I was walking across a parking lot and I saw this woman.
And something about her spoke to me.
Whether her energy, or the universe, or all the above.
I just thought to myself, I should talk to her.
And there were enough visual clues, outside of how she felt to me, that encouraged me to initiate a conversation,
So I did.
She was carrying a Javelin and wearing a USA Hockey hat.
For sure we would have a thing or two in common…
So, we started talking, and within seconds, she asked if I knew how to throw hammer.
“Ummmm….I was the Canadian national champion at one time….”
She was shocked. I was shocked by the question.
“Can you teach me?”
“Ummmm……of course I can!”
What an interesting set of things that all transpired, one right after another, in a super odd and surprising way.
That’s the universe.
Are you listening?
When I saw her, I could have ignored the pull I felt to speak to her.
That pull, that was the universe.
And I WAS listening.
We arranged a time to get together so I could teach her hammer throw.
And as soon as she started winding her hammer, I could tell who she was.
Focused, intense, a high achiever.
It turns out she is 67, and she is so incredibly similar to one of my best girlfriends back home.
Similar mannerisms, eyes, ways of speaking and moving.
Are you listening?
The similarities were uncanny, like my bestie had aged 30 years and was coming through another person’s body.
We talked about hammer and everything track for the longest time.
She got dizzy as most beginners do, and I remembered knowledge that I had gathered over years and years of experience as a coach and athlete.
“You will get less dizzy as you adapt, it’s your body learning.”
Brilliant advice, I know…hahaha….
But isn’t that the truth for everything?
As we move through this world, it’s never comfortable in the beginning.
We feel unsure of our footing, our head spins…
But if we have patience and discipline, what was once hard, will become less hard, and what is less hard, will become easy, and what becomes easy, you will then master.
Hammer throw, life, skill acquisition….it’s all the same shit.
If you are listening. If you are willing to see.
As we continued through the practice, she noted the age of my girls, and mentioned that it’s a “hard time of life.”
Something I have meditated on regularly.
She knew without asking how hard it is at this time in life, and she was the perfect vessel to relay this understanding, to see me, to validate all that a I’m going through, all that a mom goes through.
As she said these words without prompting, I found myself accepting her words and reflexively responding,
“I know. It’s so hard. How did you make it through? Give me some wisdom.”
We talked for so long, and she relayed so many tidbits that resonated deeply in my heart.
When I spoke, she picked out the integral parts of what I was saying and echoed them back.
“Crystal, what I hear you saying is that THEY SAW YOU.” When referencing my old job and career.
“Crystal, what I hear you saying is that you made a big sacrifice when you picked up and moved your family, and you need to grieve that loss too.”
These were things I didn’t even consider grieving for, or giving myself space to grieve them.
I don’t forsake the decision we made, but I certainly should have given myself space to grieve…
Something she said that resonated deep, deep down was she said “When we have kids, it’s like we put a piece of ourself up on a shelf, and you don’t get it back for a very long time, if ever.”
She was clear to add that you gain all of these other things. And I agree.
A part of me did get put up on a shelf, and out of reach, when I had kids.
And it’s scary. It’s impossible to explain to anyone else but another mom.
I know my husband will never fully understand.
It’s a path and a journey that only a woman, and a mother, can walk.
And not just walk, but know, understand, embody, and live and breathe.
He appreciates he can’t understand, and he supports me there.
And I love him dearly for that.
I told Jill the embarrassing fact that in 7 years of motherhood, I have taken one weekend to go away with a girlfriend and not do anything mom or work related.
She looked at me aghast, “why?”
And when I think about it, I really don’t know why.
If I’m being really honest.
It NEVER EVEN OCCURRED to me that I should.
And honestly, my mom never did things for herself.
And I doubt that her mother before her did either.
So when would I have learned to prioritize that piece of myself that isn’t being attended to?
“Crystal, what I hear you saying is that you need more support. Do you have other friend’s that are moms?”
I don’t really.
I have one. She’s amazing. I love her.
And honestly, when shit gets thick, she’s the only person I can go to and lay out all my shit to, and that I really feel heard and understood, and fucking seen in the challenges I/we/you face as a mother in a modern world.
Thank you Universe for delivering Jill to me.
That’s how I know you got my back.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thank you for having my back.
Jill is me.
She is a vibrant, beautiful, 67 year old that could likely do anything that she puts her mind to.
She is a lawyer, and no doubt a badass – professionally, and personally.
She’s a go getter and an athlete.
She plays hockey, throws hammer, water skis, and attacks all of it with ferocity, intensity, and wonder…
I’m guessing based on her hammer attempts…
Time does not determine her faith and ability in herself.
She is a mother.
She is me.
No better person could have randomly passed me in a parking lot and delivered the message I needed to hear.
“Crystal, it may not feel like it now, but this is but a brief moment in your life,” as she holds up her thumb and index finger to measure and show how small this time feels to her upon reflection.
It’s an important time and it influences the rest of your life, but it is brief.
“I know it doesn’t feel that way when you’re in it, but it is gone before you know it.”
Wise words, from a wise woman.
And no doubt, she would have been one of the many women in my tribe millennia ago.
Holding my hand, supporting me as a mother, and helping me through life as we all would have done in our oft forgotten yesteryears.
So, I say this to you, my fellow mothers.
I am here, and I am in this with you.
We are all mourning that woman that got put on the shelf.
And we are all following the same path.
And we are all going to make it through.
My request to you, is that you start listening the signs around you.
I request that you seek out your fellow mothers and band together with them for support.
And I request that you reach out and share your own challenges, tell your own stories, find your own wise women, and forgive, love, and thank all that is and will be.
Thank you Universe for delivering one of my ancestral mothers to guide me in this modern world, Jill was no doubt a gift from you, and me, and all the mother’s before and since.
Who do you look to in a modern world to guide you on your way? What wise women influence your path? Share in the comments, and walk with love and light today and always.