- on Apr 26, 2023
I break tradition
Sometimes my tries are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes
But I can’t live that wayUnwritten – Natasha Beddingfield
When I saw what the prompt for this week’s Revelations was I won’t lie, I actually let out an audible groan of disappointment, I don’t know why but this is a song I can’t stand! I didn’t like it when it was first released and I’d still skip it now, but I’m a trooper so I’ve found a section of the song that I agree with and I’m being inspired by it despite my feelings.
As I was growing up and also well into adulthood I spent far more time thinking about what would make other people happy than I ever did thinking about what would truly make me happy. I do and I don’t regret this. On one hand there’s so much I wouldn’t want to undo, but on the other hand I wish I’d just been my authentic self much earlier on.
My youngest son is coming up to the same age as my eldest was when I left his dad. Part of the reason I left was I felt stifled and like my identity didn’t stretch beyond being a wife and mother. In another world, I could have stayed married if I’d had a partner who was a little more open to me exploring new things and being a little impulsive from time to time. Mr F has understandably asked me in the past if he should be worried as we approach that similar time frame and my only and deeply honest answer is absolutely not.
Mr F is completely accepting of the whole of me, the awesome bits, the less fortunate bits and the bits that have developed along the way. I am still a mother, and while not a wife these days, I’m still a live-in partner that takes on a lot of the domestic roles and emotional bandwidth that comes with running a household, but I don’t ever feel stifled or like that’s all there is to me these days.
Partly that comes from being free to make lots of my own choices. Lots of choices I can’t make solo, because we are a team and a family and many of our decisions are quite rightly made together. When it comes to personal choices though, like hair, clothes, tattoos etc my choices are all mine. Which might sound like an obvious statement, but so many people feel like those aspects of a person should be a joint decision and I do not function well in a relationship like that.
I also don’t do well with planning when it comes to those things, tattoos more so because of money, but my hair? Planning isn’t always part of the adventure. I currently have purple hair with an undercut I’m growing out, however I could easily wake up tomorrow and decide to dye it a totally different colour with a freshly shaved undercut. In these cases Mr F comes home to a girlfriend that looks wildly different to what she did when he left the house. His reactions have ranged from not noticing (I’m very unobservant so this doesn’t upset me) to enthusiastically loving the newest choice. All responses are fine by me, because they’re never negative and they never come with a side serving of what I ‘should do’.
There are so many expectations placed on us in life, and I know it can be incredibly hard to live life on your own terms and it took me a long time to figure out what my way looked like for me. I feel blessed to have found a partner who isn’t afraid of me colouring outside of the lines occasionally and rather than seeing my need for body autonomy and self-expression as a red flag for our relationship, he embraces, supports and encourages it because he knows without those things I don’t feel like my true self.
Everyone’s needs are different though, but I always hope that more and more folks are learning to live their life in a way they want to, not in a way they’ve been conditioned too. I know it’s not always an easy journey but I do believe it is a worthwhile one. Sometimes it is scary and the decisions you might have to make might be huge, but I truly believe living life on your own terms is something everyone deserves to have the opportunity to do and I wish it wasn’t so hard, and often frowned upon to just be yourself.
I do appreciate that external factors don’t make change easy, so what I hope for and why I always share that I did completely blow up my life to make changes, is on the off chance that just one person, one time might be encouraged to find new adventures and embrace the unwritten because if I hadn’t done that I would have missed out on some of the most amazing things life has to offer.