Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Motherhood and More: Being true to yourself*

I’m a bit of a sci-fi bug. It’s not something I realized about myself until recently, as in the last couple years or so.

I mean, you’d think it would have been obvious, but I believe I spent too much of my life trying to pretend I was much cooler than I actually am.

But when your favorite movies as a child are “Labyrinth” and “The Neverending Story,” and when you may or may not have named your eldest child after the boy in one of those movies (Bastian, not Atreyu, if you must know) it’s time to admit to yourself exactly who you are.

And then there were the unicorns, all of the mystical unicorns that were a huge part of my childhood. And the short stories I wrote are full of time travel. And “The Hobbit.”

Ahem. I guess you get the picture.

So far, my son seems to have no such problems with his identity as a nerd. True, he’s only 5, but he’s strong in who he is. I hope he never outgrows that strength of character.

We’ve stayed pretty heavily on “Star Wars” for the past few years, but he’s also strayed to “Pokémon and Beyblade,” which I honestly still don’t understand. Something about spinning somethings?

He’s also been begging me to allow him to read the Harry Potter books. I told him he could do it when he’s 7 or 8, but he insists now that he can read he’s totally ready. I’m still waiting, no matter how much I want to discuss it all with him. Wizards! Potions! Magic! I have so much to say.

When I was younger, it was imperative, in a ridiculous, angsty teen way, that I fit in. Or rather, that I don’t fit in, but in a cool, hippie, alternative way, not a dorky, light-saber, spaceship, “Dark Shadows” way.

And that’s not to say that I wasn’t a hippie alterna-chic. I was. I embodied the tie-dye-wearing, guitar-playing, song-writing, hemp jewelry making, yoga-practicing persona. But I refused to admit I also loved fantasy and science fiction.

And maybe at the time those two types of personalities were mutually exclusive. Or maybe they weren’t. I can’t say for sure. But I do know that now, in my older years full of introspective self-knowledge, they most definitely aren’t. I can’t really label myself, which I find to be absolutely refreshing. I am who I am and I like what I like. I’m obsessed with “Doctor Who,” but love to knit. “Game of Thrones” is my jam, but sewing is my sanity. And I enjoy a good “Lord of the Rings” marathon like nobody’s business, but still find time to make my own kombucha.

Because the point is not to fit into a specific mold. It’s to be who you are. It’s hard to see that when you’re still trying to figure out what that means to you. But once you do, it’s an amazing revelation.

*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on March 26, 2014.

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