This morning is a Saturday and, when I first woke up, I put my iPod on and the Mumford and Sons began to fill the room. I’ve only recently put music onto my new iPod, so it’s been a while since I listened to them – my favourite band – and, as I lay there still snuggled under the cocoon of our duvet, it immediately took me back… to 3 years ago, when their music carried me through an eventful time in my life.
I actually couldn’t believe that was just 3 years ago… Then, I was single for the first time in 10 years (my adult life so far), completely solo, and everything but nothing all at once! In my life up to that point I had moved from one side of the earth to the other (a couple of times, actually); travelled extensively, around many of the places in between; worked jobs in too many industries to remember; performed a lot of theatre; and obtained a degree in psychology. Great achievements, great memories, and experiences that will stay with me throughout the rest of my life – but all of those things saw me looking outwards at the world, at other people, and it was finally time – aged 26 – to start looking inwards. At me.
To be honest, I was actually quite discontent in my life. I was at a loose end, continuously disappointed with people and the situations I found myself in and, ultimately, I knew the life I was living wasn’t mine. I needed change. I had completely lost sight of what I wanted to live for, what I valued, what mattered to me – instead, I was simply going through the motions, living within other peoples’ lives. With every new person I met, I felt myself taking another step further from ‘me.’ So, abruptly, I gave notice everywhere and bought a one-way ticket back to the UK. To London. A city I had visited twice as a tourist, with no one to meet me at the airport, nowhere to go, nowhere to live, no money beyond an overdraft in my bank account, and a suitcase full of clothes I no longer wanted to wear . The absolute most difficult and the best thing I have ever done. I completely broke myself down into my elemental parts – and proceeded to rebuild myself…
Since then, all sorts has happened. I fulfilled a lifelong dream to perform professional theatre and workshop at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; I became a poet; I travelled and lived alone, anonymous in London city, and I (oh so cliché!) really discovered myself. To cut a long story short, I guess I simply figured out who I am and what I want.
Today I have shaped my life into one I am incredibly happy with, but, even better than that – I am content. I have met (well, ‘met again’ – but that’s a story for another day!) and married your daddy, and I have conceived you. I am also back living in New Zealand… (not that place has anything to do with what I am talking about)… and I am now a marriage celebrant! THREE YEARS! Imagine what the next 3 could have in store…
I really am so looking forward to the future and our growing family, but, none-the-less, I did have a moment or two this morning of nostalgia. I’m not going to lie, baby. I even felt a pang of grief – for a time so brief that it was over before I knew it. A time before your daddy, before you, a time that was just me and no one else. Yes, I ached for you both before I had you. And I want nothing more than to be where I am today. But this morning I remembered where I have come from to be here, and I couldn’t help but think how wonderful it would be to just close my eyes and relive that journey for a moment. A journey that defined me in so many ways, and has enabled this very path I am on today. A journey so eventful, that I wish I could go back and cherish it.
Yet I know that time is already long past.
Which really got me thinking, baby – it’s been a fantastic week, with a delicious baby shower to celebrate your coming, a wonderful photoshoot to capture my amazing body at this time, and a lovely home visit from the midwife who announced I am “ready for baby” and that SHE is “so looking forward.” This is an amazing, precious time in my life and I am so treasuring it and cannot wait to meet you little one. But, deep down, I do have a frightening sense that I could lose myself again… that maybe I already have… even if temporarily. Because, with all of the wonderful things going on in this chapter of my life, ultimately, everything is all about you. As it should be. And I can’t help but grieve a little bit, for me.
Even when your daddy sees me now he says hello to “his babies” (meaning us both). I’m no longer sure where I end and you begin.
Baby, it’s not that I want to turn the clocks back or to separate us – ever! – it’s just that I want to be able to remember exactly who I have been for these first 30 years of my life. The person your daddy fell in love with. Before someone else’s needs (yours) become greater than my own. It’s important not just for my own sake now, but for your daddy’s sake, and for your sake too. I will be his devoted wife, and your devoted Mumma for the rest of my life – but I am also so much more than that. I am me. I want you to know me, not just for being your Mumma… and I want you to love me, for my own sake.
You know what – with time, baby, I am sure you will.
And, likewise, I will grow to love you for you too. Not just for being my baby. I simply cannot wait to meet you now, and to watch you begin the discovery of yourself. And I cannot wait to continue my journey in life, learning more about myself through the things you teach me.
I guess being on the right path, which I know I now am, is all that matters.
Anyway, I guess you felt all of those strong feelings I had too. As you moved around in my tummy a lot this morning – and I believe it was more than just a shared appreciation of the Mumford and Sons. 😉 I think you were saying ‘I love you mummy – all of you.’
At that moment your daddy came back into the bedroom, and when he came over to me he could see your movements under the bed sheet. So he lifted the covers and put his hands on my tummy and said “good morning baby!” And you moved for him. Lots. Your daddy was so chuffed and he kept saying “it’s your daddy!” and giving you kisses. And immediately I left behind my memories, and was right back in the room with you both.
I’m right here, baby. Patiently awaiting your arrival; enjoying the last of my time between my two worlds.
I love you, I love you, I love you!
Your Mumma. Xxx
Image (c) Nova Photography