I try to keep a consistent schedule for when I post. If you haven’t figured it out I only post on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. It works for me. It keeps me accountable. It forces me to think about what I’m going to say. But today I can’t come up with something witty, informative or inspirational. Today is more raw emotion and thoughts. This is your warning. Proceed with caution.
I remember back to when I had just found out I would be a mom and asked a current mom of 2 how she managed her career, children and home and said that most of the time she just didn’t think about how tired she felt. That reminder gets me through when I feel like I can’t play another round of Lion roaring, or put away the laundry and pick the next day’s clothes after putting my little one to sleep, or when I don’t feel like I can handle a 20 minute cycling session. I tell myself just not to think about the exhaustion. Just start moving. It usually works.
It works for other things too. If I don’t think about how unmotivated, lonely, or sad I feel it doesn’t stop me from doing what I need to do. It’s when I stop to think about it that the feeling punches me in the gut and knocks me out. So I keep myself distracted with books, and tv shows, eating dessert, and the news so that I don’t have to think in the moments I’m alone with my thoughts. But I went on a mini road trip this weekend and when you’re in the car for over 100 miles with no one else’s voice but your own, you can’t help but to be in your thoughts.
Before I had put the car in park and unloaded the car from all the weekend fun I knew I’m not dealing with what pulls at my heart. I feel unmotivated because I don’t feel that I’m personally capable of achieving anything beyond mediocrity, I feel lonely because I don’t allow myself to be vulnerable with anyone, and I feel sad because I’m not giving my son or myself the life I imagined for us.
And this is what happens. I go for weeks, maybe months not dealing with the feelings and on the outside everything looks fine. People say “she looks happy”. People start coming around again. And then I realize I still feel all those deep emotions from long ago, I’ve just put them away from view, or softened their blow with something else. I settle and pretend that I don’t yearn for something greater.
I pretend that I stopped searching for purpose
I pretend I don’t want to find someone who I can be myself with completely
I pretend I’m ok with settling
I pretend I’m ok with not spending any time with people my age
I pretend I’m ok with shortchanging myself
I pretend I don’t know what you really think of me and subsequently,
I pretend I’m ok with being around people who bring me down
I pretend I don’t feel hurt
The truth is I still feel all those things. I just push them back. And I don’t pursue anything because I’m afraid. I can’t take risks. I’m not in a place I can afford to take risks.
I won’t risk opening up my heart to you knowing that you won’t know how to care for it.
I won’t risk meeting new people because I’m afraid my sadness will be all over my face and I can’t take that kind of rejection again.
I won’t risk trying a new career without the security blanket of a good salary. Not again.
I won’t risk finding work I find meaningful, because finding purpose feels selfish.
I won’t risk being vulnerable because I can feel your judgement pierce my soul.
And it’ll go like this for a few days.
And then I let myself cry where no one can see me. I put on my brightest lipstick. I dance it out. I pray for strength and move on with life.Because I have another life to take care of after all.