I have been through several seasons in my life: Wife, mother, divorcee, empty nester. One constant throughout those seasons is my identity being tied to each of them. I was known as “So n So’s wife or ex-wife”. I was my daughters' Mom. I am even known as “LeftEye’s G-Ma”, and people speak to me through her because they know her name and not mine.
Does anyone know MY name and who I AM?
As I ventured out on my own, (yes, me, and not my girls) I realized I didn’t know much about Me. Over the years, I never gave thought to who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, or even what accomplishments or dreams were mine. I’d spent so much time being the person others needed me to be, that those thoughts were invisible. I mirrored the ideal person for other people, and I was able to do it easily because I thought being the ideal person was making me a good wife, mother, employee, daughter, and even dog mom. My eyes opened over half a century later, and the reasons that made me ideal for these people were gone; I had no idea who this NEW Wendy was that I was left with. I had no one to work hard for, sacrifice for, stand behind, or encourage. Or so I thought. I had Me. I could be all those things for ME. I just didn’t know how. I had been living a life of self sacrifice and now I had to recreate my identity.
In 2018 after my 2nd divorce, I started Restoration Wendy 2018. I started doing things that I wanted to do—dream my own dreams, and follow my own heart. At this point, I had my Travel Business for 2 years, but I wasn’t fully functioning in the business like I wanted. That was, in part, due to being one of the people I created—“Mrs. Being-A-Good-Wife”. When I decided I was going to travel more, I started out traveling as the girls’ Mom; making sure they had everything they needed for our trips. Now, I travel every year for my Birthday and Thanksgiving whether anyone goes with me or not.
I started to see where I needed to make some real changes in my thinking so I could change my life. This meant understanding that I am not a selfish person, and it is okay for me to put Wendy first. Getting rid of the guilt I felt when I didn’t consider my daughters’ needs and the needs of others before my own. I began to define what self care means to me, and what steps I can take towards prioritizing it on a more consistent basis.
I was becoming my own WHY, and it felt amazing.
I realized this person was here all along. I just needed to set her free. Free from the “What-If’s”, “Just -In-Case’s”, worry, guilt, and condemnation. My WHY now mirrors Recreation Wendy 2022. I will never let her go.
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