Choosing Me feels selfish. It causes intense guilt that never really goes away. Mothers are supposed to be martyrs, not egotistical. But Choosing Me has always moved my life forward. While it wasn’t always the easiest choice, ultimately Choosing Me equaled choosing happiness.
When I was 15 and I used sun-in in my hair because my mother didn’t let me color it, I chose me.
When I forgave my father for cheating on my mother, I chose me.
When I left for college, abandoning my 11-year-old sister in the midst of a family melting into a puddle of ugliness, I chose me.
When I got my tattoo, causing my mother to react by shattering a plate across the backyard, I chose me.
When I got an epidural after 45 hours, despite my hopes for a “natural labor,” I chose me.
When I stopped breastfeeding after only 6 months because of a million not-your-business reasons, I chose me.
When I left my two-year-old son to go back to work, I chose me.
When I fled a controlling, loveless marriage in hopes of finding passion, I chose me.
When I gave up my son 50% of the time so we can properly co-parent him, giving myself a chance at Life 2.0, I chose me.
When I was too honest, and too vocal, and got fired, I chose me.
When I stopped allowing judgmental girlfriends into my life anymore, I chose me.
When I dated three people at a time, because I was a divorced 30-year-old mom, but I looked better than ever, I chose me.
When I took that Xanax during a panic attack, I chose me.
When I gambled on love again, and I gave my heart (and my son’s) to an artist, placing my bets on love over money, I chose me.
When I had a baby with my boyfriend, without getting married, because I had worn the ring and wore it out, I chose me.
When I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom with my daughter, I chose me.
When I abandoned my “I would never” ideals and married the love of my life, on our 10 year anniversary, I chose me.
When I stopped wearing bras because they suck (and I have small boobs), I chose me.
When I decided to prioritize my writing career, above the dishes and the laundry, and go on stage to a possibly empty audience and give it my best audition, I chose me.