I have found myself gradually losing grasp on my identity. Or maybe grappling with my changing identity. In fact, it’s been a reason I’ve been cautious to start blogging again – I have to find a new voice. Which really boils down to figuring out who I am now, which is totally unclear.
Earlier this year I cut my hair off. Which always precipitates some kind of identity crisis or push for change. At first, I was ecstatic and felt free, and now every day I mourn my hair. Chest-length, it had taken me two and a half years to grow. When I think of it now, I associate that long feminine hair with motherhood and finding my new identity, it was a pain to deal with, but I would pile it up in an Edwardian bun and it felt good. I think now cutting it off was a rash decision and symbolized my anxiety with settling into this new role when the ante was upped on motherhood challenges, and all I wanted was to be an impetuous young woman again. Now I sort of feel like hiding myself until my hair and the scary-but-good new identity I tried to cut off along with it grows back again.
So yes, this summer has brought about a lot of introspection. Considering relationships, considering career, considering… I arrived at writing this post because in a fit of inspiration, I managed to put my portfolio back online (however slap-dash an effort that was). Wanting to keep the momentum going, I set up this blog again. And I noticed how the aesthetic I gravitate towards when putting this together no longer matches how I feel, and how weird is that. And it got me thinking about just how much of myself has been lost in the interim (of course I know that, it’s practically all I’ve been talking about for at least the past year, once the delirium of the newborn phase died down). I don’t know if dissociating is the right word, and I definitely don’t want to get pathological, because I so strongly feel that my experience here is so normal, but I feel so far away from myself, and I’m trying really hard to winch myself back in and reframe the debris and scratches I’ve collected as new and welcome parts of me.
Complete madness, then, maybe, to start writing a blog again! What do I even write about? All I know is that I can’t not any longer.
I suppose another thing is that more than ever, I am aware of just how messy life is. There’s a certain dishonest romanticism that goes along with aspirational lifestyle blogging, and the sharing of these heavily curated images of lives, and heavily edited sharing of our stories. I think maybe part of my struggle with blogging has been my fundamental inability to keep hidden the dark, the boring, the untidy. But then, along with that, a lifelong obsession with aesthetics and longing to have one of those highly curated lives that I know don’t exist for anyone. It’s a frustrating dichotomy.
Despite all of that, It is my privilege to be this child’s mother. And to be a founding member of a brand new family. I just have to figure out how to integrate old me and new me together and accept it, I suppose.