As women we were taught to be the caregivers. Even if our mother's or guardians didn't say it directly we were labelled as the 'care-takers'. This label meant a lot of things including that we were basically responsible for the well being of our entire clan. This label has made me the compassionate, organized, and caring individual I am today, but it has also blind sided me from becoming the best version of myself and push myself past limitations.
Putting a label on someone doesn't allow them to push past their limitations, to try beyond effort and to do more then their 'expected to'. To be honest I enjoy taking care of others. I love to cook and I'm a very organized and clean person. As hard as I fell into the role of caretaker and somewhat playing 'House' I realized that in the same way I was making many sacrifices.
Little things became very obvious to me and most people around me. I had lost my way. My priorities with school changed, I settled for the work I had, I lost interest in activities I normally loved and I personally let my passions go. I was making myself small so my partner would be big. I held a lot of the 'Power' yet I caved with every decision even when I knew I needed my opinion to matter. I lost a part of myself. I shut a lot of people out to make sure my 'at home house playing life' was perfect when it had cracks like everyone's life. I needed myself back. My partner didn't do this to me. He didn't make me small. I was putting him first for so long that it became the 'norm'. He always encouraged me to go out and discovery something else, do more and accomplish whatever I wanted. I became comfortable in the position I was in. I was lacking direction and taking care of someone else distracted me from making hard choices.
I needed my 'grove' back and I got that from the most unexpected place. A dog named Gibson. He taught me so much. He again and again showed me unconditional love. He kept me company, comforted me and was their for me in 'silence'. He inspired my children's book "Gibson" and I realized my passion and creative side had come back. I had been given myself back. Gibson had my love and I had stopped making sacrifices. I know every relationship needs compromise, but not to the point of making yourself small. It took me a while to realize my life was my own and even a lot longer to realize I could compromise, while still putting myself first.
Be proud. Be who you are. Make sure to put yourself first.
Kinga Ulazka, Ela's Fleur