by gillian claire: defined.

3.10.2014

defined.

12191519893_cb0593bc69_ob+w2.
     a few weeks ago, roman started attending kindergarten at our local public school. is anyone surprised? i was a little surprised myself and yes it was a somewhat last minute decision. but it was also a decision that was a long time in the making and a decision that has definitely been the best  for our family and for roman, right now. 
.
     i certainly would not have believed you if you had told me in september that this year roman would switch to public school. i have always been "homeschool-minded" and that's who i believed i was and who i believed our family was as well. it defined me in many ways as have many of my decisions as a mother and as a person have made me feel "defined". and oh, in ways they do define me. marrying at 19 is a huge part of me. my difficult experience with hyperemesis during my first pregnancy molded me in many ways. giving birth at 21 breathed life into my soul. losing a baby and going through a miscarriage became a part of my heart. my pregnancy with asher, our natural birth, gifted me many things. these events and choices have formed my life and my whole world. nursing my babies and toddlers and sleeping with them and homeschooling them and being with them all the time, all the time, has been so meaningful to me.
.
     it becomes easy to fall so far into these roles that we become them. our culture is obsessed with definitions and labels. you come to my blog and you read my stories. and i portray and define myself for you here: mother, wife, photographer. i breastfeed and homeschool and wear my babies and sleep with them. i'm married to my best fried and i'm an art student. i'm passionate about birth and babies and art and pretty pictures with words. 
.
     all of these are very true statements and facts about myself. but these things are not what wholly defines me. i do not wrap nice and tight into a little labeled box. no. many things about myself are not written in my "about me" on my blog and they are not visible at all from the outside. many things you would probably be surprised to know about my life and about my daily struggles. what i am seeing now is that even though it can be overwhelmingly tempting to be packaged neatly and wrapped up with a pretty bow, it is so, so limiting. 
.
     spending your time living up to the world's expectations is such a grave and terrible waste of a beautiful and worthwhile life. all of these labels that i have given myself are so meaningful to me. they are such a deep and wonderful part of my story.  the lessons which i am now finding from life and the words i want to share with you are these: don't get so focused on what defines you that you miss the chance to follow a different path. don't become so focused on who you think you are supposed to be that you miss a beautiful and wonderful chance to become something new. a chance to change, a change to reevaluate, a chance to be real and honest, and to grow. <3 
.
IMG_3827then + now.to my almost one year old.IMG_154727.
this post is my first in a series that i am participating in this year with a wonderful group of women in the "mommy blogger collective". i hope that you'll take a moment to visit their blogs below and read their take on this month's prompt, "defined".
The Mommy Blogger Collective

/// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// Christina, Courteney, Dena, Erica, Erin, Gillian, Katie, Misty, Nicole, and Renée. ///

8 comments:

  1. oh, gillian. i am actually teared up having just read this. it is so beautiful, pulling hard at my heart strings. i *am*surprised that asher started kindergarten! i had no idea -- and like you said, there is just so much that we do not know, cannot know. my goodness you are wonderful & this post is a stunning reminder of why i've fallen so in love with you, your words, your photographs, & this blog.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love, love, love this, Gillian. Talk about pouring your heart onto paper (or screen). I've been guilty of feeling as if I should act and write and be a certain way, that if I don't portray myself a certain way then people will judge me and that those judgements would hurt because they would be only partially true or far from the actual truth. I think it's so hard to be a mother in our time-period sometimes, I mean... our lives are flooded with advice and comparisons of other mother's and advice and the way things 'should' be. When really...no one has a one-size-fits-all answer for motherhood, or life. We're all struggling to find balance, and to find ourselves, and to find what is right for each of us and our families. What we all need is just a little more support and understanding and truth in knowing that no matter what we're doing, it's okay, because it's the best we can do.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love this. Gorgeous photography too!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is so beautiful! Agreed, we cannot box ourselves in. How else would we grow as people, partners, mothers, daughters, sisters, friends? I often remind myself of something a professor said in college: "We won't be the same people we are in 10 weeks from now, never mind 10 minutes." So many decisions as a mommy. I also was torn over homeschooling vs. traditional school, and a host of other decisions on a daily basis for these babies! Loving this post and the gorgeous images.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Listening and following are our greatest gifts to our children in regards to their education! Good job, Momma!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting thoughts on how we define ourselves. Makes me want to explore this about myself.

    And yes, at first I was surprised that Roman is going to public school. But as you talked more about definitions and labels......it is funny how and why others' decisions surprise us.....and made me think.....why should that surprise me? We are not our labels.....they are a part of us......but decisions are decisions and we make them for all kinds of reasons.

    I looovvvve these pics, esp the silhouette + window one and the one of you and Asher in front of that fall-looking field. FAVES.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Aw, such beautiful photos! And good for you for not forcing yourself to fit in a little box. Although you do appear little, you'd get awfully cramped in there. And kuddos to you for letting go of your plans for the well being of your family. Great post :) -Misty

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Gillian. thank you for stopping by my blog, so nice to find new blogs that I otherwise would not have discovered! This is a lovely post. I have really enjoyed all the posts I have read in this collective, what a good idea. This thought holds so true as a mother, but you have to allow change to come into your environment so both you and your kids can go and experience. Good for you for branching out of what seems to be your normal comfort zone.
    Beautiful pics as well! :)

    ReplyDelete

Please comment, I'd love to hear from you!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...