Lately, I have felt so lost. Some days I wake up and don’t recognize the ragged woman in the mirror. What happened to the jovial, bouncy Brittany that I (and everyone else) knew and loved? Was she kidnapped and replaced with this serious, hammer of a woman? Did she run out of chocolate or have to give up gluten? What. Happened?
Life. A lot of it.
The Old Brittany loved Proverbs 31:25 because it perfectly described her. “She is clothed in strength and dignity. She laughs at the days to come.” She rarely worried and was known for her sense of humor. She was goofy, quick to smile, and was a wonderful story teller. She was a charismatic teacher, her reputation for being fun often preceding her. To be fair, she wasn’t TOTALLY wonderful: she was a terrible listener and more than a little obnoxious. 🙂
But I miss her.
The last few months have been difficult. Instead of laughing at the future I found myself bawling in a counselor’s office. Instead of telling a great story I only talk of therapies and scary unknowns. Instead of being the charismatic teacher, I was emotional, strict, and overbearing. Where did that girl go?
In a casual conversation with a friend, she referred to me as “a total Type A” personality. Type A?!?! I am NOT Type A. I’m Brittany! The happy-go-lucky, go-with-the-flow, TOTAL type B kind of gal. When I returned home after the conversation, I sat down and cried my eyes out. The Old Brittany was a distant memory. I felt like such a shell of who I once was.
One of the biggest burdens I have been carrying was the thought that I had to return to being the Old Brittany. I have to get back to her! I have to do it for E, for my husband, for my friends, for myself! So, I began looking for ways to get back to her. As silly as it sounds, I googled Dad jokes and borrowed a funny audio book from the library. I had truly forgotten what it felt like to be goofy.
After going on a laughter-filled holiday with my wonderful, amazing, too-good-to-be-true Husband of mine, I had a realization. I can’t be who I once was.
I physically cannot, as I still bear the scar from E’s unexpected c-section birth. My hips are wider from the 8 months I carried her in my womb. I cut my long, blonde hair in order to be lower maintenance and less baby-grabable. With age and stress my eye sight has worsened along with my hearing. I physically am not the same and theres no returning to that.
I spiritually cannot, as my faith and trust in all of who God is and has shown Himself to be in my life has deepened. I have prayed sobbing, sorrowful prayers that I never had a reason to pray before. I have seen answers of “yes” and “no”. I have understood the love of a Heavenly Father in a more meaningful way now that I watch my husband love E with such devotion and tenderness and know God loves me the same.
I emotionally cannot, as life requires much from me right now. I cannot be the girl without a care or worry or a schedule. E needs routine, she needs services, she needs me to be on top of things with my color-coded planner. She needs me to worry for her, to be her voice and advocate for her. She needs a Type A Mama.
The more I think of the Old Brittany the less I miss her. Sure, I wish for her naivety and the lack of bill paying, the endless ice-cream eating and the goofiness.
But I am better off than she ever thought she could be.
I am stronger. I value life in a more genuine manner. I am more in love with Ben than ever. When I laugh, I mean it. I’m aware of little things and I’m so good at celebrating them. But best of all, I have the one thing Old Brittany was lacking the most: I have E.
What a gift it is to be her Mama. Through the endless, sleepless nights and the nonstop appointment-filled days, she shows me true joy. Her crinkled eyes and her gap-toothed smile, her perseverance and defying of odds. Yes, when I look in the mirror I still see the ragged woman but I also see E’s Mama: color-coding, daughter-doting, husband-holding, superstar-in-her-own-mind, newly-found, here-to-stay Brittany.