Don't Wanna Be Just Like You

There are life changing moments and there are life defining moments.

My life defining moment came at the lowest point of my life. From the person I was most worried about. Not sure what set me off on this particular day, but I hit my rock bottom.

Sad, lonely, depressed, stuck, anxious, scared.....I was sitting in our basement miserable in my puddle of tears. No one else was home. I think I chose this day to crack as I knew it was too scary to share this breakdown with anyone anyway. I just needed to let it all out, face my darkness and start crawling out of the hole I had dug for myself. I was tired of trying so hard to be perfect and seeing the reminders every day of how much I had failed at exactly that.

In the throes of my sobbing from that deep deep part of me, I heard a noise behind me. It was Mitch. He was suddenly there. Oh boy. It was too late to stop the flow, the release-- there was no way I would be able to collect myself and pretend that everything was okay.

He asked: What's wrong mom? Are you okay? He gave me a hug which just made me cry more.

"No"-- was all I could manage. No I thought, how can I be okay when the world feels like it is crashing around me. Everything I worked so hard to control is crashing and burning right in front of me. Even you. Especially you. I am scared for you, worried for you, lost in how to reach out to you.  Tired of trying and failing and trying and failing. At being a mother. At being a career woman. At being happy. At being me.

I have no idea what I am doing. Fresh tears tore through my gut. My heart. My whole self.

I think I said something to the effect of: "I will be okay."

But I didn't feel okay. It was a lie at that moment. I didn't feel like it would be okay at that moment. Or ever. I was sorry. I was sorry for being sorry. I was lost. I was unhappy. My stomach hurt 24/7 and I wasn't sleeping well either. I was just plain miserable. And ready for a change.

But what came out of my mouth was a mom thing:  "I will be okay I just need to let this all out."

"Sorry for what?" he queried.

"Everything. Everything I ever did wrong." I said.

Everything I have screwed up with you. With Alec. With Sadie. I am so sorry I thought.

"Mom, I am fine. I will be fine. You and dad are the best people I know. I want to be just like you when I grow up." And there were nicer words that followed but I cannot remember them. I could not hear them.

His first words struck a chord deep down in my misery.

What? Did he really just say what I think he said?

I stopped crying. And I began to breathe again.

From this seemingly unlikely source, the person I felt most disconnected from, and was most worried about--came the exact words I needed to hear to begin my journey forward. Back to me.

What I wasn't quite yet ready to admit to my son at that moment was this:

I am a joke. I am 50 years old and I have no idea what I am doing or how to really be me. One thing I know for sure is you do not want to be just like me.

You want to be just like YOU.

You are more than enough just the way are. No changes needed --just find and keep your center. It is the heart of you and all that is good. It is all you ever need.

Stay true to you. Don't let the world dumb you down, keep you safe, or stop your dreams. Live as YOU and the rest of your life will fall into place. Don't do things to please others, which is not to say don't be nice to others or show compassion and thoughtfulness, that is important too.

Just do what you know to be right for you --do not lose touch with your center and what feels right, though this is the secret no one tells us as kids. You are born knowing what is right for you.

We learn it someone else's way, through someone else's filter when we are young. And that is where the trouble starts, the losing our own center part.

My way is just that --my way.

And that means that your way is just that also ---your way.

Both are right. And both are occasionally wrong.

Both are enough. Both are important. Both are necessary.

Son of mine, you are: right, enough, important, necessary and LOVED.