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Defining Me

DSC_3037I ran away from home once.  I was nearly 25 years old, newly divorced, and feeling restless.  And for the first time in my life, I wanted to rebel.  Rebel against the small-town life that lay before me if I stayed, against the suffocating pain of my childhood and early adulthood.  So, I packed a couple suitcases, crammed some things into a few boxes, and piled it all into the car with a virtual stranger who I’d dared to start to fall in love with.  The promise of a new love, the hope of a future with this man who’d captured my every thought…every heart beat…for the better part of the year, and aimed my car in the direction of Reno.

Together, that guy and I settled into a life that was different from anything I’d ever known.  Quiet and calm.  Content.  For the first time ever, I understood what it meant to be truly happy in life.  We got engaged.  Married.  Bought a house.  Had a baby.  I found my dream job.  From time to time, those storms of the past would start to brew within me, but my soul finally started to feel at peace.

And somewhere along the way…through living the life of wife, mother, worker bee…through the every day, ordinary moments of life…through the laughter and joy, heartache and tears of living…something kind of amazing started to happen.  Those gaping wounds left over from the past?  They all started to heal.  Until sometimes it seems even the scars are barely noticeable.  And it’s beautiful and magical and freeing.

But it’s also terrifying.  Suffocating.

Because, you see, those battle wounds?  That emotional baggage that I toted around with me for the better part of 30 years?  For better or worse, it was what defined me.  It was the skin that I was comfortable in.  And when it was gone, I was left feeling exposed and vulnerable.  Uncertain of how to even begin the process of getting to know this woman that I was blossoming into.  So, I buried myself further into the busy-ness of life, relished in the chaos.  Because I couldn’t handle the anxiety that would build up within me during the quiet moments of life.

But over the past nine months or so, something started to stir within me.  An awakening of sorts.  I realized that I was finally ready.  Ready to get to know this woman that I’ve become.  To take the final steps away from the definitions that have been written for me and to finally decide for myself what defines me.  It’s been an awe-inspiring process.  Feeling myself start to transform, learning to embrace me.  Not me the wife, or the mother, or the worker bee.  Just plain, ol’ me.

Embracing MeThis woman, she’s frillier than I might have thought.  She’s learning to love to play with makeup, finding a slight obsession with fun jewelry, and, okay, admitting that she enjoys the occasional unexpected compliment on her outfit.  She’s discovering new passions, reconnecting with some old favorite hobbies.  She’s surprised me by being completely comfortable with hitting up a movie or her favorite restaurant all by herself.  She’s more confident and playful.  Kinder and gentler than the woman she used to be.

She isn’t perfect, of course.  In fact, I’m learning that she brings with her a whole new set of insecurities and dysfunctions.  But I’ve also learned that I like her just the way she is.

And I can’t wait to get to know her even better as time goes on.

“When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.” ~Unknown

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About Aramelle Wheeler

Aramelle Wheeler is midwestern girl at heart, hailing from Minnesota. Love brought Aramelle to the Reno area after she met a boy online. Nearly a decade later, she still claims to be “new to the area,” but has come to truly love the city that is now her home. She married that boy from the Internet, and together they are raising a spunky, rambunctious three-year old little boy, their miracle baby after a two year infertility fight. After more than two years as a stay-at-home-mom, Aramelle went back to work full-time shortly before her son’s third birthday. Working for a local non-profit organization, she loves her job but looks forward to a time when life can feel a little more balanced than the transition has. She often finds herself wondering whatever happened to the robot maids The Jetsons once promised us. Aramelle spends a lot of her free time with her camera in hand, clicking away snapshots of the life that’s unfolding around her, despite her son’s protests. She and her family enjoy exploring the Reno area in search of new, fun things to experience together. Aramelle loves to write and finds blogging at “One Wheeler’s World” to be a great therapeutic outlet. She also enjoys cooking, watches too much reality TV, and spends far too much time online. Follow along with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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