My parents divorced when I was very young. Being the oldest, I sort of became the "other adult" in the family, as do many first born children of divorced parents. As such, I grew up very fast. All through my childhood, teen years and into my early twenties people constantly told me how mature I was. I was mature beyond my years. I was smart. I was advanced. I was special. I think secretly I reveled in my uniqueness. I had an advantage over my peers that made me stand out and excel in school and later in the workplace. I can't tell you how many job reviews I have had where my boss has praised me for my maturity, intelligence, poise, and wisdom.
Then I hit my thirties and that all changed. It is almost like my physical age caught up with my intellectual age. Like the two time lines, once vastly different, are tracking exactly parallel to each other now. In fact, in all honesty, I think my physical age is actually beginning to surpass my intellectual age. Crap. How did this happen? I am no longer viewed as mature beyond my years. I don't stand out from my peers. I am not praised anymore for my maturity, intelligence, poise, and wisdom. I have spent the last few years struggling to reconcile this new me with my memories of the old me. In truth, I still don't have all the answers. Here is what I do know. I know that being a mom is the most important thing I have ever done, and that "mommy brain" is a price I am willing to pay. I know that I am still special to the Lord even if I don't feel special to the world. And I know that no matter what phase of life I am in, I will always be special to two boys who are very special to me. And that is enough for me. And I am totally okay with it.
Ok, I can't stand it. If you read the above post and feel sorry for me, please don't. I did not write it so a bunch of people would respond with notes about how great I am. I am not fishing for compliments or an ego boost here. My ego is just fine. I am not complaining. I am not depressed. Trust me. If I was, I never would have written this post.
Here's why I wrote it. One, I wrote it because it was on my mind, and has been for a while. Two, I wrote it because I truly (finally) do feel okay about it. Three, and most importantly, I have heard this same kind of story from others and thought (and this is the point which proves how fine my ego really is) that my experience and thoughts about this might be of help to someone feeling the same way.
The point of the story is to be happy with who you are not because of what other people think of you or say about you, but because of who you are to the One who created you. Because of who you are to your children, your husband, your wife. These are the most important relationships, and for me, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. So please don't feel compelled to tell me how cool I am. Unless you just genuinely can't help yourself. And if that's the case, I'll just smile and say "thanks."