I met a lady over the weekend who lost her son when he was nine. That was decades ago, but she spoke of him like it was yesterday. I imagine it feels like yesterday to her. She was never able to have any other children. Her voice carried a mixture of tenderness and sadness when she spoke about him.
I met another lady last week who has happily raised three children. She told me all about them, how two of them (twins) are in college, and the youngest will be a senior this year. She beamed as she talked about them, but behind her joy I could see something else. She told me that now that they are grown, she feels a bit lost and unsure of her purpose in life.
My own struggle has involved finding purpose as a woman outside of being a mother. I spend a lot of time wondering why I can't be more sure of myself in life; why I can't just figure out who I am once and for all and get on with it. I look at ladies like the mom that I met last week, and I think to myself that they have it all figured out. They know exactly who they are and why they are here. But I'm starting to realize that is not really the case. And then I meet ladies like the one who lost her son, and I realize that my struggle pales in comparison to hers and that even if life seems perfect, it can all be gone in an instant. I realize that we're all just doing the best that we can, in whatever circumstances that we find ourselves.
And I realize that we're all in this together.
None of us has life all figured out. But that's ok, because we are not alone in our struggles. We have each other. We are all looking for the same things, regardless of our age, our marital status, or whether or not we have children, or work full-time, or live alone. We're looking for love and acceptance, happiness, fulfillment, purpose... So instead of isolating myself, and secretly envying women who are different from me, I want to reach out to them and find our common ground. I want to share my struggles and listen to theirs. Because, as alluring as the other side may seem, I know that when it comes right down to it, we're all pretty much the same.
Till next time,
© Haley McManigal 2015
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