When I became a mother, a fog descended over my life. I had been ripped from the world I had envisioned, the one where I began my journey towards a successful career and instead found myself unexpectedly plunged into a world of nappies, weaning, infant development and motherhood cliques. It felt like I was stumbling through a metaphorical fog, dropping parts of my identity and desperately scrambling to grab new parts of myself that were vital pieces to my new identity as a stay at home mother. Only, now my children are growing older the fog is lifting and I’ve found that the lost parts of myself have disappeared with it. Instead I’m now stood holding the part of ‘stay at home mother’, while the children – come September – are no longer home with me.
I’ve spoken about feeling lost before, but this is less about losing an understanding of myself and is instead about losing an understanding of my place. I’ve had such a large amount of time to think about what it is that makes me… well me. I am incredibly thankful for the time I’ve had to really discover and understand what it is I stand for and what I’ve a genuine interest in. I’ve had the opportunity to really think about what path I want to carve for myself in this life and what it is I want to achieve. I’ve had the time to develop a sense of self and an ability to know it is perfectly alright to fail and to stand alone. I’ve been given the space to grow in confidence and have conviction in my beliefs, passions and aspirations. I feel incredibly honoured to have had the opportunity to grow and develop in such profound ways. Only now I’ve also found that the person I am and the aspirations I now have, are so different to when I entered the fog of new motherhood, that I’m now effectively starting over in lots of ways.
I’m no longer fresh faced, with an overly optimistic view of the world. I’m now 28 and beginning again. It is quite a daunting prospect if truth be told. While my peers are now half a decade into their careers, I’m taking a step back to the beginning and entering back into the education system. While my peers have now gained a wealth of experience, I’m starting over in a new field where I have none. While my peers have the security of their place in their chosen careers, I’m launching myself into a new one, where I may well spend the next few years struggling to secure my entry.
I guess what it all boils down to is that, while I know that it is perfectly alright to fail, I’m still scared by the idea that I might and now I no longer have the fog to fall back on, or to blame for that failure.