Last week I had a dream. I dreamed that I was with a group of people, and we were all being chased by a tiger. It was set in a place that I dream of often, and it always represents the fear in my life. So we were all running from this tiger. Dave had Gideon and Ruthie, and I have no idea who the other people were, it was just a mass of chaotic strangers running for their lives. I felt intense fear. It was one of those dreams where it was really hard to run, like you're wading through jello.
At one point I looked back at the tiger, who wasn't really that big, just about the size of Judith (but it wasn't a baby, it had the proportions of a full-grown tiger). Then I realized that Judith was at the back of the crowd, and the tiger was right at her heels. Without thinking I turned around and ran back towards them. Suddenly I could run fast! I knew that I would probably die, but there was NO WAY that tiger was going to touch my daughter! I was going to take it on with my bare hands. I suddenly felt powerful, like I could tear it apart. The mama bear instinct was so strong. I wasn't afraid anymore. It gave me such an adrenaline rush that I woke up. My heart was racing, and I was ready to kick. some. ass. When I realized it was a dream I was kind of disappointed, I wonder what would have happened if I had made it to the tiger?
I had that dream just before I wrote my last Hidden Valley post, about the facebook thing (by the way, I had already been planning on writing about how much motherhood has changed my life, but then I read the article and kind of incorporated that into my plans. I'm not super happy with how that post turned out, I didn't have time to edit it, but oh well. It basically said what I wanted it to). While I was writing that post, my dream suddenly made sense. I cried.
I've had self-esteem issues since grade 4. I've never been able to stand up for myself. I've always been so afraid of what other people think of me, and I try really hard to make sure that no one disagrees with me or is upset at me for any reason. Kind of an impossible task though.
One thing motherhood has taught me, slowly but surely, is that it doesn't matter. I can't, and don't have to, please everyone. It's ok for me to make my own decisions, and stand by them, even if someone disagrees with me. I generally take an alternative stance on everything, that's just how I am. I don't really like anything main stream. The alternative just makes more sense to me. I'm just one of "those" I guess. It's a hard thing to be, when I've also always been a people-pleaser! But I'm starting to get over it. I'm starting to learn to be ok with offending people, that it's not the end of the world. I don't think I'm going to go out looking for a fight, I'm still a very peaceful person. I'd never intentionally hurt or offend someone, but I will defend myself now, and some people seem to be offended by that. But I'm learning that it's their problem, not mine. And I will now willingly discus things with people of opposing views (without crying or stewing about it for days after), and sometimes even enjoy it. This is who I am, what I do, and what I believe. You can take it or leave it, that's ok with me. I'm also learning that even if people disagree with me on something, they may actually still like me overall. This is a relatively new concept for me.
The last 4 years has taught me a lot. I've hit some incredible lows, been through some hard struggles, and was stretched beyond measure. But I'm climbing back up, with more strength and confidence than I've ever had. I can't remember the last time I cried myself to sleep, that's so huge for me! I definitely feel like I have turned a corner, and I am ready to take on the tigers in my life.