back before I found my way to the authentic, evolving woman that I am now, i unfortunately went willingly down the path of "should". ohh, that lonely, weird road of "should"... it is so desirable when you are more focused on pleasing others than yourself. i switched off, as so many of us do, my own voice. i assumed my voice was wrong because it went against the "should"s. so, i went along, instead with the outer voices telling me how to be accepted, attractive and happy. looking through the lens of my childhood, it seemed like the steps went like this; you meet a boy, get married, have two kids and live happily ever after without even arguing.
so, at the age of 22, i met a boy. we dated while I was in graduate school, which I quickly gave up to be more available to him. we got married and began to move all over the country for his medical training; from Texas to Indiana, New Orleans, Tennessee and, finally, North Carolina. somewhere in that blur of packing, unpacking, navigating new towns and giving birth twice; i lost myself. i was the wife, mother and daughter i was supposed to be. but internally i was falling apart. exhausted and disappointed in myself, i let my self-respect and worth fade away.
trying to reclaim a bit of myself, i started doing a little painting. i tried to explain how good it felt to be creating art again, to feel like an independant adult again, but i was misunderstood. it was clear this was an either/or, artist/mother+wife, situation. but i needed to be both.
understand why i couldn't be both.
in that moment, i felt such immense shame. i didn't know how to help myself. i sank into a depression so deep i couldn't see out.