Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Mickelle of Past Tense

In passing the other day, my mom mentioned how talented a couple of my cousins are in communication. My (weak and silly) inner-Kell threw a minor (but very mature) tantrum over this conversation.

I was a speechie through all of high school. I placed at our 5A state competition in Oratory, took 2nd at Districts and thus qualified for Nationals, and placed in numerous other competitions. I'm really not too shabby. Then, after four years without any practice, I competed for and was chosen to deliver the commencement address for the university-wide graduation ceremony.

Back when I started college, I didn't have any strong feelings about what to declare as my major; I'd loved history, communications, psychology, education, and one or two other subjects. After plenty of thinking and pondering, I knew I wanted these four years to be something that would help me and my little family for the rest of our lives -- not just a degree I achieved but that never really did much good after having kids.

So, I chose education. I fell further in love with it along the way and never regretted my choice. I just never felt total fulfillment with it, either. There was an academic drive in other subjects that education never really afforded.

Now, as the momma I'm trying to be, I'm grateful for my education degree. But having been absent so long from a world of mental exertion, I find my identity changing, old parts of me further buried and forsaken. ...I'll probably never give another speech again. And, trust me, I'm very okay with that.

It just bites that, in our small Provo world, with its emphasis on housekeeping, cooking, exercise, and popping out children one per year, I'm a little bit lacking. I miss feeling competent, content, and capable because of my skills. I miss feeling like I have skills. (Hobbies abound. Skills? Not so much.) The few I have -- they're just not much use in this season of life. ...I can't see them really being needed in the future, but I've decided to withhold worry. The Lord knows and loves me; he's blessed me too richly thus far to doubt him now.

It just makes me a little gloomy every once in a while.


The Nat Nat said...

Silly girl. I think you are forgetting that as a member of the church you get to practice giving speeches fairly often. There are sacrament meeting talks, lessons, and enrichment activities. Sure, you may never again debate the motives of a law that was passed by congress, but your gift of gab (so to speak) is a skill that you can keep working to improve in other ways.

Besides that, there is always blogging and although it is typed rather than said you are still using the skills of debate to formulate the sentences.

Feel better, sweetie.

Amanda said...

Oh--I know what you mean. There are so many parts of me that seem to lie dormant during this phase of life. I would love to take a class or two, but even that is more than I can do for now. And, that's OK. I feel blessed that I was able to complete college (and do a million other things) before getting married and having a family. There are so many women who don't have those same opportunities. Thinking about these things makes me think about the scripture that says in losing our lives, we find it. It's probably not the life we planned on, but it's the life we have chosen as the choices become available. And, I have to say, this phase has certainly put me on the road to being an expert at other things than I imagined. Who knew I'd know all of the names of the My Little Ponys? Or that I can tell you some fabulous children's authors and illustrators? But, like you, sometimes I miss who I used to be in previous seasons of life. But also like you, I wouldn't trade who/where I am for the world!

Grandma Cheryl said...

OK, advise from an old and wise Mom. All the talents you have acquired will be used. Being a Mom takes all the talents you can muster up! If you feel like you don't use the old brain enough, research something, read a book, take a class. You need to get some ME time, then being a Mom is the most wonderful although not always noticed profession.
End of lecture.

Alika said...

This is why I can't be a SAHM. Sometimes I wish I could be, and I admire people who can - you have no idea - but at the end of the day, I have to be something more. Selfish or not. I think if you have skills you are interested in developing, you should find a way to do it. Adding another dimension to your life can only make you better at the life you already have. And you're too smart to stagnate.

Missy said...

I know what you mean. Time will come when you are making "speechs" to your children which will be much more important then any you can make to some crowd. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a season and to enjoy. Time will pass when we are busy with work or somekind of real adult thing to do and we will think back on how much we missed just playing in the grass with our kids.
I think the trick is to keep educating yourself while begin a mother. I know easier said then done. But I think you are pretty good at that. Love ya

Missy said...
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Nicole said...

It's not a lost talent! It's very evident that you're an orator by how well you write. I can totally tell. I know how you feel though I struggled with the feeling of 'needing more' alot since #1 was born. Maybe just maybe I've found a mix of kids and J.O.B. that work for me...for now. You will too! Even if you have to pray it into your life.

Shelly Beth said...

Thanks for that. I think that every mother feels like that at some point. "I miss feeling competent, content, and capable because of my skills." I second that. Sometimes I see Drew and his small group of grad students writing papers I could write, organizing studies I could conduct, etc. and I just think, "I could do that. That could be me." But, at the same time, I wouldn't give up what I have now as a mother for that position as a student :)

Michele Sekaquaptewa said...

I think you have a grand set of skills, even if they're not useful right now. Your children will be grateful for those skills as they get older--such as taking oober cute prom pictures and digitally scrapbooking all of their memories. consider also that maybe the Lord is wanting you to discover new skills that you never knew you had. Love you babe!

Grace said...

Mickelle, all you have learned prior to having Betsy and being a Mom will and are being used a little each day.
Plus you are learning more and more each day since your little daughter was born. You will learn even more when the 2nd or 3rd or 4th?...however many you choose to will always be learning. It may seem subtle or little at times but you will be learning and you will combine your past knowledge with your hands on and you will be doing great things!

And as far as giving a speech'll be giving many a loving your kids, to Scott and to those you serve in other ways. I wouldn't be surprised if you end up giving talks in varied situations throughout the Church and eventually maybe when your little Betsy is in school.

Annie and Berkeley said...

I totally understand the way you are feeling. I feel that way myself quite often.