Monday, March 28


when I was in third grade, I packed my mom's old pink floral carpet bag with a few changes of underwear, 3 packs of graham crackers, a jar of peanut butter, a washcloth and a couple books.  I remember wondering if I should be concerned by how much empty space the bag had left, with the peanut butter jar rolling all over the place, but even so, I opened my window determined to run away, because that was the only realistic solution I could see to my problems.  I decided that that night was my last straw and I couldn't take it anymore, and I was going to show my mom once and for all how wrong she was.  So I climbed into my window-well and stared at my half-filled suitcase and that dumb window-well wall that was too high for me to climb over for an hour, going back and forth over the pros and cons of carrying my escape to fruition.  after a while I couldn't even remember why I was so mad in the first place, but it had to have been for a probably damn good reason!  that was the first of several run away attempts, and many hundreds of times where my initial fight or flight response would result in an internal conversation that always ends in ceasing the fighting or flight-ing, and going to bed, resolving to try again tomorrow -- and if it didn't work out tomorrow, well I would definitely run away then. 

I have been so uptight lately watching my entire life morph so quickly into something I can't confidently say I know how to handle.  The tiniest things have been making me feel like I'm about to break down and go pregnant-Godzilla stomping through the whole town destroying everything and everyone in sight, and every once in a while I have to have that internal conversation where I look at my insufficiently and not seriously packed bag and realize I have no place to go I would actually rather be anyway, and go over the pros and cons a hundred times and then go to bed and try again the next day instead of getting on a plane and running away from step-parenthood because I already feel overwhelmed by the idea of parenting my own kid, let alone giving all my patience to somebody who already has a mom.

They always show you how beautiful and peaceful a glowing pregnant woman is, but they don't tell you that when you thought you would be glowing, you actually will have days that you won't recognize yourself or your life at all.  all the work and struggle and effort I have put in to defining who I am and what my direction is over the last twenty-something years has been tossed on it's head.  suddenly it doesn't really matter what I think my importance is. putting all my effort into the efficiency and ease with which I can handle life and stress and work and family suddenly seems selfish and insignificant. 

it's no longer about how comfortable I am, and my job is no longer to make sure I am keeping myself happy and successful -- but just happy and successful enough to be an okay mom.  I keep thinking that if I am grown up enough to make a baby, then I must be grown up enough to stop worrying so much about myself. And some times it's easy to feel like this would be a drop less difficult without another kid's feelings to consider.  but would it, really? probably in some ways, and probably not in others.  going from Rachel Bradley to kinda mom to real mom, and this reversal of priorities is a hard and very real subconscious pill to swallow some days.  but, like they say, change is the only constant.  and if it's a good one, it probably will make you look around for the nearest exit at times. oy it's overwhelming and annoying, but I know, I know to try it again tomorrow and see what happens.  in the morning, or maybe after a few hundred mornings, this won't feel like such a big deal and I'll wonder why I was ever so worried. and be damn glad I didn't run away and try to live on graham crackers and peanut butter, even on those days when it feels like my only option.

cheers to keeping on when you don't think you can, and changing.. even if it hurts sometimes.  and believing that everything is unfolding exactly as it should.

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