Self (Re)Discovery

"Who were you before becoming a mom? What sort of things did you like to do?" my therapist asked.

I explained that prior to becoming a mom, I willingly devoted most of my time to my job as a high school English teacher. I sponsored many school activities, coached cross country, and focused on establishing myself as a professional by attending graduate school and teaching conferences. I told her that I ran 25-35 miles a week and sang in a bluegrass band. Free time was spent with my husband or with my friends.

"Well...do you think you can still do these things now?" she inquired.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately...can I pursue the same things I once loved prior to being launched into motherhood? I'm not sure I can...or want to. You see, I've changed---maybe these changes have come with age, with becoming a mother, or maybe a combination of both.
Maybe I'll take up dancing (if you've seen me dance you
know pursuing this hobby would be a grave mistake).

Though I still teach writing, it's not the same as teaching high school English. I've just recently resigned from a leadership role in an educational non-profit (something I've been involved with for the last seven years) because my passions are changing. I still hold many of the same values I held as a high school teacher (social justice, place consciousness, etc.), but I need time and space to think about how these values fit with my new position and to discover any new passions (like my new interest in working with ELL writers). I always thought I'd pursue a PhD in Composition and Rhetoric or Education (with a focus on school/society/reform), but now I'm not so sure. Do I want to be a writing center director? Do I want to continue working part-time? Do I want to pursue free-lance work more diligently? I'm walking an unmarked road with my career, and it's raising opportunities I've never thought of before. Running and music have been hobbies of mine for quite some time (think way back to high school), but I really have no desire to run another marathon right now, and I loved singing with my friends in the bluegrass band, but I think I loved the company more than the singing. And because of my nomadic tendencies, my friends are now spread all over Nebraska, and here I am in a new town with my closest friends at least two hours away.

I'm finding myself staring at a blank slate and trying to figure out what my passions are in this new season of life. I know discovering my passions and hobbies is important for restoring my sanity. I just have to figure HOW I do this, especially with my introverted ways; I'm not exactly skilled at meeting new people and maneuvering new situations (I have an uncanny ability to take a normal situation and make it awkward). If you're finding yourself in this same predicament, what are you doing to find new passions/hobbies? What's worked for you? What hasn't worked for you?

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