Monday, August 24, 2009

Sometimes Coming Home Is The Hardest Thing Of All

There is a burden to being a daughter. Some daughters try so desperately to be like their mothers and oftentimes fall short. Others fight against being anything like their mother and either lose themselves or find it fruitless. I know this sounds pessimistic, but since most of it is the mind set of a person (feeling like you don't measure up often is) I feel okay with those statements. Some daughters end up like their mothers, some mothers get interested in more things through their daughters, and sometimes, well, sometimes you learn to love one another despite the difficulties and differences.

We have one week left here at home. Yesterday we went with a good friend of mine from high school to an Ethnic Festival (it was so good to eat food we've been missing these weeks!). Then we headed to a brewery where G found some root beer they make themselves that is made with sugars and molasses and even I, who does not normally like root beer, thought it was the best I had ever had. And then we headed to a debut fashion show of a local designer. It was campy, it was upscale gothic, and it was fantastic.

I am who I am. And yet, this morning I've been quieter, more inside myself. G keeps asking if something is wrong, but nothing is. It's just that I suddenly realized that I've changed. I am no longer the person I was 2 years ago, and more importantly, I don't want to be the person I was 2 years ago. I'm not even the person I was 6 months ago. Or 2 months ago. Simply put, I've changed, because I made the choice to. And it's a daily struggle.

I want to be the perfect housewife that my friends all think I am. And yet when they laugh as I am talking about how my house is oftentimes a mess too, and say they really don't believe me, I feel as if I've been projecting a lie. I struggle with how to be authentic, to let people know I am just as imperfect as they are, while going against my raising. In my household, the house was always clean for company. Was it always clean? No. But visitors often left with that impression. I've seen how trying to always be like that has left it hard for me to make friends in new places. If my house is not perfect I don't let people over. I don't know why, since I barely notice messes in others' homes, and usually only if they point it out. We so often judge ourselves 10 times harder than we would ever judge even a stranger.

I am Catholic. I believe in my husband being the head of the household. My parents laugh and say that Garret's allowed to say he's the head because I said it was okay. And I understand. I have often been headstrong, and even still I struggle to not try and always be the boss. But the reality is, G holds the veto power in this household for most things. He never abuses that, and it's a new thing we work on. But it's the way we like it. We pray at dinner. Yes, sometimes we get into a conversation before hand and begin eating before we pray. But if we catch ourselves we stop and pray then. It's how we do things. I used to be embarrassed to pray in public, because I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable. But if someone at another table in a restaurant is uncomfortable with my praying, they need to focus on their own table.

It was suggested that I could work to help pay a mortgage. G and I both smiled, my mother thought we were laughing at her, but no, it's just I don't work. I enjoyed working before we get married, and I am sure I will again someday. But for now, we both prefer that I don't. I am working on my housewife skills, and someday we plan on having a child. My job will be those 2 things. And to me, no job in world could be as important. I think it's wonderful that other women choose to work, in many fields I prefer dealing with a woman over a man. But for us, it is not an option right now. We are good with our money, we would not take on a mortgage we couldn't cover, and we live within our small means.

I am told I am intimidating with my cooking, and others don't like to cook for me. But I am not a picky eater. We talk about the food we make, but we also do frozen pizzas and tuna helper. I have learned to cook because I enjoy it, and to live within our means it's a necessity. When we struggle the most to save is when we eat out more. So we cut back on that, and I like to cook meals that we can eat for more than one meal.

Once again, I have changed because it was necessary and I wanted to. I still have the values I was raised with. I try to be polite to everyone. I bring extras to friends when I've been baking. I am slowly learning to hold my tongue when I disagree politically (I said slowly). But I am different. And this trip home has been hard because it's so easy to revert back in an old setting. Coming full circle is that it's been hardest to stay true to the person I want to be when I am with my family. Something about being back at home makes one feel like an angst ridden teenager again. But this time, I'm all grown up.

If I am no longer the person some thought I was, I will not apologize. I do not always like the person I used to be, and am gladly waving goodbye to her. I like the person I am becoming. G supports the traits I am trying to pick up. And I feel I am becoming the woman God meant for me to be. I will never be perfect. And I aim to be authentic and make sure I don't try and project perfection. But that will not keep me from aiming to do well. I just hope that the people I love can love the person I am, rather than the person I was.


  1. Nice post Kalee... I thoroughly enjoyed this. All I have to say is... Right on!!!

  2. I agree with everything you said about remembering to be true to your self when go home and not falling back into old ways.

  3. Sometimes I think the hardest thing about changing is getting your loved ones to accept the changes, especially when you have changed in a way that is not politically correct. Stay true!