Today is Friday. Recently, the only day I've been posting (ah, the life of a mama with a mobile, teething 8-month old!). But I'm posting on Fridays right now because I love these five minutes of writing. I write with others who bring their hearts to the table for five minutes, too, and on Fridays we get to read and encourage one another. This week, we're all writing on the word, 'Ordinary.' We'd love for you to join us! Head on over to Lisa-Jo Baker's blog and link up!
I watched her from behind my coffee, notebook in hand, writing down any observations I could find. Our assignment was, 'Choose a stranger. Watch how they move. Get their walk into your body. Come in on Tuesday with their walk. You will create a character from this. You will write their story.'
It was for a theatre class, this assignment. I was totally in my element and so excited to find the person who would inspire several weeks of character development and monologue writing. I chose the most ordinary looking stranger I could find. Someone who kind of blended in with the crowd, a person's story who could be wide open. She wore a baggy sweater and her hair was a bit messy. She was carrying several tote bags and some groceries and looked like she should be in a rush, but was a little bit weighed down and moving slowly. I worked over the course of half a semester to draw out my 'character's' profession, insecurities, passions, place in this world. At that time, I was much more interested in creating my own story for her than thinking about what I find myself reflecting upon tonight.
If someone watched me for a class assignment, or even just observed me in passing, what would they see?
I think back on that assignment and that 'ordinary' stranger now and I realize. She must have been a mama. I know it. I see in myself the clothes and the hair that aren't always quite up to snuff. My hands are always full, and when I am away from home and my responsibilities here I still carry the weight of my family and my job as wife and mama with me wherever I go.
I used to pride myself on being extra-ordinary. Wanting to stand out. Be at the top of my class, star in all of the musicals and plays I could get my hands on, be a leader, take the opportunities to speak in front of others, etc. I loved putting on make-up and feeling my best whenever I was in public, and I liked being great at what I did (whether it was in school, work, in social circles, etc.).
Since I became a mama, I'm okay with seeming ordinary sometimes. I wonder if when others see me, I kind of blend in with the crowd. If someone were to write my story and create a character for me, they might not see anything too special these days. The thing is, my heart has changed immensely. I wish when I was people-watching years ago during that college class, I would have looked past the worn-down outer shell and seen a little further into her extraordinary mama heart. That's what I hope others see in me.
A Mama Bird who is teaching herself to feel extraordinary in her new skin