I originally wrote this as a comment over on Veronica's latest blog post, but then I changed my mind and decided that really, it needed a more general audience and it's something I've been trying to figure out how to say here anyway.
Last night I was hanging out of the window of my new place, smoking my 'congrats for making it through the day alive' cigarette, and I realised in that moment that I felt alive. Fucking.....ALIVE. Like I could breathe again, not just go through the mechanical, necessary motions of moving air in and out of my lungs and heaving my chest up and down, but properly and fully, I could breathe. I could feel my skin and I could feel the tears in my eyes and I could feel that feeling I hadn't felt since I was 17, that wanttosingwanttodancewanttoshout feeling that bubbles up inside and overflows.
It was beautiful. For the first time since I started smoking again I didn't feel bad about it, or mentally justify it to the baying mob of better-mothers in my head. It was ok, because it was making me feel. It was ok because I wanted to do it and I am allowed to do things I want, even if I'm a mother. I'm allowed to want. I'm allowed to need. I'm allowed to be a person, with flaws and bad habits and things that have nothing to do with my child. I'm allowed to do things I'm not 'supposed' to. I'm allowed to go away for a night and NOT miss my baby. I'm allowed to drink a little more than I should at a special night out with girlfriends. I'm allowed to drop my kid off at granny's house and go home and have loud sex with my husband even when we were supposed to be running errands.
I feel like I've taken off a heavy winter coat and boots and hat and scarf and gloves and I'm glorying in the nakedness of freedom from guilt. I'm a person. PART of that person is a mother, but I'm so very much more than that too.
Today for the first time in years I smiled for no reason. Just because the sunset was beautiful and the air was crisp and I was alive, and it was enough for me.