So, I don’t really cry. I’m the type that’s “fine” all the time. The one who says, “no worries, man” and adjusts to keep the hurt at bay. But the last time I cried was because of the movie Encanto. Not in a “aw, this is emotional kind of way,” in a breaking generational trauma way. In a, “I’m raising some phenomenal humans” kind of way. In a, “I quit” way.
This is going to be one of those deeper posts. One of those, oh goodness that’s sad kind of posts. But, I don’t want you to focus on the past, I want you to see the beauty in growth.
As a child I felt lost, out of place, like I’d never fit in. Being homeschooled and a little quirky didn’t exactly help the situation. High-school (public school) was a little better but I battled the desire to fit in with the desire to make my parents proud.
So, I’d be one way at school and one way at church. There was a different me at lacrosse practice and another at Drama Club. A chameleon of sorts, blending in so I wouldn’t be seen as different. Because I learned different means less than.
I hid myself because I just wanted to make my family proud. To be the best, to succeed, the extra pressure just destroying my self confidence.
Eventually I broke.
It was my sophomore year of college. I finally landed a smallish lead role in the musical Hair. I was a musical theater major and a NCAA Lacrosse player, so this was a big deal. All I wanted was to sing and dance but my family is a “lax fam” so quitting wasn’t an option.
Finally I was front and center stage. I had been waiting for this moment for my entire life. A big stage, a spotlight, and my family finally validating my interests. But they didn’t show, theater isn’t a real job anyways. They would be at my lacrosse games across the country but a 2 hour drive was too much.
So, I quit.
I quit being that perfect person that everyone expected. I decided to follow the fun and be free. To let go of the pressure of being the eldest, the one who made the magic, the one who did the “right things”.
Then I became a mom and reverted to the act of perfection. The mask got put back on and I became a shell of my former self. Don’t get me wrong I love being a mom but the “mom” I pretended to be isn’t the mom I am now.
Instead of following the fun for myself I poured every moment into my children. I love every minute but I had lost myself again. A shell of my former self, exhausted and trying to claw my way back through entrepreneurship. Failing at it but trying.
Then I quit again.
I quit trying to be what I’m not. I’m not perfect, I never get my laundry done on time, and I’m late so much my friends call it “Bryttany Time.” I’ll never be that cookie cutter perfect person or mom and I don’t want to be!
For me, it’s about living the moments. Following the fun and encouraging my children to do the same. It’s about being open to letting them explore and be themselves. It’s about watching my son open his own mobile bodega this summer while watching my daughter dance her heart out.
But, Encanto made you cry?
Yeah, a children’s movie had me sobbing like a baby. I rarely cry, seriously it’s like I’m broken, but that one got me good. See, during the movie both of my children pointed out how a few characters were me. They event rubbed my back while I sobbed, which of course made me cry even more!
However, watching my kids recognize emotional boundaries and make those connections, was magical. It made me feel like all that I’ve been through was worth it. It solidified my “YOLO Stance”. Yeah, I sobbed like a baby but I’m 100% ready to live.