Let me start by saying that I’m not miserable. I realize that I am an incredibly lucky woman, and I am grateful every day for all that I have. This is not a complaining post. It’s a “I’m trying to figure this out” sort of post.
I’ve always been way too self-aware, too analytical, too emotional. I rarely have the patience or faith to just let things play out and resolve themselves. And I’ve always been fascinated with identity and how people define themselves. All of this has led to a perfect storm, of sorts, in my life right now.
When I was a teenager making plans for my future, I always thought I’d be a writer. I’d live in a city apartment with a ton of cats and book, write, and read my (horrible) poetry at open mics in the evening.
In my 20’s, I focused on my education and my desire to be a professor. I worked full-time, established a great career in health insurance (I made a real salary and had benefits!!), and gave it all up when I had an opportunity to teach. And I was happy…mostly.
As I neared my 30’s, I began to want a baby. I kept putting it off, though, because I needed to finish school, and I wanted to secure a full-time teaching gig. That didn’t happen, and I finally had my son when I was 35.
That’s when I lost focus.
I love being a mother. I really do, as frustrating as it sometimes can be. But, and this is so painfully cliche, I’ve lost myself. So much of my life is determined by what my son (and now Kid 2) need. What time isn’t taken up by him is devoted to teaching. There’s nothing left for myself. And with Kid 2 on the way, I’m beginning to feel like my life isn’t my own at all.
And perhaps that’s the way parenthood is supposed to be. Maybe I’m being selfish. Am I?
Last year, I started to make time for myself for weight loss and health. I LOVED taking The Kid on walks every day. As much as I faltered, I loved taking time on weekends to attend my Weight Watchers meetings. It was only an hour, but it was MY time. That’s all gone now.
I work with writers, and they always ask me what I’m working on. For the past year or so, the answer has been, “nothing, but I want to write again.” Every once in a while, I resolve to work on my poetry and start to submit it again. But it hasn’t happened yet.
The answer seems so simple — I need to make time for myself. Duh, right? When I do have time to myself, I don’t want to do anything. I just want to nap, or do chores. I have no drive, no focus. I don’t know if I want to focus on being The Writer, The Healthy Girl, The Farmy Girl, or something else.
I don’t know what I want.
I’ve been hibernating for the past month, not responding to emails from friends, because I just don’t feel like talking. Or I don’t feel like answering everyone’s questions about motherhood, etc. I don’t know. I don’t like it.
I’ve been typing for 20 minutes now, and I have no answers.
I just want to figure out who I am now; this 36 year-old mom who is still struggling with all of it.
*Post title courtesy of Ani DiFranco