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I feel like I’m losing a bit of my creative soul. I’m not sure when it happened exactly.

Sometime between my 20’s and when everyone stopped calling me by my name and started calling me, “Mom.” And I’m not talking about my kids. I’m talking about dental hygienists, doctors, class instructors and just about everyone else. “Hi mom!” they say, with cheery smiles as I walk in with my children.

Damn, I swear my name used to be Kelcey.

The funny thing is I thought I would lose a part of myself when I got married. I was an independent person and I couldn’t imagine how I was going to join someone in holy matrimony without giving up a part of me.

But what I learned was that although marriage meant more compromises, I could still truly be myself. Actually, a better version most of the time.

Then my husband and I had kids but they didn’t take my creative soul either. Just the opposite. Yes, they gobbled up time and stole my energy but they also filled me with a completeness and joy I had never known. Even as I type this, it is hard for me to fathom that my oldest daughter, 10, is already two years passed the half way mark to “adulthood.”

Even though these days, she is a roller coaster of emotions… one minute gloriously happy and then next minute expressing her desperate need for an iPhone 6, an Instagram account and her own room, to the next minute in a fit of tears because we bought the wrong color protractor.

She can make me crazy and yet, I don’t want her to leave. Ever.

So no, it wasn’t parenthood.

It wasn’t even the night I recently played Bunco, at long last succumbing to this intriguing suburban ritual of dice and musical chairs. It was something else.

I realized it one night at dinner in Miami. I was sitting there in this great restaurant, feeling the energy of a city and I felt more like myself than I had in a long time.

And I realized how much I missed stuff… off broadway plays, coffee shops that don’t start with “star” and end in “bucks”, photography shows, West village cobblestones, pre-war architecture, finding a great seat at your favorite sushi bar, people watching, city grit and a million other little things.


Courtesy of Grub Street

I miss the energy. I miss it rejuvenating me. I know, I am making it sound like a facial. But it’s about lifting my whole spirit.

I guess it happened slowly overtime, so quietly that I sort of missed it. As the years have gone by, we have for many necessary and important reasons (good schools, safety, affordability) moved deeper and deeper into a suburban bubble.

And although there are many advantages, I realized that it’s suffocating me a bit. And I need to free myself just a little before I spend too many days not feeling like myself.

So somewhere between shuttling kids to activities and finding the right color protractor, I’m committed to finding more city grit in my life. So I can be a bit more me.

17 Responses to something took my creative soul

  • Jordana says:

    Come visit and stay with me for the weekend! Bring Dyl and Summer!! I promise I’ll supply them both with the right color protractor, chocolate pizza and so much more! I know, easier said than done, but a girl can dream….

  • HonestMum says:

    One of my most favourite posts of yours Kelcey. I hate when people call me ‘Mum’ (I live in the UK) that aren’t my kids, it’s so utterly patronising and I agree, we all need time just for us, to do things that feed our soul, because parenting and being selfless all the time is tiring, and it’s OK to admit that, to say I need stimulation and art, time for my friends, husband and to still experience those things in my life pre-kids right now, with kids. It’s more than OK, it’s necessary for all of us to stay sane and happy. Thanks for writing this, going to share now on my social media x

  • Steph says:

    I’m originally from a small town but spent my young adult years in a city so I can relate to your post. I do feel somewhat like my old self when I travel for business to Los Angeles, New Orleans, etc. On the other hand, sometimes I just need to get back to nature and away from the city to relax. Wishing you more city grit soon:)

  • beachmom says:

    I hear you. Recently I had to go to Manhattan for work…it was one day…a day trip without my husband or kids and I felt like a duck out of water. I felt like I was dressed wrong ( hello giant tote back carrying what??) acted wrong, walked wrong ( the constant looking around for a pair of little hands to hold) it was awful. I felt like I had landed on a different planet when it was just two hours from my house but in reality it was a thousand miles away. I actually told me husband that I needed to sort myself out quickly as the day will come when our kids fly the coop ( sob) and I will be rocking in the corner as I will have lost my mojo and at that stage I wont know how to get it back. Good luck with getting your grit back!

  • Lauren says:

    I feel like I could have written this. And, no city is like NYC so if you don’t have access to it it’s much, much worse! NY suburbs seem more tolerable than any other place. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lanie says:

    I agree with Jordana too – you should go visit her in NYC! And you are always welcome to try out Atlanta grit but I think you need NYC. xo

  • George says:

    I’m not a mom or even a pop but a caregiver to my partner who has Huntington’s Disease. I lived in New Jersey right outside the City and now live on Cape Cod. I miss the city , friends, family and the constant rush I was always in when I lived there but things have changed and I accept that. That person that I was is still in there and I am determined to not so much to go home again but to find a happy medium so I don’t lose who I truly am.

  • Shoshi says:

    Two things:

    If you think being called mom by strangers is annoying wait until they call you grandma.

    You will miss THE City, for the rest of your life, but you have a million wonderful memories that pop up for no reason at all, or because of a movie scene or a slice of real pizza.

    It is important to go back now and then to refresh and add new memories.

  • Every day I contemplate the day we will leave Manhattan. Some days of dragging the groceries up six flights, battling the stroller through the double doors, longing for more space or just or looking out the window at a cold grey skyline, I think it’s time to move out, head to California or somewhere else and get soft. New York sucks you in though. For all its toughness, it’s exictment and energy can’t be found too many other places. Not by people who have already encountered this city at least. A tough dilemma. I know I will find myself thinking your same thoughts one day. Although, remember things always look better in retrospect, the grass is always greener, etc.etc. Here’s to green grass where we are. 🙂

  • Rebecca says:

    I just had the same revelation this week: I need more indie films, used bookstores and dates with my husband.

  • Mwa says:

    I so know what you mean. I’ve only just come back to blogging but it’s made me realise that I have nothing left to say. Maybe summer will make things better?

  • Leigh Ann says:

    I can totally relate to this. I live in an amazing city, where we’re always saying “We need to get out more!” We blame our homebound nature or our tendency to visit regular places on our kids, but in reality, my husband was never one of those people anyway. Going out of our comfort zone stresses ME out because I can tell he’s uncomfortable.

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kelcey kintner