Today I thought about who I am.
It’s not as easy as you think it is. You order it how you can – I am a woman. I am a mum. I am a wife. I am an employee. I am sister daughter friend auburn-haired dog-owner chicken-owner tired travelling Walking Dead fan. I like to hold my hand out the window in warm weather and watch, as I turn my hand a little bit, the aerodynamics demonstrate with my hand how airplanes work. I like to walk barefoot in the grass. I like a heavy duvet on the bed because something about the weight of it identifies the solemnity of bedtime. I like Spotify. I like travelling but I always like coming home, too.
I have a few people in my life right now who are the person I was years ago. I see them and the lives they lead, and I know the choices they make and why they make them. Someone close to me is involved with someone who is married, and I advise as best I can, having been both positions in the past. I watch the mistakes they made and know how it feels to make them. I know they try to be secretive, but I know every trick in the book. I don’t judge, but wait until I have to be there to pick up the pieces.
Someone close to me is concluding their divorce papers and are free for the first time in their lives. I watch them and know the terrifying freedom they feel. I see the vigor they attack the single life with and know that it, too, will change them. They will blossom and I will be there to watch and admire.
Someone close to me has come to terms with the end of their relationship a year ago, and they are finally almost who they need to be. I watch them and think of how amazing a partner they are going to be to someone. They have a capacity to love and be loved, and I can’t wait to be there to watch it happen for them.
Someone close to me is pregnant. Her stomach is at that stage where you know it’s not just a lack of exercise or excess beer, but that there is a little person in there. I remember that, too. I remember the hardness of the stomach and the knowledge that no matter where you were, you were never alone. It was one of the most beautiful parts of pregnancy for me, that knowledge, and I am so happy for her while a part of me misses just that one element, that one small sliver of togetherness you feel when you are pregnant.
Someone close to me has been accepted to the school they want to go to. I remember that feeling of stepping into my future when I did it. I remember the fear, too, the clarity that life was about to change forever. And it did. And I became a different person just for stepping over that threshold and filling my mind with so much that there were days I could barely hold it.
I am a woman. I am a mum. I am a wife daughter music-lover tree-hugger happy bendy college graduate heart-breaker heart-broken survivor book-reading wine-quaffing adult. I am all of those things and none of them specifically. I look back on my life as I look back on the lives of those close to me and I remember every moment in their glory and tragedy.
And if I could I would go back and do it all over again, every part of it.