So I’ve been away from the office (for the most part) for two months now, and I have to say, it’s been enlightening. Not only has it served as a time for bonding with my little man (and my main man or hubby), it has also given me some much needed perspective.
But it’s not what you might think, and it certainly isn’t what I thought I would discover while being away from work.
I needed to be away.
I needed to step away from what I was. I worked so hard to get where I am career wise. I wanted to be a journalist so much, but always talked myself out of becoming a writer. “It is too competitive and I’m not good enough to compete.” or “I don’t want to live in a big city, and I won’t be able to find a job in a small town.” But I was able to shut down the voice in my head and work to become a journalist, despite everything.
Because of this, when I finally landed a job writing for a newspaper in a small town, I launched myself into it. I identified with my job. I found my self-worth in my job. I was my job.
When you love your job, that’s a good thing, right?
Now being away from it, I realized that without the job I have nothing to talk about, and since my identity was attached to being a journalist, when I was no longer a journalist, I had no identity. At least that’s the way it felt.
I needed some me time.
At first, I got a little depressed realizing being a journalist is the only thing I identified with anymore. My husband and I decided when we found out we were having a baby that I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. I was nervous about leaving my job, but knew staying home with the little one would be so, so worth it.
So, I spent those first few weeks at home in a bit of a mental slump. In every other way I was on Cloud Nine, spending everyday with my little family. My husband, the farmer, was in a slower time of year for work, so he was able to stay at home with me and the baby. It was a great bonding and learning time for all of us.
But, anyone reading this post who have had children are probably thinking, how did you have any ‘me time’ with a newborn and a husband at home? Well, I know it seems a little cray cray, but it’s true. This was a time when I had the most me time I have had in a while.
I stepped away from my crutch of ‘journalist’ and realized we are so much more than what we do.
Here’s what I learned:
We are not and need not be defined by labels.
I am not a journalist, a mother, a wife, a friend, a girl, a woman, a nice person. I am Lacey. That’s all we need to know. There are so many things to a person. Why do we need to define each other, let alone ourselves, by what we do and what roles we might play in other people’s lives? It’s so limiting.
We should all take time out to think about ourselves.
There is nothing selfish about focusing on our own ideas and dreams. It’s okay to have someday dreams or to take a mental vacation.
We should all take time out to work on ourselves.
After letting go of my journalist label, I immediately decided that my new routine would definitely involve time to focus on my health. Not to lose the baby weight, not to have an awesome bod, but just to get the endorphins and good vibes flowing.
Being too busy creates a higher level of materialism.
I felt I was making the money, and I had to spend it. I had to look a certain way to gain respect. I had to act properly to appear professional. So, I ditched my style to conform, and because of that, I became way more materialistic.
Being busy doesn’t mean you’re successful.
There is an idea that being busy equals success. This isn’t true either. Being busy might make some of us happy, and that is just fine. But, not being busy does not mean you’re a lazy person. It means we have different priorities. I don’t know about you, but being able to go for a two-hour walk with my husband and son on a Monday afternoon is a darned good priority, and if I was working I would never have been able to do that. And it made us so happy. That is, in my eyes, the most successful I have felt in a long time.
Being a mom and wife is the most wonderful thing in the world for me, and I am enjoying the challenge and reward of it every day. It’s not always glamorous or cheerful, but it is a MAJOR blessing that not everyone has. I am so grateful for it all.
Finding myself will not be easy. I realize much of this post is all about me, but hey it’s my journey. I am going to stay on this journey for the rest of my life, too. It’s majorly important to know yourself and be able to share that with others. That’s why God put us all on this Earth together and made us all so unique. We can be a unique blessing to everyone we meet, but not if we don’t take time to reflect and nurture our unique self.
Originally published on So(Lace) in a Small Town