Recently, I was laid up in bed sick (not with covid) and was on tiktok for entertainment during those weird stretches of not wanting to read, watch a show, but…tiktok.
I noticed this interesting trend. I’ll call it “I miss her”. What you see at first is an image of a mother and her baby, and the caption reads something like “I love my baby”, and then the images flash to the non-mom doing things (like traveling alone) and the caption reads “but I miss her”.
At first when I saw it I was all like #relatable. But, after watching a few of them, I dunno — it felt like a narrative I wasn’t really buying into.
I spent, what feels like, a lot of my early motherhood days grieving what I’d perceived as a chapter closed. And it was, and still is, a huge life shift worthy of grief and reflection and whatever comes up with that.
But the edges of it all – the this me, the what was me – are so blurry.
Because, I know without a doubt, that past self I’m missing was doing nothing but pining for the current me.
She was spending lots of time sitting in the grass of her backyard, wishing into the stars for her angel child. There was always the lingering wondering if it will ever be my turn to nurture life with the love of my life.
And here I am — trying my best to not get stuck in reverse gear watching tiktok videos because, well, you can only imagine the disaster that comes from that.
It’s so common in our culture to always be trying to reverse (aging, time, buildings decay, cultural and technological evolutions). It’s normal to be looking constantly in the rear view mirror singing “those were the days”.
Were they, though?
Women and mothers get hit with this missing message so hard. All it seems is that we’re told the accepted thing, and the only way to accept things, is to turn back time. (Literally impossible, so we get stuck in not liking our lives, ourselves).
What I know to be true is this: yes, I miss her. But I also miss that carrot cake I had last week too.
Memory functions to remind us of what and who we love and like so we can keep going to get more of that and survive and thrive because things we love = happy chemicals and hormones for life.
Sure, I miss her but really, I am her. Always. Let me celebrate that as I reflect and my son’s birthday and mother’s day are one this year.
I am all my past, present, and future. And that’s something magical, surely that I don’t want to miss.