But you have to. Or rather I have to.
I’ve been finding new things to do and new ways of doing old things. I feel like I’ve reconfigured my life. And I have. At least three times. or maybe 2.5 times. Let’s see, in the last 6 years I’ve/ we’ve
2000 Gotten Married
2001 Left IT (january)and gotten pregnant (August) Moved across the country from San Francisco to Chicago (October)
2002 Had a baby (April) Moved out of a bad neighborhood in Chicago to a good neighborhood in Chicago (October)
2003 Bought a house and moved (August) Got in contact with my sister again (after five years). Emily started Montessori (September) Mr. Newguise died (November)
2004 Changed my lifestyle and walked away from a group of friends (the whole year this took). Got in contact with my mother again (after five years) Turned 40 (October)
2005 Put our house up for sale (June) took an offer on our house (July) Moved away from Illinois (September) Bought a new house in my hometown in Arkansas (September) Had a job scare (September) Had James start a new job and traveling again after not for two years (October). Turned 41 (October)Trasitioned Emily out of her old school in Illinois (September – November) Started her in a new School (December)
And throughout much of this–and some of it looks much less painful itemed out like that than it was. MUCH less Throughout much of this I maintained pretty well. Ok, not the last part of 2002 and chunks of 2003. I’ve started doing volunteer work, something I hadn’t done since grad school. I started walking and meditating. I started making friends outside my subculture. I became part of the mommy brigade–you know setting up playdates, running the booksale at school, learning how to interact with other adults in a new situation (school for Emily). Basically having to do what has scared me all my life: talk to regular people. See if stayed inside my weirdness, I didn’t have as much risk of rejection. But my clothes began to feel like a costume, I’d lost a lot of respect for myself in continuing to be what I wasn’t any longer ( was a mommy and adult and not a spooky club girl) so I had to step way out of my comfort zone and into the scariest place possible–the real world.
And I’ve been a freak since forever. And to a degree I’ll always be more than a bit off, but now it isn’t the first thing you notice about me OR the first thing I put forward. It’s probably the second, but not the first.
I think most people don’t get married, have a baby, turn 40 and move across the country all at once. But I did. And sometimes I feel the weight of all that. And sometimes it overwhelms me.
And my usual coping mechanisms aren’t good anymore. In fact they are really bad. I’ve gotten better and better at not needing to run away from everything or being self destructive in a colorful variety of ways–but I haven’t left it behind.
And I have to. HAVE TO. I have other people to think about than myself. I can’t give in to depression or to being overwhelmed–I can’t wallow in it. I have to find new ways to cope when I feel like screaming. I know some of them–and I’m doing some of them, but I need to find some more. And I need to close the door on others.
I can’t drink so much I’m not immediately able to snap out of it. I can’t hurt myself (mentally, physically, emotionally )and I can’t become depressed. All of these things will hurt my family AND me. I can’t let my past run my future. These can’t even be options, not even in my head anymore. And like I said, I’ve been pretty successful, but I need to be REALLY successful. I’ve been at this last bit of growing up now for a couple of years. Some call it a midlife crisis, some a transition. I think it might be Mr. Toad’s wild ride, part two.
.It’s time to grow the rest of the way up and admit that first time is gone forever and a day. Like it is supposed to be. Part of me, but not all of me anymore.
And that starts today.