A few weeks ago I ran into a sweet friend in TJMaxx (weird, I was there, I know). It was so good to see her and get a big hug. She asked how the season on the team went and I joyfully shared my love for the team and for the field. She smiled and asked if I’ll be returning for my 4th year…
This question has come from many mouths over the past few weeks. I always have the same reaction. With a gentle, yet forced, soft smile, I always seem to blink real hard and shake my head no. I can’t express to you the thoughts that race through my mind and the emotions in my soul that stir up during that short and needed breath of a blink. It’s as if all my emotions and muscles are raging war to breathe in and push out oxygen without any tears forming in my eyes.
As I explained to my sweet friend the current situation and why I am choosing to retire, I could feel the confused and shock stare coming from a mother a few feet away shopping with a baby on her hip. I completely understood her puzzled look as I continued to be brutally honest with my friend, with my own daughter standing beside me.
This time last year, I was fully ready and fully freaking out preparing for an audition that I worked so incredibly hard for. It was a tough adventure, but I knew I wanted this dream of a life, even through all the chaos it would bring. And I knew I wanted it for at least two more years.
Around the end of September, while driving to New Orleans for practice, after ending a call with my weeping daughter, I knew in my heart, it would be just one.
I absolutely despise when I tell people I’m retiring and they reply, “Yeah, it was just too much?” Because not at all, for one brief moment, did I think to myself, “this is too much, I can’t do this”. In fact, it was the opposite. I love chaos. I live for it. I’ve been a single, crazy, multiple job working, dream chasing mom, for almost 10 years now. We thrive on chaos. The more craziness, the better.
But this craziness led to absence, and absence… absence, we just can’t do.
It’s always been just me and Evey. And with practice every Tuesday and Thursday night and games on Sundays, the absence took its toll on my baby girl.
I’m going to be real honest now, for the first time in… well all of my life, this is the first year I’ve had a job that actually pays like all my bills. I’m not rollin’ in the dough by any means, but my head is above water. When I had Evelie, I was still in college, after college I worked multiple jobs daily to make ends meet. And being a dancer, and dance teacher in a studio, this meant jobs lasted until 9 or 10pm. Which also meant, meals on the go and homework wherever you can find an empty space, usually the floor. So I’m not accustomed to the, “come home after work” thing. And Evelie definitely wasn’t use to the “go home with Grammie” thing.
*big breath of air in the lungs*
With tears forming in my eyes, I’m still trying to force a smile, just to tell you that I am retiring from the field. I’m moving on from that dream. I’m moving on from hours upon hours of practice, challenging my body, pushing my brain with new choreography, spending time with my amazing, true to the word, sisters and giving my anxiety a run for it’s money in front of 80,000 humans for 10 Sundays in the fall. I loved it. I lived for it. Everything I love to do and never want to stop doing ends tomorrow as a new team auditions and is chosen. I’m giving it up, I’m walking away, I’m crying typing this because it’s the absolute last thing I want to do, but I am…
Because I need to be a mom.
It’s hard. It’s really, really hard. And I don’t know how to be a mom. Yeah, I know I’ve been a mom for 9 years, but I really don’t know how we’ve survived if I’m honest. I don’t really know how to cook, or I guess I could figure it out, but that sounds awful. The past few weeks of trying have been obnoxious. I don’t know why a meal for two, just to feed our hungry stomachs, needs 20 different ingredients, and 11 different seasonings. I’m exaggerating, but seriously. I should really google the best place for a child to do homework too, cause I don’t know the answer to that either, kitchen table? At the bar in the kitchen? Living room coffee table? Bedroom? Probably wherever a television isn’t on, but here we are… And how often does a child need to bathe and wash her hair? Let’s just be honest here. I really don’t know. I’m sure those of you without children are thinking, “ummm… she’s lost her mind.” But these are real world issues in the Tba household, and I’ll just wait patiently until you have kids of your own.
To be honest, I hate it all. I don’t do schedule or routine well. I don’t do “house” well. I do crazy well.
Mid-fall I spent my drives to and from New Orleans praying God would give me a sweet ending to a beautiful adventure, and He did just that. He has eased my soul with this new season of life. He knows I’m hurting, He knows I’m sad, but I trust him. God redeems everything in our life. He redeemed my spot on the team and made it the best year of my life, for His glory!!! It’s something I’ll cherish forever. And I know this season will bring on more stories of redemption and glory. Being home with my daughter more, and figuring out how to mom is a season of training, just like the season before auditions was for me as well. He’s training my heart and my mind for me and Evey’s next big adventure, whatever that may be. Sometimes seasons aren’t always fun, but I know that they’re worth it.
So I leave you with these…
- Chase your dreams no matter how crazy and chaotic, because they’re worth it and you’re worth it.
- Dream so much that you have to give some up to reach others. I think there’s beauty in sacrifice for more adventures, we only have so much time.
- ALWAYS trust God, He has your greatest adventures already planned, you just have to let go of control and get to them. They’re so much fun.
- This one is the most important of all the dream chasing you can ever do. I believe it’s beautiful for your children to watch you chase your dreams, it’s beautiful for them to watch you fail, and it’s beautiful for them to watch you succeed. But please, please don’t forget… you’re child doesn’t want you to be some crazy, busy superhero conquering the world one dream at a time, they just want you to come outside and play with them, cuddle on the couch and watch a movie with them, or help them ask Alexa the answer to the stupid hard homework question.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 NIV
Once a Saintsation, Always a Saintsation. <3 and Who Dat.