Monday, October 22, 2007

Back to me

Suffice it to say that we had tons of fun at the Renaissance festival! I mean, ass loads of fun. It was fun. However, that post is put on hold: husband has the camera cable in his car at there will be no Renaissance report today. That is saved for later, possibly tomorrow.

But that's cool; I've got other things to blog about.

So Andi and I were havin' a little chat in the car on the way back home yesterday. I brought up a subject; however sore it may be. It's something I realized the other day -- an epiphany, if you will. I don't remember who I was talking to, or if I was talking at all. I could have been typing. Either way, I was asked about hobbies. Mine, specifically. And to my astonishment, I could not list anything but blogging. I have a huge list of things that I used to do, or things I would like to do. Nothing I actually do.

Andi thought it was sort of preposterous that I think I have no hobbies; even further that I'm upset by it...but just imagine: you have nothing that defines you. It's an awful feeling. In the spot where you'd generally fill out "about me" you have a blank. Sure, I could list ass wiping, couch potato, procrastinator, dish maid, personal chef. What service is that to me? I do not enjoy those things, and hobbies, I assume, should be enjoyed.

You paint, he insisted.

No, I like to paint, but do I actually paint? No. I have nothing to paint about.

You like to cook, he says.

I love to cook, but I have to cook.

He went on and on, insisting until finally, in desperation, he asked what it is I think I like to do.

Well, I like to paint...when I have something to paint about (which I don't). I like to cook...but is it a hobby? Cooking is not something you can just do. It has to be for a purpose; a meal. So that moves cooking from hobby to interest. I can sew, but I do not like to. I chose seamstress and fashion as a career, and how many people do you know that come home from a long day of their job and do yet more of it because they enjoy it so? None. So, I'm not a sewer. I hate scrapbooking...don't have the patience for it.

What do I like?

Well I know what I used to like.

I used to like painting. Getting lost in the canvas. Going to concerts; small venues even...staring up at the artist until I got lost in the sea of music. Analyzing every lyric to the fullest. Lying in bed with a loved one for hours on end; CDs on rotation. Contemplating the meaning of life and lyric. I used to love the runway...the shows, the art. Real life artwork being poured into apparel. The designer's creativity and eccentricity oozing out of every stitch and seam. Poetry; small fragments of my reality boiled down into exquisitely eloquent and off beat stanzas...holed up in a notebook and kept for my eyes only. Boys wearing eyeliner. Boys wearing skirts. That exquisite median between anarchy and conformity. Watching indie flicks late at night; alone at the cinema. Deep conversations. Deep. Not the sort I find myself having these days. Making music; my guitar in hand...strumming aimlessly for my own benefit.

I like to make things, I tell him. I never make anything anymore. My music is silent, my canvases empty...I have no ocean of lyrics to be lost in. No one who cares to be lost with me. Spending some time in the fashion industry jaded me slightly. I hate fashion. I have nothing to write about in full stanza, nor broken prose. No notebook to keep it all holed up in. No deep conversations; my lips are silenced. And alas, I do not care to swoon for any other boys besides the one I've already captured: my husband. My creativity is drained. My livelihood is gone.

I do not care to define myself merely as mother or wife. The thought of that bores the shit out of me. Lately, I seem to find myself among a hoard of women who have no further aspiration than this. They have no self. They are mom. They are wife. They are nothing more; they are boring. Somewhere along the road of life, they've lost their own ambitions...replacing them with what they should want or do. But that is nothing for me. I do not want that. I don't want that life. I never wanted to be called mother; never wife. And here I am: I am called both. It's fine with me, but I refuse to let those labels rule me. Neither are definitions I want to truly define me.

If that is all I have, I do not have much, for I have no self.

I need myself back. I'm so far from what I used to be, that I'm not even sure I can get back. What is self? What are you? What defines you? I'm not sure what defines me now. But it sure as hell is not solely mother or wife.

I am better than those titles alone. I belong to my soul. I refuse to let those labels decide my day to day actions. And I refuse to let anyone contain my spirit.

Now, if I could only live by my own words...and not in fear of them.

I'm still trying to figure out how to be mom and myself at the same time.


Momof3 said...

I don't think you will ever return to the person you were but, why would you want to go back?
You need to decide who you are now and who you will be in the future. Then, take big brave bold steps to be that person. You are the only person in control of your life.

Rantings by a Middle Aged Drama Queen said...

At least you had meaning to your life before children/ husband! This is all I know and that is scary! With nothing to look back on how can you go forward. I know you are talented and I know you will find what you are looking for.

Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

Oh B... excellent post!

Unlike you I always wanted to be wife/mommy... At one point I thought I would be neither.

I don't have any hobbies either, though I really never did -- unless you count reading, but that's more of a release, a pasttime... not a "hobby."

You will get beyond the labels. It's okay to take a brief hiatus from what we were to where we are going. Like Momof3 said, why would you want to go back?

Take a hiatus, and now that you are here, you recognize your void, you can begin a whole new chapter in your life to fulfill it! How exciting for you!

And as far as being defined by the labels of "Wife and Mother" -- change the definition! You define you and nothing else. Not a label or hobby, interest, job, etc.

I loved this post! Thank you!

piper of love said...

pssst! you are amazing!

I'm adding you to my Blogs of Love!

Missy said...

While I do not have the Mommy title yet, your post hits a place in me too. As I age I find myself doing things I used to consider my hobbies (seeing bands, plays, etc) less and less due to grown up expenses and lack of time. I am not sure if I ever had a true hobby.

My husband and his parents and brother all have hobbies and passions. It makes for nice conversation topics and it is much more fun to buy them gifts. When I am out with them I wish I had a hobby too- work and school are not as fun to chat about as hobbies.

Lately I have had a couple craft clutches with my girlfriends, but I am really not a dedicated crafter- it is just nice to get people together.

I think cooking is a hobby if you continue to stretch the limits of your ability and learn. Blogging is certainly a means of self expression and you do well at it.

I hope you can find something for yourself- maybe volunteer or take an art class or a dance class or a writing class just to try something new and get some new insights and feedback. I know I am watching out for something for myself.