How to Liberate a Mama : Let Her Be: Nicole Villano

  Once upon a time there was a girl who dreamed big dreams. She dreamt of traveling the world, of being saintly, of being an artist, of adventures searching for sacred rocks, of hiking in ancient forests, of living a life of love surrounded by kind people. She remembers being shut down by the ones who loved her. Statements like “get real” and more sarcastically, “keep dreaming kiddo” were what kept her quiet — most of the time, anyway. She did keep dreaming though and over time, those dreams became linked to winning the lottery, as if that was the only way to reach them. It was kind of sad, but she worked hard and did more than her fair share, you know, so her karma would build up or something like that. She bit off more and more and before she knew it, she could no longer chew with such a mouthful of life. She couldn’t even breathe, really. As a matter of fact, she was dying, choking, or at least it felt like that. Then everything shifted.

  Everything is different now. Something happens to a woman at 40, or so they say, and for me it seems so. (My theory is that, generally speaking, in our culture, women stop being seen as sex objects and of less value around 40, so they get cut off from some of the “advantages” or perceived advantages that their sexuality brought them. Just when they need them the most, nope, sorry, you are too old and not sexy enough.) We have worked so hard at keeping everything together for so many years, just to be cast aside when we start to have needs or are less able to “produce.” For some, they snap and fill with an unexplainable rage. Others work even harder to maintain a place. Some just fall apart completely and get sick, become disabled or even die. The “lucky ones” have a husband with a big enough heart to keep them placated. I find it similar to working your ass off for years to prove yourself for a promotion, only to be passed over for the new guy who is less experienced but better connected (or he just has a penis and, well, that is more valuable, less “hysterical”, if you will). You want to walk into your bosses office and say “Are you fucking kidding me?! Why did you work me so hard? Why did you fill my head with lies? I missed my kid’s childhood and this is payment I get!?!”

  I see people who haven’t had to go through something like this to follow dreams. Maybe they were supported by family, maybe they had an uncommon drive or maybe they watched the right Disney movie at the right time. I see people living their dreams like kids see Christmas lights through the forest on a long dark road. Seeing them has kept me alive, kept me dreaming. Those people are lit up to me and I want to be like them, I am like them. I just needed the right fixture to screw into. I was trapped in my head with voices like a flickering fluorescent saying, “get real” and “keep dreaming kiddo,” but I knew that there had to be another way, with or without the lotto. It took me to feel like I was dying before I could even reasonably look the other way. Life had to so completely disappoint me, completely fall apart, punch me in the gut, blacken both eyes, and make things impossible for me to continue not following my dreams. Such a shift in one’s conscienceness is frightening!

  My entire view on life has shifted, even the way I see relationships. My role with my son has shifted to that more akin to a partnership with healthy boundaries. We are both much happier and more ready to move into a life on the road. We are scared though and I have to be honest with him about my feelings. I let him know that I am scared too, but that it is OK for me to be afraid, normal, even, and that I would never do anything that would put us in extreme danger. Then there was some mention of how getting in the car is more dangerous than anything else we will be doing. I have taught him about comfort zones and how it is natural for us to dwell within them and how sometimes life kicks your ass out no matter how hard you cling and how that is when growth and learning happens.

  We have been exploring maps and websites to see what our first move will be. What started with a cross country trip has evolved into a drive into Mexico trip. Now it has changed into a slow drive into Canada trip with a wilderness camp session for him, while I explore alone for the duration. We have considered some housesitting opportunities, job opportunities and even some Eco villages and farms. We have poured over national park information and historic trail routes. We have not made up our minds about what we are going to do and I am so fine with that. This feeling is the feeling that I have longed for over all those fleeting years of working my days away and worrying about everything as I drift to sleep.  All I ever wanted was just to be fine and to move in a direction that feels right. I am here now. It has taken me 9 months of respite and recovery and I am so thankful for the opportunity to heal and get to know myself and my son again. It is almost like I was pregnant with ideas and needed the time to grow them and now I am giving birth to them.

  For the first time in my life, I have not longed for a companion. I am totally free and confidant to make decisions without the burden of loneliness. I no longer see a relationship with a significant other as a necessity or missing part of my life. Why should I wrap my head up in a dream that does not serve me? Would I like a significant other? Of course! I’d love a guy who is into what I am into and whose imperfections are in the same range as mine, but what has changed is the fact that I will never again get involved with someone who isn’t good for me. Now, I must say that I cannot marry the idea that my past relationships weren’t good for me, they were. They helped me grow and learn and become a stronger person. I just know better now. I am open to entangling myself again, just next time, he will be sober and an asset and we will be hero to each other rather than it being so one sided. He will be exciting enough to push me further in a direction that I want to go and not cling to some past version of me. My son will love him. The coolest part and at the same time, the hardest part to admit, is that I am not trying to distract myself from my dreams with a relationship. I am not open to getting involved with someone who will hold me back. I have an even deeper love for my last boyfriend, as he was able to see that he was holding me back and because he loved me and wanted to see my happiness, he let me go. He made it so I couldn’t stay. This is the first relationship that I let end without a concrete reason (ok I did get cheated on a lot in the past). I’ve always been so loyal that it had to be real bad before I would let go. Thanks again universe!

  My parents. My God, they are good people. My relationship with them has even shifted recently. They support me in my happiness! WTF!?!?! They have accepted that I will never be the daughter that they thought I should be, but they love me and want me to be happy. As normal as that sounds, it is a huge breakthrough for me to hear my mom say that she wants me to decide what I want and go for it and that she only wants me to be happy. She even told me that I am “pure good,” which I have always thought but never got outside confirmation. And my father recently admitted, “I can be an asshole sometimes, especially in the areas of emotions” (his words, not mine). That shit blew my mind! Now I must say that I have never walked around thinking my dad an asshole (ok maybe a few times), maybe grumpy and not very good at understanding me, but hell, I know I can be complicated and sensitive. All my issues with external expectations kind of flew away after that shift. Why should I give a rat’s ass about what anyone thinks about me (even society at large) when my own parents, who are amazing people, love and support me?! This healing has come from my exploration of my original wound of my sister’s death. I have realized that her death imprinted on me in a way that I became who I thought they needed me to be to make life easier on them. This awareness shifted everything between us. Am I completely done with these dynamics? Hell no, but I am aware and know now when I need to distance myself.

  My baby sister lives in the home I grew up in. She is in love and I imagine that she will be moving in with him after her youngest graduates next year. I spent about a month this year thinking that I was going to move in with her. I thought I would use her home as my safety net and as a place I rest between journeys. I even started moving stuff over there. Something shifted with that energy too, though. My parents want to sell the house after she moves out. Since I do not know where I will be, I should not have my stuff there. I am not trying to set myself up to be a burden. I moved everything left that I own into a 10 by 10 storage unit. I bought a 1994 dark purple pickup truck that is in excellent condition, which my son named Dragonfly,  and everything we need to travel got packed into it. We are off! I manifested this and for those of you who read what I wrote a year ago, you can see that.

  I am letting spirit be my guide. This feels right, so right! Magic has already happened; is happening!

  Joey was nervous at first, but as we pushed through some experiences outside of our comfort zones, we found growth, enlightenment and genuine unbought happiness. I have to say that in two weeks of being on the road, we may have learned more than what had been learned in an entire school year. This is Road School.

  This is our dream realized. This is living life. This mama is liberated.

  And this is what happens when the world lets me be!

Nicole Villano