Who am I?
It is not an obtuse question. Nor a trick one.
Yes, I am Leigh.
I am a woman.
I am Hugo’s Mummy.
I am a partner, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend.
I am a writer, blogger, communications professional.
But who am I?
We all of us evolve through the course of our lives. Our personalities change, as do our tastes, interests, goals, outlook on life.
For most of us, this evolution is gradual. There is rarely some great ‘ta-dah’ reveal moment for we mortals, unlike say, Madonna unveiling a new image to tie in with the release of her latest album.
Most of us won’t have a life-changing event. A date in the diary that they can pinpoint where everything changed so utterly, completely. No knuckle-dragging, slow evolution.
Instead, instantaneous metamorphosis.
Being admitted to hospital. Caring for a very premature baby. That baby dying in my arms.
These events transformed me.
But in to what?
I am still Leigh, a woman, Hugo’s Mummy, a partner, daughter, blah blah blah.
Perhaps the difference could be the addition of a word such as ‘fearless’ to each of those descriptions.
A new-found confidence, liberation as a result of a brush with death. The knowledge that the worst has already happened has revealed that inner strength. An ability to celebrate who I am and be proud of that, warts and all.
But this Leigh is a woman full of contradictions, too: you could also add the word ‘fearful’. The knowledge that things that can go wrong, badly wrong. Those things no longer happen to ‘other people’: they happen to you, as well.
And that often, there isn’t a single thing you can do about it.
I am positive, but cynical.
A dreamer, yet realistic.
An abundance of conflicting, juxtaposed emotions existing within me all at the same time.
Today, I stood at the top of a hill. Basking in the sunshine. Relishing the breeze. Enjoying the moment.
I closed my eyes, sensing Hugo around me in the breeze, in the sunshine, in the butterflies, in the flowers.
Sadness seeping in to happiness, joy, beauty. Every day.
Who am I?
I am Leigh, a woman, partner, sister, daughter, friend.
Someone who is trying to come to terms with the life thrust upon me. Knowing that this is forever, there is no getting off this train.
Looking ahead to the future, but taking it day by day.
Today, sanguine. Tomorrow, who knows?
Complete yet incomplete.
That is who I am.