eat, pray, love, baby

Wow, before you know it, you blink an eye and you realize it’s been 5 months since you last wrote on your blog. You know, the one that’s typically so nail-bitingly suspenseful that all of your friends and family are just dying to read the next chapter in your oh-so-exciting life. Truth be told, life has been pretty dramatic lately; not all of it what I would consider blog-appropriate, but there are a few little nuggets that I am more than happy to share with the masses.

In a nutshell, I am having what my lovely sister-in-law has dubbed the “Mid-Life Mama Crisis.” I know at least a few of my friends out there will be reading that and nodding to themselves, “yep, sounds about right.” Primarily what that means is that since the last 3 years of my life have been both lovingly and horrifyingly committed to the birthing and raising of infants, I am now in a state of panic, wondering where in the hell my identity went. For those of you who’ve been fortunate enough to read the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (my hero), it is truly the window to my soul. Taking a few liberties with the plot itself and adding a couple of kids into the mix, the emotional roller coaster that our heroine finds herself on page after page as she works to understand her role in life as a breadwinner, a wife, a daughter, and a friend while also trying to find a time and place for her spiritual self is frighteningly identifiable. Inspired by my now-tattered copy of her novel, I have set out on my own “Inward Journey.” What comes in quite handy for this journey of mine is the backdrop of Manitou Springs, Colorado, my still undiscovered hometown and what I’ve now come to view as a hippie buffet of energy healers, yoga studios, psychics and meditation classes. If they revere it in the East, it exists in Manitou Springs. You can have an Aromatherapy Massage with a Kundalini Yoga class (yoga and meditation all in one, who knew??!!) and a side of Ayurveda all in before lunch.

What I’ve realized is that it’s not that I’ve lost my identity through marriage and children, but that due to circumstances I’ve had to put my individuality and personal growth on hold for a bit. I could never be the same person that I was 5 years ago, nor would I want to be. But what I can do is make time to explore myself in new ways and find undiscovered talents and passions. These days I’m taking guitar lessons and learning French. Much like Elizabeth Gilbert, I’m also seeking a deeper spiritual connection. I don’t yet know what that looks like, but I’m drawn to the ideas of oneness with the universe and the existence of a path to enlightenment. To support my quest I’ll be taking a 2-week solo trip to Bali (I know, I’m such a cliche) where I will spend the first week volunteering, meditating, praying and practicing yoga in the Gandhi Ashram in Candidasa. From there I am heading to the nearby Gili Islands to get my long overdue PADI certification (Sean’s a bit jealous over this one). I’ll then spend my last days of solitude in Ubud, back on the main island of Bali; Ubud is considered the cultural heart of Bali, so I intend to explore every bit of it that I can while continuing my own self-examination. In keeping with the Marissa of old, however, I will be flying business class there and back. Feel better? No, I haven’t gone completely batshit crazy. I’m just getting a little softer around the edges.

I love my children and my husband more than any other people in the universe, but I am choosing a different path than so many women before me have. I am choosing not to be defined by any of them, but rather to foster an environment of personal growth and betterment. I set out to lead by example and show my children that there is always room for improvement, for change and for new dreams and ambitions.

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