My girl is sick. And so it is, in those dark, quiet moments that I feel my greatest strength and purpose. The feeling of doubts and shortfalls dissipate as I settle into my one true role as mother. It’s the warmness of her body, the spent look on her face, the sag around her eyes. It’s the labored breaths, the intermittent coughs, the croaky whisper when she pleads, mommy. Every miniscule part of her existence needs me in those moments and anything I could have been debating in my mind about work, photography, the state of the house, the state of the world disappears in her need. In those late night moments it is just me, my girl and some lullabies playing from when she was a baby. The rest of the world could crumble and fall away and just leave her nestled into me, my hands stroking her hair, touching her cheeks, leaning over to kiss her nose, rub her feet where I know to look for fever first with her. Anything I aspire to be, any doubts in my mind disappear as I whisper the only thing I can tell her for sure “I’m here and I love you“. Because this more than anything was what I know I was meant to do with this life. This is where I feel so confidently that I know that it was meant to be. If I could do nothing else in this life but be here for my children when they need me most, then anything else is just a bonus.
Monthly Archives: October 2010
they tell you it happens. that at some point you will hit that wall. that you will reach that point where suddenly and awkwardly you freeze, afraid of change. i’ve hit the wall. last night i didn’t just hit the wall, i ran headfirst into it and knocked myself out on the ground still for awhile. in fact i was so frozen in fear of where i was heading that i didn’t do much of anything. then i did what i do best in moments like those. i put movies on for the girls and sat down and wrote. and wrote. and wrote. wrote until 12:30 in the morning. some of it made sense, some of it did not. some of it moved me to tears, some of it was exposition which will probably get canned later.
it so happens that in the process of self-exploration and willingness to get to the next level there is a spot you have to get through, called doubt, self-loathing and reluctance to change.
everything about me right now falls into those categories.
i’m working out harder than ever getting myself healthy, but my muscles are screaming at me. at the same time i feel them and i know they are there and i feel strong. but somehow those last littly squishy bits which of course i may have to accept are going to be with me forever seem to nag at me and always get the last word. so my body and mind it seems are struggling a bit with keeping up and we aren’t even going to talk about the casserole of macaroni and cheese I made last night and ate. by myself. stuck.
i’m shooting photos, i’m editing, i’m writing, i’m doing all these things that are supposed to lead me to where i want to be, but i am having a harder time breaking through to the other side of doing something with this creative energy. it seems every time i want to put something out there, the doubt of the worthwhileness of it sneaks in and i fall into the blasted pattern of the fear of failure. and at the same time i fear i’ve taken on too much at once and though i love having a second blog, it almost feels like too much work most days. but again i don’t want to be that person that starts and then gives up, quits, never goes anywhere with anything.
so i made the decision last night to harness all this lovely negative energy. i wrote about my past. it is something i have never been able to do up until this point. i’ve written around it. i’ve written fuming entries about my ex-husband, i’ve written about the desperation of being a single mother, but i’ve never written about the fear, the depression, and that dark, dark place i went to during the end of that marriage.
and it surprised me.
i got through it. i cried a bit, but only after i went back and read it again. and i remembered it so vividly. and to me writing down a small portion of that part of my life, seeing myself the way i was and accepting, not blaming or hating that person i was gave me a little bit of perspective. i accepted who i was. with all my faults and wrong decisions. with all the dark scary feelings i never spoke a word of to anyone. i told myself it was okay.
and i can do that again. because i know what holding on to a place and being afraid to grow and reach feels like. i remember it. and though right now my circumstances are better and the change i’m seeking now doesn’t have such dire consequences as the one past, it teaches me the same lesson. to push past the doubt, push past the not feeling good enough, push past the not feeling deserving, and come out the other side.
i am still in a mood this morning. i hated the dog nosing me to get up. i hated the girls trying to get me out of bed before i was ready. i hated coming down to find all the things left undone yesterday. i hated the fact that i wasn’t waking up in a cottage in the woods on the edge of the coast in New England, walking out the door in my bare feet, my nightgown and a sweater wrapped around me, wood under my feet and a cup of tea in my hand. because that is where i wrote myself to sleep last night. and maybe that is where i will wake up one day.
for now i decided to write this. and then at the girl’s suggestion we are going back to the gardens today. we are going to take the long loop around the meadow, walk under the giants in the wood, climb the treehouses and then maybe rest by the chime tower. i’m throwing the hair up, slipping on a soft cotton t-shirt and slipping on the worn, comfortable jeans that are at least a size too big. i’ve always found the best place to grow, the best place to heal, the best place to just BE is in a place such as this and perhaps there under the trees, walking through the meadow, sitting listening to the chimes, i will grow past this fear of moving on and learn to walk gracefully into it.
current time: 9:38 p.m.
on my mind: sending my camera out for repair. it’s like handing off a child or losing an appendage.
in my belly: chili, cornbread and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
in my ears: “The General”, Dispatch
in the fridge: nothing. or almost. pineapple, greek yogurt, orange juice, tuna, leftover risotto, some salsa, lettuce and bleu cheese. (maybe I should do this at the beginning of the week)
on the editor: the last of the flowers at Longwood Gardens.
last watched: season premiere of House. always a little behind, but goodness, it was yummy.
on the nightstand: my cell phone. i love reading email in bed in the morning. the alarm goes off i grab it, roll over on my stomach, prop my arms on my pillows and read my email and sometimes, it’s really good email, Mondo Beyondo mail or from good friends.
feeling good about: bonus day off Monday and using it to go to Trader Joe’s with Mom and sister.
feeling bummed about: not having three day weekends every weekend.
last thing that made me laugh: Karen burning up a Snickerdoodle cookie in the microwave at work today. it smelled horrible at first but then everyone who came in all afternoon kept saying, “It smells so good in here. It’s making me hungry”.
made me pause: why does everyone assume I like John Mayer? Am I missing something because really I don’t?
sometimes the breeze catches me and carries me, pushing and tilting me this way and that, one enticing direction folds into another, so that soon you feel enfolded into yourself, glancing back into where you just left, coaxed by the breeze, floating on the wind with no control over where you may land, just hoping that the journey will be satisfying and the landing will be a soft place to feel rooted in yourself.
current time: 8:56 p.m.
on my mind: fitting it all in.
in my belly: a hot mug of Earl Grey Creme and a slice of pumpkin pie.
in my ears: Amos Lee singing “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight”
in the fridge: apple cider
on the editor: ummm, vacation photos, promising to be done by the end of October.
last watched: Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader overtake the Emperor, in my bed with the girls for the millionth time on a rainy afternoon.
on the nightstand: my new cell phone and my ipod. fallen asleep with Xavier Rudd in my ears the last three nights and sleeping better.
feeling good about: rainy fall days. wet leaves. new friends to write to. a warm bath and a cup of tea in the almost darkness.
feeling bummed about: my grandparent’s continuing string of bad luck and feeling helpless to fix anything.
last thing that made me laugh: the debate at dinner over who would win Disney Princess one on one takedowns.
made me pause: thinking about how overwhelming a responsibility motherhood can be sometimes.