When I think back on this year, the picture that comes to mind is a tree with roots that have grown deep into the soil. The process of growing is uncomfortably painful, and terrifying, and you want to be settled and not stretched when it is happening to you. But when you look back, you can see what was actually happening, and I can feel those roots firmly holding me in place.
I have grown into who I am. I have slowly begun to understand my own value, and stand up for it with myself and my family. I have strengthened my own boundaries so I won't give to make things easier for others when it is damaging a part of myself. I have seen a miraculous change in my relationship with my son, so my mothering has improved as a result of this difficult season in my life.
I feel as though I only breathed shallowly for most of my life, and now I have the lung capacity and the time to breathe deeply, in and out, every minute of every day. I used to feel like a rat on a wheel, running frantically but not actually going anywhere, and now I have a purpose which is supported by my actions, for the first time ever.
Sometimes we just need permission to experiment with new things. We need to feel it is acceptable to change; to alter our ways and try alternate ways of existing in this world. Meeting with the psychologist about William this summer did that for me. She gave me new eyes to see my relationship with my son, and in turn that opened up everything else in my life to see what was working and what wasn't.
Jason ran for town council and traveled a lot for work, and both of those things gave me space to understand who I am in my marriage, so while I was examining why I mothered the way I did, I could also look at how I was functioning as a wife. There were many ways I could change to be sure my needs were met as well as his, and I did make those changes. It was rocky for a little while, and now it's getting stronger between us, because I am stronger, and am learning to ask for my fair share.
Getting out from under my need to be perfect and in full control has been the most liberating part of the last year. Not writing for the last six weeks or so has changed me from the inside out. I needed to understand that my value is not in what I produce, but in who I am, and I could only get there by facing my deepest fears and walking through them. I learned to relax, and unwind, and enjoy the moment I'm living in without stressing about all that I'm not accomplishing. Who I am is enough, in any given moment, for the people in my life, and the rest will come in its own time.
I'm incredibly excited about the new year. All kinds of possibilities await all of us. I know I have more to learn, and more personal growth ahead of me, but for now, I'm enjoying how far I've already come. I like the view from this point on. The future is bright, and my tree roots are deeper than they've ever been before, so when the cold winds come, I'll be better able to withstand the hard times.