- 6:30AM: I woke up to my alarm clock and one of my favorite girl groups crooning about the latest heartbreak.
- 6:32AM: I rolled over and saw that my bestie/college roommate was stirring in her bed. I knew she would soon tell me to get up for the gym.
- 7:00am: We walked out of the door to jog to the gym while we talked about the night before, who we met, what we did and the fact that we just got in at 2:45 am.
- 9:50am: Off to a full day of class, studying, a bit of volunteering, a late party or hang-out session or dinner with friends; then rinse and repeat.
- 2:45AM and 15+ years later: I woke up, not to my Iphone alarm, but to my oldest screaming: “MOMMY! I NEED YOU!!!”. As I jumped up in my frenzied haze, I realized that he must have had another bad dream and he really did need me. I didn’t mind; I enjoy being his comfort and security blanket for the time being. I doesn’t matter that I had just fallen asleep at 1:00AM because I work and I needed to open my laptop again after the kids’ bedtime routines. I was up anyway, so why not just let my husband sleep? I am MOM; this is what I do; right?
- 5:45AM: I’m shaken awake: “Mommy? Mommy!! It’s festival day!” And that it was, it was the day of the balloon festival and my husband and I were taking the boys to see the event. I work a lot, so I filled our weekends with arts, crafts, soccer, piano, museums, concerts, play dates, birthday parties and the “amusement fair circuit”. I’m their mom; I make their lives amazing. This is what I do; right?
- 10:45PM: I sat on the edge of my bed, behind a locked door looking over the pictures of the day when I started sobbing unlike anything I’d experienced in a long while. It felt like the first and worst heartbreak you felt from a time when there were no other worries than loving and losing. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I thought about everything I ever wanted in this life, everything I achieved and the things I didn’t. Almost unable to breathe, I thought about my heart aches, heart breaks and my two little loves. I thought about everything that brought me to the edge of that bed and I stared at a woman I didn’t recognize. She was smiling and appeared to be happy, but as I expanded the picture and looked into her eyes, I could see that she looked stressed. She looked overwhelmed. She was wearing clothes I’d never buy, but she did because she was 40+lbs overweight and didn’t look comfortable in her skin. She was lonely and she was so very TIRED.
That was one of the most powerful and deeply personal moments of my adult life. I call it my MEpiphany. It was just me, looking at myself and realizing my once bright, vibrantly colorful life was now a faded composition that no longer resembled its predecessor. I had no clue who I really was, how it happened or what I planned to do about it. Reflecting on those college days, LIFE WAS GOOD, but I’m not her anymore. I sat there for what felt like hours and let my tears wash me clean. I sobbed and mourned the death of the carefully curated persona that wasn’t me and burial of the life I didn’t want. That day, sitting on the edge of my bed, I was actually on the edge of a metamorphosis and it happened: my MEpiphany. I realized that I’m an adult, a mom, a wife, a professional and friend, a lover and a fighter, an empath; a philanthropist and MORE. I realized that I can be all that I am and still be the Momma Bear that I am every day. I can still remember that it’s tye-dye day at school and color wars at camp without forgetting to carve out time for myself. I realized that I, too, am important. That day, that caterpillar once cocooned in stifling self-inflicted obligations, mom-guilt, diminished confidence and loneliness started her journey to taking her life back.
College Nicole thought life was good, but just having returned from a girls getaway with my college bestie, one that I would have never found the time to take 5 years ago, this butterfly is soaring high. Post MEpiphany, I am physically and emotionally lighter. I am striving to learn what balance truly means. I have learned that my babies are EVERYTHING to me, but I cannot BE EVERYTHING to EVERYONE at EVERY moment. I’ve learned that remembering me is remembering them; I want to be the best ME I can be so that I can be the best Mom I can be. My life doesn’t have to be perfect to be amazing. I may not do this mom thing the way my mom or my grandmother did it or the way TV and social media say I should do it. I may color outside the lines sometimes (okay, A LOT!), but my life is colorful and vibrant again because I bring my own hue to this masterpiece. I am not perfect and it gets hard, but guess what? I am uniquely me and I am comfortable in my skin once again. I love my MommyHue and I have to tell ya: LIFE IS GREAT. #MommyHue #MyMommyHue