover songs” of other ’80’s alternative bands, we spent a lot of time at each others’ houses pretending to have “band practice.” And it’s during one of those sessions that I learned to play “Sunday Morning.”

The other night, I had the opportunity to “chat” with S on Facebook. We’ve chatted a couple times before in the past, but nothing other than “Wotcha been up to?” This chat came at a really really nice time, though. One that had me contemplating, once again, what my life was going to be like sans children.

I won’t lie. That thought has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. Sure, I’ve officially made the decision to live child-free (finally). Sure, I know that this decision has lifted a great weight off of my shoulders. Truth is, I know that right now my future is limitless.

The thing is, I’ve always envisioned my adult life surrounded with kids. Lots of them. And the Filipina in me, who always put family first, strongly supported that vision. Being a mother and raising children was going to define who I was.

I say this as an absolute because, although I like my career, I’m not passionate about it. Being a mother … it would have been my life’s passion. It would have been  the pinnacle of my existence.

What does my fortune hold?

With the decision to live child-free, I feel I should be finding a new reason for existing. I have this urge to find out what I really should be doing with my life. While I know I should be embracing this opportunity to wipe the proverbial slate clean, I must admit that I’m slightly overwhelmed.

I could continue with my career path and try to remain successful with each new opportunity … but since I already know I’m not passionate about it, would I be happy later in life? At the very least (knock on wood), I know that this future will provide me with the income that Hubby & I need to survive.

I could go back to school and try my hand at something different; forge a new career path into something I know I’d enjoy. But does this guarantee passion? Does it guarantee success?

Or I could go back to that high school dream of becoming an incredibly huge Rock Star. I’ve always wanted to be a kick-a$$ bass player, a-la-Kim Deal.

I told some of this to S while chatting the other day. And although he did suggest I go out and by a bass guitar right away, he did offer me up one piece of advice. In his always calm and gentle manner, he told me that what I do in life (whether it involves being a mother or not ) shouldn’t dictate who I am. I shouldn’t fight against who I am. He said, “Let Emily be Emily.”

So that’s what I’m going to try to do for now. I’m going to let me be me. And maybe, just maybe, my heart and mind will be open enough to find a new passion in life … a new reason for my existence.

* Ironically, he also ended up being my Jr Prom date, while future-Hubby was my HS BFF’s date. How funny is that?

7 Replies to “Embracing Me”

  1. I like that advice E! Just as the future is limitless, you can also change your mind about decisions you make (well sometimes). Your slate is clean, go where the spirit takes you!

  2. Very wise advice!! Too often, we do tend to pigeonhole ourselves & each other by what we do. I like my job well enough & it’s part of who I am, but it’s definitely not my entire life.

    I daresay I wouldn’t have let motherhood totally define me either, had my life gone differently.

  3. I have spent the last 2 years wondering, “what am I supposed to do now?” and trying really hard to find a new passion for life. It wasn’t until I stopped trying so hard that I began to realize, “hey I kind of like me as who I am and just being for now is ok”. I am far from at the end of my journey of re-identifyng myself, but I am finding that the less hard I try the more it seems to make sense. I appreciate all of your entries so much as they help me feel more connected to a world outside of all my friends (who I adore) who are moms.

  4. I just recently found your blog after 10 years of unsuccessful infertility treatment. I’ve also decided to live child-free and this post is exactly where I am right now. Thank you for finding words for how I feel. Oh, and VU rocks!!

  5. Of course I read other IFers’ reflections and think, “Yes, that’s it!” all the time. But I don’t think I’ve ever read something like this, and had the thought – THAT IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL ABOUT MY WHOLE LIFE. I mean, I’m not Filipina (I feel like I left out a letter or two?), but being a mother WAS going to define me, and my job can’t really, and – oh, what you said. All of it.

    (By way of clarification – or perhaps further confusion – or maybe some sort of peculiar introduction – I have at least a few more months of fertility treatment before my next major crossroads, but I’m itching to retire, call an end to my so-called childbearing years, let the dream die forever, and move on with my life. If I had any idea what that meant. So the example of someone with much more peace and wisdom than I have who’s starting that adventure is precious, precious, precious. Thank you.)

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