To have the world as you knew it change almost overnight is something so overwhelming it can paralyze you.
The opportunity to really relax is something that I just experienced for the first time this summer. It was brief and only lasted for about 5 minutes, but I felt it. How have I been so deprived all this time? Do people really do this on the daily?

The amount of mental energy that I will now have and the opportunity to focus on other things is outstanding. Taking inventory of my life and how I got to where I am is nothing short of a lot of hard work and little luck. Starting next week, I start a new chapter. Fuck it, a brand-new book.
A book where I am not the supporting role, but the main character. Instead of putting others first, I get to be responsible for me and only me.
I am sad and I know it won’t be easy, but it is also so so good.

I, at 37 years old am starting a new life. With the people around me and some of my closest friends just starting this journey, mine has taken another turn.
I am an empty nester. My daughter turns 18 today and in the same week moves out and into the dorm of a four year university.
This is the first time in my life where I am not responsible for or taking care of someone other than myself. Even as a child I had to pick up the pieces and protect my siblings from my mothers’ antics while also taking care of her. Then becoming a single mom at the ripe old age of 19. My entire adult life has been intertwined with hers. Please do not confuse this excitement for wishes of a different life. I am who I am due to the way things went and being her mother.

I have told her at a young age when she complained about having less than her friends or not getting the newest phone, or the fancy car. The value of a dollar and to never depend on someone else to do or pay for anything. There is so much pride in paving your own way. Is it the easy way? Hell no. Asking for help is also good and not to be stubborn; that’s for another day though.

“You are a part of my life, not my entire life.”

Even as a young parent I knew that losing who I was, was not an option. I was more than just a mom. When running came into my life and I had the opportunity to make a living doing it, that became more apparent. I have seen it in others that when their kids leave they don’t know what to do with themselves because their entire life revolved around the kids. I am not saying there is something wrong with that, that just isn’t me.

I love her and I am so proud of where she is and where we are in our dynamic. I am also fucking stoked to do whatever I want. It sounds selfish, I know. But, I earned it and frankly I don’t care.
I am sure in a few weeks, I am going to miss her presence in the house, her needing me to help her or make her food. The Mooommm from across the house and the times she needs me.

I also know that I did a great job and she is a good kid. I know that if she is anything like me, she’ll be ok. With that knowledge comes that excitement. I am excited to see what she does with this new freedom and who she becomes on her own. I am also still in shock that this is happening, it doesn’t seem real.

So cheers to Amelia and Happy Birthday!