I know he is talking about him and the girls but all I can think is that living for them is not enough. I have been living for them for so long and I don’t want to anymore. It is exhausting and draining me to my core.
It isn’t that I don’t love them. I do. I really do. But I have nothing more to give them. I can not cook supper for them. I can not pay attention to the words they say to me and the questions they ask of me. All I am is a shadow. If I give them much more of myself I will disappear.”
– Excerpt from “Sunlight”
Do we let our roles define us? I was caught defined by my roles a couple of years ago. I had discover layer by layer that there was more to me than my role as a mother, the status of my job and paycheque, to being a wife. There was Marlene. Who was I deep underneath all these categories I had put myself in? I felt there had to be something more.
I met a lady in a writing workshop who was desperately trying to keep her head above water while she worked two jobs and cared for her sick and aging mother. She loved to write and ached to create a film but all her resources went to her mother who felt choosing art to pay the bills was a big mistake. I often wonder what keeps her in this situation. Is it love, compassion and respect for her mother and their history together? Is it guilt? Is it the desire to care or responsibility? Perhaps there is something that keeps her bound to the role of caregiver and daughter that I can’t know without knowing her entire story. I am glad that she squeezes in time to write and I hope someday I will see her name in lights.
I like to see our roles as windows, or doors in some cases, that allow others to see us and enter into our lives. Like the co-worker that turns into your friend outside of work. You start with that window of ’employee’ to bond you and then slowly they creep in and see you as a mother, an artist, a race car driver, whatever.
How many windows do you have and are they clear of all the dust and muck so people can see through them and come into your life?