I’ve spent a lot of my life THINKING I was a certain way. That I looked a certain way, was perceived a certain way, that I was doing all the things I was supposed to do. And then I became a mother, and the real healing began. I knew that in order to be the best mama to the little human whose life I was entrusted with, I needed to peel back a lot of shit that had been piling up over the years.

What I discovered was that I had layers and layers of stuff piled up. And so I embarked on the journey of getting down to the core.

I’ve been trying to figure out what it is that triggered the intense anxiety I’ve felt in the last few years - I think it started with losing my dad. But then this peeling back of layers? That shit is intense. I mean, the goal I set out to achieve was to peel and peel and peel until there was nothing left. But for most of us, if we’re being honest, we’ve got a lot to work through.

When I lost my dad, I threw myself (and my grief) into weight loss. Losing him to health issues scared me and I felt like that’s how I needed to channel my sadness and grief. Plus, I was sick of being sad every moment of every day, and focusing on my health seemed like a good distraction.

The thing was, that there were a lot of other things inside of me that I was trying to distract myself from. Sadness, worry, stress, past pains, a lifetime of trying to be someone that others expected me to be. Not that there wasn’t any happy - I was always (and still am) a genuinely joyful person. I just did a really good job hiding all the other stuff.

And then I had my son. I didn’t know a lot about parenting. BUT… I knew that I needed to really heal if I was going to be the Mama he needed. So I started showing up for the pain so that I could walk through it.

Not easy.

But tolerable.

But also: hello, anxiety.

And also: not finished.

The woman I wanted to bring to the table as a mother included one that could parent from a place of love, rather than fear. I had lived in fear my whole life - of disappointing people, of failing, of losing people around me. I had to unbecome the person that was afraid of all the things.

You know what bravery is? Facing your past and pain head on, and walking through it, not around it. Bravery is being willing to shed every single layer of yourself, only to discover truer versions of yourself at every layer.

I have to unbecome the girl who checked all the boxes of other people.

I have to unbecome the girl who thought that because she was fat, she wasn’t worthy of whatever she wanted.

I have to unbecome the girl who hid from the pain of her parents’ divorce.

I have to unbecome the girl who spent her life afraid of losing her dad.

I have to unbecome the girl who told herself she wasn’t enough.

I have to unbecome the girl who thought that life was black and white, and that the gray area was scary.

I have to unbecome the girl who was afraid of being a Mama because she thought she’d cause her kids pain because she hadn’t dealt with her own.

I have to unbecome. And then unbecome some more.

So that I can become the truest, happiest, strongest version of myself.