About Me

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Learning and trying to be kind and living my life as fully as I can stand it.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Baby days

One of my college friends just had her first baby at age 40. We are the kind of friends who aren't close/close but we love and respect one another and have laughed a lot together over the years. I don't know her journey to motherhood; I tell myself I can guess at some of the details. And I'm pretty sure she's someone who has wanted to have children for a long time, as opposed to being someone who wasn't sure or was pretty sure she didn't until she finally did.

Her baby girl was born a couple weeks ago and I've been thinking of her so much--been thinking of her so much for the past several months as her pregnancy progressed across the country from me. I rarely reached out. It's hard to find the words to say "I feel my own pregnancy when I think of you. I feel how hard it was, how surprising, how long and short, how uncomfortable, how special, how unlike anything else."

Hard to find the words to say "Oh my god my life is so changed since these babies came. Blown to bits and reconstructed. Devastating to who I was. A more expansive understanding of who I am and who I want to be."

Words cease to matter because you know that she can't hear them until she's crossed over. And yet she wants to hear them, sometimes, maybe, depending on the day and who they're coming from. Or maybe never.

Now this little, tiny baby girl is outside her body, a member of the population on this Earth, a future woman. And I think about my friend, wondering how she's doing. Finding it hard to really ask the question to show that I really want to know.

It occurred to me tonight that one of the reasons it's so lonely to be a new mother is that many other mothers might be avoiding saying the wrong thing, not wanting to jinx you or scare you or take you to a place you haven't gotten to or might not ever get to. I don't want to say "Wow I'm really thinking about you. That time was so exhausting and confusing and ego-smashing and hormonal." if she's nowhere near there. Yuck. Get that sad, scary shit away from me!

But what if that is where she is and she doesn't hear from anyone else that we were there too? That I felt like a failure so often. That my husband had to tell me to put Lily down and go for a walk outside because the rage in me directed at my screaming baby girl who only wanted me but wouldn't stop crying was going to damage.

It's so confusing to be given these tiny people to take home when none of us know what we're doing. So confusing to realize our own parents had no idea what they were doing.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

25 more things about me

Back in the archives of late 2015 I wrote one of this lists. I was also on a lot of prednisone then. I don't remember what was on that list and I'm not going back to check. Maybe there will be repeats? Let's see.

1) My outsides very often do not match my insides. This means that if I look calm and graceful and unworried that doesn't mean I feel that way. I thought everyone was like this and I think to some extent that's true. More and more I'm realizing this is majorly true for me. I will probably write more about it sometime. If you're wondering how to integrate this information in your actual real-life relationship with me you can ask me "But how are you really doing?" It's possible that I won't have even asked myself that question until you ask me.

2) I have major money anxiety. Some of this comes from my major math anxiety in which I feel like I barely know how to add. (I do but not easily).

3) It's very rare for me to look people in the eye. I almost never do it. If you have noticed this about me know that it's not personal to you.

4) I have lost not one but both pairs of my glasses in the last week. My prescription sunglasses are only misplaced I think/hope. I had them two days ago. My real glasses are nowhere to be found. They may be in a random bag or under a couch or in a toy box. Or I may have thrown them in the garbage by mistake. The new ones will be arriving in the mail soon and every day I anxiously check because I look forward to being able to see clearly again.

5) I take a lot of things personally. I'm slowly learning that most of these things are not personal at all.

6) For most of my life I have really, really, really cared about what others think of me. Way too much.

7) I am charming, graceful, socially adept and flirtatious. (I guess this is four things but I'm putting them together). Some of these are learned behaviors and some of them are in my blood, innate, inherited from my family.

8) I am extremely curious.

9) I believe strongly in the need for solid, quality public education in our country. This is a social justice issue and a success plan for our country and it's necessary to take care of our children who need all of us grown-ups to take care of them.

10) I am pretty sure I now believe in the need for single-payer health insurance. I do not truly understand how it would work and how it would change people's daily lives. Healthcare is a human right, it is also part of our country's success plan and it pisses me off that people don't believe that everyone deserves to get taken good care of.

11) Dismantling racism (in myself and systemically) and sexism are the most important issues for me. I am paying a lot of attention to how these show up day-to-day (and I know I'm still missing a lot).

12) I do not enjoy doing things that I am not good at. This has been a life-long thing.. I lose patience with myself quickly and decide "Nope! Not for me". I think this will ease up with time now though.

13) I hate being made fun of, even as a joke. I do not have a good sense of humor about myself.

14) Swimming makes me anxious. I can do it but I don't love it.

15) I like my toast well done but not burnt.

16) I find music distracting but I love when the right song comes on and touches me unexpectedly and necessarily.

17) I played the piano when I was 5, the flute in 4th and 5th grade and the cello from 6th through 8th grade. I never really learned to read music. I mean, I knew what note went to what finger arrangement but if you told me "That B was flat" I would not have been able to hear it and would not know how to fix it"

18) I would love to be able to sing, really belt it out, and hit the notes while not hurting my throat.

19) I am mesmerized by my children these days. The things they say, the things they do, what they look like. I love hanging out with them.

20) I love the beach. Cold days or warm days.

21) Being near water and listening to it soothes me. I don't necessarily want to be in the water, though sometimes I do for a bit.

22) I am very aware of other peoples' emotions. I used to think this meant I knew how they were feeling and what they needed. Now I see that I am tuned in when people feel uncomfortable or needy but I don't necessarily know what specifically is making them uncomfortable or what they need. I'm also slowly learning that it's not my job to fix it for them.

23) When I close my eyes and picture my true self, I see my 9-year-old self. Seeing her and focusing on her makes me cry almost every time. I want to hold her in my arms, look her in the eye and tell her  "I'm sorry I forget about you sometimes. I am here now. I will take care of you. You are safe and loved. Just keep being you." My 9-year-old self wears a very stripey sweater.

24) I often over-promise and under-deliver. This will be changing.

25) I love and am loved by a truly astonishing group of bad ass, powerful, amazing, open-hearted, skilled, funny, challenging, flawed, remarkable women. I want to introduce you to all of them and want to write about them here and I'm scared to try because I don't want to leave anyone out or hurt peoples' feelings by what I say or don't say. I also don't know if they want to be written about. This will remain a pending item as I ponder it. The writing about them, not the knowing them, loving them and being loved by them.

I'm pretty sure there are no repeats on this list.