By the time we rang in 2007, the tsunami had already started to pull me under. I was waterlogged, out of breath and had lost all sense of who I was. What happened to her? That strong girl who had an opinion, who had dreams, hopes and was going places. I was the one who was going to change the world! I really liked her.
I had fallen apart at the seams. I couldn’t keep a straight thought in my head. I couldn’t follow through with anything worth meaning. I was a mess. I had become quiet and insular. I faded to a whisper. When I looked in the mirror I didn’t identify with who was staring back at me. I had lost my sense of self, my mojo, ‘my muchness’—you know those God-given qualities down deep that makes you you? Those unique qualities that people are drawn too. Well, that was missing.
Who was I? I was a mother of one (back then) and a wife. I filled my world with busy mother things; feeding my baby good food, bathing her, taking her to activities just like all the other mothers were doing. I kept the house tidy, planned the meals and cared for my little family. All these things seemed to be my scaffolding—the things that kept me upright from the outside.
On the inside, what I kept hidden, was hollow Kaylynn, a vacant and confused Kaylynn. I loved my life–I had a beautiful home, a beautiful baby girl, a husband who loved me. But I didn’t enjoy being alone—I couldn’t be alone. When I reflected back on this, I was aware that this was a problem I’ve had for some time. Pre-kids, but married, I remember needing to leave work at the same time as my husband because the quietness of the house was too loud and it caved in on my soul.
I was not whole without another by my side.
What? How long had I been like this?
Since dating age, I was rarely without a boyfriend. Whenever I broke up, there was always another on the sideline ready to stand in. What did this mean? I was from a big family. Was I just so used to having people always around?
When you’re alone, you can hear your thoughts. I didn’t like being alone with my thoughts. My thoughts were not kind. If I stayed busy I couldn’t hear them because the secret truth was…
…I didn’t like me.
I used to like me but the confidence drained out of me years ago.
In an effort to run from myself, I started a career, because it was much easier to see other people’s problems than my own (and what’s not more messed up than an office full of politics and imperfect humans?).
So, I’m working for Sensis, Yellow and White pages Australia and I’ve got a nice title to hide from myself behind and I was doing fine. I didn’t have to deal with my own stuff because, at work, there was never enough time in the day to get things done and working late hours became the norm. Sound familiar? Anyway, one of the big bosses started a lunchtime meeting called ‘WoW’—Women of White. Once a month we would gather in a conference room, eat our lunch while listening to some amazing woman talk to us about her journey to greatness. We had a vast line up. Entrepreneurs, mothers, CEOs, assorted panel judges, etc. The one thing we all had in common was that we were all women. I really enjoyed these meetings.
During one of these meetings, Bev Brock came to speak to us. She’s the surviving wife of a very famous Australian race car driver named Peter Brock, who sadly died in a car accident doing what he loved in 2006.
Bev Brock said something that echoed in my ears “You need to work on your relationship with yourself because, at the end of the day, you only grow old with you”.
OH, MY GOSH! Yes! It was the wakeup call I needed, she was spot on with her statement and it was not wasted on deaf ears.
There are no guarantees that you’ll grow old with the person you love. My grandmother outlived two husbands and in the end, spent her last days in a retirement village and she was happy. So, I needed to work on my relationship with me and that was that.
This was the start of me finding my own testimony and coming back to the church. I started listening to what my body needed and this is what it told me…
Rekindle my relationship with my Father in Heaven.
Find me time—do things just for me.
Enjoy my kids—play with them not just do the mom things.
Listen to more heart lifting music.
It’s ok to spend a little money on myself.
It’s ok to say no.
It’s ok to voice your own opinion and own it.
Laugh out loud more.
Hug the world.
Reach out to others often.
Listen to more Oprah.
(I love Oprah Winfrey…Come on, who doesn’t love Super Soul Sunday?)
By slowly honoring my needs and really listening to my heart, I came back to me. I reconnected with that feisty twenty-year-old, that scared ten-year-old, that lost thirty-one-year-old, that bruised eight-year-old and gave them all a voice, a united voice, one voice, my voice. I let those little fires inside me have oxygen again. I do what makes me happy not just what I think others want me to do. I’m not afraid to ask for what I want instead of being the passive one who agrees with everything. I’m slowly figuring out how to be my most authentic self and I’m enjoying the rocky journey that it is. We all need to do this for no one else but ourselves.
All relationships need weeding.
Pull all those noxious weeds that grow in your soul because they are releasing toxic poisons that want to do away with your muchness.
So what are you going to do? Reconnect with yourself? Or just keep living the same way you’ve been rehearsing?
Go on, make your own list of what you want to do with your life. What do you want out of life? You only get one. Listen to your heart and start working on one of the most meaningful relationships you can have. A relationship that won’t end in splitting up your records.