“All the world is a stage”William Shakespeare
We as women have many stages.
We each perform similar, same and/or different roles.
My favourite thing about stages is the set changes, the props change with it, and the roles vary in small or large along with the actors.
When I was going through my “Wanderer” stage, I didn’t know my lines; I didn’t know where to stand or whether to exit stage left or right. If anything, from age seventeen to twenty-six, I hardly wandered at all but rather stood like a stunned mullet under an overheating bright yellow spotlight. No one clapped or jeered, we all just looked around awkwardly until the curtain closed. I wasn’t very good at being young, it felt uncomfortable and I couldn’t wait for it to end.
Cue the “Lover” stage, when my now husband came in to my life and rewrote the script (are you seeing a theme here? I’m running with it). He taught me to ad lib instead of reading off the cue cards that bad behaviours had written for me. I started to grow into myself and got to (still do) play the leading lady.
The “Mother”. Admittedly, I don’t feel like I’m going through a stage, I feel like I’m on a stage. This is totally my show. This show is not for everyone. Some people throw popcorn or want a refund but despite the long hours and the annoying bubblegum under the seats that I’m forced to scrape off after each show, I was born to play the role of the mother. I won’t apologise for that. But I also won’t deny that it’s by far the hardest role, the most glorious and gut wrenching. It has the most repetitive lines (“How many times do I have to tell you?”, wash, rinse, repeat). And announcing that I love it, does not mean that I don’t sometimes stuff up my lines, or get vomit on my costume; but my babies are still so little and so my life is deeply entrenched in this #stagelife we call #mumlife . As busy as I am, trying to sell tickets to all the other shows (wife, lover, friend, worker, runner, writer, wine enthusiast, wine enthusiast, wine enthu…ok you get it), I’ll be on this stage for a while, so I have to own it.
This final stage (not final like you will never perform again, final), is the “Wonderer”. My insecurities and anxieties watch side stage. They see a time when I’ll wonder what character I will play and which stage will I own. I dabble in the wonderer role. I wonder about whom I will be when I’m not at the mercy of my children. I wonder about my identity; what will I look like, what goals will replace the ticked boxes. Who will come to see me perform then?
We women have so many roles in this life.
We sometimes call these stages, phases. But you can’t dance on a phase. You can’t cry and kiss and follow a yellow brick road on a phase.
If you are the wanderer, wandering through life trying to find your way, then dance around on that stage. Fall over drunk on that stage. Use up the whole stage.
If you are the lover, then kick out the stool from under the village idiot and float across the stage behind a cardboard cutout of a dreamboat.
If you are the mother, stand on that stage and demand an encore.
If you are the wonderer, then you are not finished yet.
So claim your role on that stage.
You are not in it, you are on it.