Lose Yourself, And Watch The Miracles Unfold.
My husband has been at the end of countless conversations of me talking for hours about trying to find myself. “What are my talents?” I would ask him. He would respond with something like, “You’re a good wife and mom.” and even though that should have been enough, I couldn’t help but feel like it was a generic answer for a generic person.
I would go on and on about things I could do. “You know, Sarah? She’s an amazing photographer, I want to do that too. Oh and Emily, she is really good at calligraphy, I bet I could do that. And there’s Tami, she is so good at making baby hair bows and selling them. I think I could do that too!” Sadly, although the names are made up, these are the exact type of conversations I had with my husband time and time again (bless him for sticking through those). I honestly didn’t feel like I had any talents. Maybe I could develop some? Although that was a noble idea, it wasn’t me. It was Sarah, Tami, Emily, or any other woman I was looking at. So after a couple of years of trying to be like everyone else. I stopped trying. I stopped trying, and I focused on being the best wife and mom that I could.
It’s interesting how little you know yourself sometimes. I think sometimes we are too focused on everyone else and their successes, that we begin to fail to recognize ourselves. Have you ever heard the saying, “When you lose yourself you find yourself?” Well that happened to me. I completely immersed myself in trying to be the best wife and mother I could be. For awhile it was hard. I didn’t think I had anything that was mine or just for me. Laughingly, my husband and I would joke about how I didn’t have any friends, but in the same breath I wanted to cry, because I knew it was true. My husband’s circle seemed so large. He knew so many people from work every day. I knew two little people and my husband. Someone once asked me, what do you do for fun? I almost laughed out loud. “Fun? when do I ever have any time to myself? let alone for fun”. I had completely lost myself.
I am so thankful for that hard time of being a brand new mom with two girls 22 months apart. When I lost myself, something remarkable happened. I started discovering things about myself that I had never known before. I discovered that I hated cooking all day on Sundays like my mother and mother in law always had, and shockingly, I was completely okay with that. I tried to be them too, but I’m not. When I had the epiphany that I hated cooking for long hours, I felt invigorated. My husband, looked confused, concerned and shocked at my sudden ecstatic pronouncement, “I hate cooking all day! So I’m not going to do it!” I kept smiling from ear to ear as I said it. I had discovered something about myself and felt confident in simply being me.
I had spent three years of our marriage up to that point, trying to cook all day and was absolutely miserable! Now, I will only cook if I can do it in under an hour, and guess what, I’ve gotten pretty dang good at it. (Thank you HelloFresh for instilling confidence in my ability to cook a nice meal for my family in 45 minutes or less. Not an ad, just sincerely thankful). I discovered that I could provide decent meals for my family, and STILL be happy doing it!
I sat down with my husband at one of our weekly Couple’s Councils and told him that just like he needs certain resources to do his job well at work, I need certain resources to do my job well as a mother at home. After that council we set up an “education” budget for our children. I was elated to finally feel like I could buy some resources I needed to teach my children. I was using my degree of Child Development in raising my children at home, and I felt empowered in my calling and role as a mother. We were thriving. I was thriving, but not because I was trying to focus on myself, but because I was focusing on them. I discovered that I was a decent wife and a good mom.
Fast forward to a few months ago, when a photographer friend of mine had a little faith in my creative ideas I would spit off to her. She encouraged me to get out there. She encouraged me to share some things with others. She encouraged me to expand my talents. Heck, she encouraged me to get a logo! I remember laying in bed, all of a sudden flooded with this new possibility of sharing my creative “ideas” with others through social media, and I said to my husband through tears, “She believes in me”. I mean my mom and my husband believed in me and always said I was a creative person, but this one person, who didn’t even know me that well, believed in me. (I will forever be grateful for you Ela). It was then that I discovered that I was creative.
In college I used to always say to people that I truly believed you could be successful at anything, as long as you were passionate enough about it. Funny, how I didn’t see that actually working out for me. I LOVE child development. I love education. I love learning and discovering, and watching the joy in a 3 year old’s eyes when they witness colors mixing for the first time. I love being a mom more than anything else in the entire world. And guess what, I all of a sudden figured out a way to share my passion with others.
A few weeks ago I read a couple of messages from others telling me that they needed to hear something I shared, or that they and their children are loving my activities, or they all of a sudden don’t feel alone when they struggle sometimes as a mom. Ruben came home from work the other day and I looked him in the eyes and said, “I think I’m changing people’s homes.” and then I sobbed. It was then that I discovered that I could make a difference, and my circle was widening.
I know the Lord’s hand has been in every component of my life that has led me to this. This blog. Maybe that sounds a little cheesy, but everything has worked out far too perfectly to say that I did this on my own. I’m still discovering myself, and my talents. But because I lost myself, with the help of a loving father in heaven, piece by piece I am finding myself. I am discovering who RyLee Matangi is.
Lose yourself in the service of others, and watch the miracles unfold. You will start to see yourself the way the Lord sees you. You are talented, you are special, you are you and no one else can be just like you, for YOU ARE UNIQUE. Don’t wait, lose yourself.