This above all: To thine own self be true

punk shakespeare

I like to think that I’m generally pretty true to myself. It’s taken me a long time to get to a place in my life where I can be open and confident about all facets of my personality, where I don’t have to hide who I am. I proudly declare my interests, my irritations and those causes for which I’m willing to stand. I suppose that’s one of my proudest achievements as an adult – I feel  like I know myself and I am not afraid to be my own person.

That is, until this new phase of my life started. I don’t like to pigeon hole myself as a general rule, but there are certain identities that I accept and have embraced. Things like geek, gamer, woman, journalist, blogger, food pornographer. Whatever the case may be, I’m happy with the things I do and how I’ve chosen to define myself.

Now, I’m picking up a new definition. Mom. While I am seriously excited to hear a little child call me that one day, I do wonder how it will affect the rest of my life, and how it’s already changing things. Conscientious friends now ensure that I sit somewhere that cigarette smoke won’t blow in my face, and they’re aware of how much they might drink around me, looking at me apologetically. It’s meant in the sweetest of ways, and I DO appreciate it, but I wonder if after another few months of doing that, it will change how people see me.

Can I still be sexy when I’m serving as a fetus storage unit? Can I still be eccentric and unique when I’m doing something so typically normal as procreating? How will this process of carrying a child and giving birth change the way my husband, friends and family see me? I like to think that I’m still just me, but that me is changing and will take on a new identity when I become a mom.

I am determined not to let that new identity overshadow all my other ones, but it certainly does feel like that’s what’s happening at the moment. It’s what people want to talk to me about, a frequent topic of conversation, and I wonder if I’m already falling into that trap of only talking about the baby instead of work or great books I’m reading or new games I’m playing.

I suppose men only go through this once the kid is actually born. They become fathers when they hear that first cry, while women become mothers as soon as they pee on a stick. I guess I just have to figure out what that means for me, and how I’m willing to let it be seen by others… if I even have a choice in the matter.

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