Bored Of Me Project - Behind The Autopilot
I have learned that I am not alone, there comes a time in everyone's life where they have lived one or two primary identities so much that they may not know who they are as an individual anymore. While our careers or motherhood consume our lives, they shouldn't be what entirely defines you. It brings me to a saying repeated by people incessantly "I don't remember my life before _______." This phrase is a driving force behind my project because I want to remember my life before I was a mother and career woman. I want to be reminded of those carefree moments before I met my husband because that person is at the heart of who I am and to forget that is a shame. But, we are all human, and life passes us by without us realizing it.
To dive into the deep end of this project I wanted to take myself on a trip down memory lane. Down to where I rarely go, my single life. While short-lived because I met my husband when I was 19, I had one, and it was glorious. If you stop for a minute, you may think to yourself, because I know I did, that you were able to sleep in as late as you wanted, eat whatever you wanted and make your own decisions. But, that isn't enough for me. I want to dive further from cliche sayings and get to the root of what I loved to do. What drove me each day? Who was I before I took on other identities? After looking through photo books and reading some journals, here is what I came up with.
1. I loved getting 7-11 Slurpees, all the time. They were my drink of choice. While others wanted coffee, I wanted to go to 7-11 and get Pina Colada Slurpee to drink while people watching at the park.
2. I liked to star gaze in the spring and summer. Laying down a blanket and looking up for hours was everything to me.
3. Scavenger hunts and challenges were my jam.
4. I loved short road trips with friends. Since I lived in rural Utah, we didn't have much around us besides other rural towns, but it didn't matter. We would pile into my 1995 blue dodge neon and go. We didn't care there weren't any fancy tourist destinations. We only cared about the CD mix we made and who had the best pizza in town.
5. I loved handstands, cartwheels and flipping. Gymnastics was my escape.
6. Time with friends. It didn't matter that we all had maybe $5 between us, our fun times were just that, fun.
I would have been this girls friend in a heartbeat. Adventure, ambition, and heart. These are three things that may not be entirely gone, but they are hidden in a small gray area of my life. These days I am either a career woman who is moving through her day making decisions and attending meetings, or I am the mom who drops her son off at school, helps him with homework or plans playdates on the weekend. I'm currently cruising. I don't only want to remember who I was. I want to be who I was and compliment that with who I've become.
I started by doing something frightening. I contacted the Editor in Chief with our local Women's magazine and pitched my series for their quarterly magazine. The outcome is unknown, but taking that first step is exactly what I would have done pre-autopilot.
Buckle up. I'm taking who I used to be and incorporating her back in a more polished way.