For someone who comes off as having her life together most of the time, I tend to lose myself a lot.
It happens to all of us. We find ourselves, we lose ourselves, then we find ourselves again. It’s a vicious cycle.
A lot of the time I know what I’m doing and where I’m going, because I was raised to always keep the end in sight. My parents raised me by constantly drilling into my head the idea that I should never forget about my goals.
I’ve come a long way. I’m not at my final destination yet, but I’m getting there. Slowly. It’s a long journey to it, and because it’s so long, a lot of the time I’m in cruise. I let myself go on the road, and I tend to stop thinking. Like I’m in autopilot. I have to pull over, take a look at my map, remember where I’m going, look up at the sky and the road ahead of me, and set myself back into drive again.
I’ve spent the past week with members of my family I barely get to see because they live in Los Angeles. They were the main reason why I bought my ticket out here in the first place. I couldn’t care less about the Hollywood attractions or the city skyline. My family is what I’m really here for.
I spend morning and night with my cousin’s four girls. I don’t know how else to describe the magic they are aside from this: I used to not want a daughter. Now, after spending just a few days with them, a daughter is all I want.
The other day, Valentina, the second youngest, who spends most of her time trying to be like her older sisters “because they are smart and pretty and everything she wants to be,” asked me to help her get her straw into her juice box. I did, and she took it from me, kissed my cheek, and said, “You’re my hero.”
My heart, which has felt both emptiness and fullness this year and so is familiar with both, then said to itself: You have never been as full as you are at this moment.
I watched her run back to her older sisters with her juice box in hand, and my heart felt like it was going to burst with happiness. It was full. So full. And it was right, too: I have ever experienced a feeling like that before.
That night, I wanted to write this piece, and when I write, I write alone. But Madi, the second oldest, came into my room when I had just opened my laptop and said, “We’re waiting for you in our room. We can’t sleep without you.” Again, my heart swelled. It was full. So full. I didn’t think it was possible for it to feel so full twice in one day. I closed my laptop and headed over to the girls’ room, where they fell asleep with me.
Today, I finally found alone time to write about my progress in my self-journey.
It’s moments like those that make me remember who I am and who I aspire to be.
I tend to lose sight of myself and my goals a lot because I set myself in autopilot. But it’s these girls, and their cousins (the boys) too, who make me remember what I’m doing and where I’m going. A little “you’re my hero” from Val, and a little “we can’t sleep without you” from Mad, and a little hug from Bel, and a little kiss from Victoria: all of it makes me remember. They are the silver lining that I see in the clouds when I look up at the sky and I’m putting away my map and I’m about to get on the road again.
And when I have my daughter, I’ll tell her, “You are my silver lining.
It’s okay to lose sight of who you are.
You are my silver lining, and you will find yourself again.”