I don’t think a novel has ever affected me in such a big way since Motherhood. I practically buried my nose in it for the last 4 mornings and nights – sacrificing morning naps on the bus for more pages of Lou Clark and Will Traynor, (almost) walking into walls, coaxing the boys to sleep at an earlier bedtime – just so that I could read even more pages and re-read the witty banter and dialogue between the two. As I finally finished the last few pages, doing my best to read the last chapter in the slowest manner possible, I felt a void of emptiness in my heart growing bigger as I flipped page after page.
I sobbed. Big time.
It made me reflect on my life, and questioned if I was truly living my life as fully as possible. Sure, I had lots going on now – motherhood, work, the husband who actually reminded me quite a bit of Will when it came to pushing me to try new things – although he’s since retreated from most of that enthusiasm since the kids. It got me thinking, if this was it. If this was contentment for me, or if there was more I seek but was holding back. Was I still allowing other people’s expectations define me? Strange how I get more risk averse as the kids get older.
Then there’s the part of whether I can get past myself. To learn to trust myself more, believe in myself more and quit being afraid of the ‘what ifs’. A good friend has been telling me about the hunger he sees in me, and how this hunger will take me far, take me to places I want to go. But the only person holding me back is myself.
My life for the last 6 months has been about pushing myself out of the comfort zone. I’ve challenged status quo since the start of this year by doing some amazing things that even surprised me. I took up the husband’s challenge to eat well which has led to a pretty satisfying and healthy weight loss, with increase in muscle gain and antioxidants percentage over a span of 3 months. I completed a course in an area I had absolutely no prior knowledge to despite struggling to grasp the basics of it initially – glad I didn’t give up. I got more than what I anticipated and expected at the full-time job with longer hours and an insanely steep learning curve – all voluntary if I may add – yet it’s still making me not regret that decision. And more recently, I’ve started taking up music classes again. Sure hope I’d be able to play some of my favourite tunes really soon!
I guess I just wanted to put it here on the blog, with a time stamp, to remind my future self to keep going, especially when the going gets tougher. It’s been 2 years of crazy so far, and seems like there’s more to go, with what’s ahead. To the future Natty, I hope that each time you read this post, you’d still be living life boldly, pushing yourself more, and not let any single situation define you (as you almost did 2 weeks’ back). More importantly, I hope you’d stay less affected and be less nice for your own good to people who don’t appreciate it. And know that while we may never fully understand the choices other people make, we’ll have to come to accept them eventually.
And if all else fails, always remember what your fictional boyfriend, Will Traynor, says: “I worked out what would make me happy, and I worked out what I wanted to do, and I trained myself to do the job that would make those two things happen”
#liveboldly #MebeforeYou #JojoMoyes