Thursday, October 4, 2018

Now is the moment

I was sitting on my couch last night, curled up in a ball, watching the previous night's Daily Show and scrolling through my facebook feed when all of a sudden a thought pierced my brain.

Now is the moment. 

And I started to feel excited and nauseated and teary.

My girls are in school. I am home alone. For how long have I been telling myself that it was all waiting for now, that this was the moment when I could really "be a writer." That this was my chance to do what mattered to me, to be who I always wanted to be.

Jesus Christ, that's a terrifying thought.

I don't wanna put myself out there, I don't wanna take risks, I don't wanna be rejected and embarrassed and fail.  I just want to stay safe in my cocoon.

But what is it Brene Brown says? "Unused creativity isn't benign. It metastasizes."

I can feel it growing inside of me.

Every day that I don't write, that I don't take steps to in some way TRY to do this thing that I want more than anything and that terrifies me even more than I want it, I start to feel this thing inside me grow. It's dark, and it's hard and scary. It has a voice that tells me "See? You're nobody. You're a quitter. You were never meant to be great or beautiful or anything but ordinary." And every day that I feed it that unused creativity, the words that I'm not putting on paper, the rawness and vulnerability that I don't want anyone to see, it gets bigger. Stronger.

I think I've been waiting for it to blow up. For something to just happen where all of a sudden I couldn't help it anymore and I just needed to finally become.

But that's not how I feel. It's crushing me. It's not pushing out, it's pushing in. It's making me smaller.

Now is the moment.

It's time to explode.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Gifted

Last year, halfway through first grade, my Big Girl was identified as gifted.

I mean, I wasn't really surprised.

This is my girl who was reading chapter books on her own when she was 4. I've been trying to keep up with her pretty much since she was born.

Sometimes it's hard for me to talk about this because it feels like I'm bragging. But here's the thing about having a gifted child. Sometimes? It really sucks.

She's in second grade now and she does third grade math. She does fourth grade spelling words. She reads at a sixth grade level. She does theater in the summer and plays piano.  She also goes to therapy, and still routinely melts down to the point where she isn't coming back. She breaks into tears when playing with kids her age on our street because none of them take direction or respect a script.

When I started reading about giftedness, I realized that intensity is almost part of the definition. Almost all gifted people have this emotional, sensory, and creative intensity. Greeeat.  Another thing that's characteristic? Asynchronous development. Meaning that large parts of her brain can't keep up with her intellect. Meaning that when I think of her like she's twenty because she knows more than a lot of adults, I'm really expecting things of her that she can't do.

It's exhausting. She's all consuming. And she has a sister who is, in entirely different ways, also all consuming. Meaning that most of the time, I'm more than completely consumed. My resources went negative a long time ago.

There's so much about BG to be grateful for, so much to adore and even to respect, and I try every day to be worthy of her. But dude, I'm exhausted. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Raw

Today was not a good day.

I woke up with a migraine, vaguely aware of the too large glass of wine I had last night, of the stressful volunteer meeting that reminded me how much I'm not doing, that triggered every fear of inadequacy, of disappointing people, that I had been to before consuming it. I'd snoozed my alarm twice so it was time to wake up the kids for school without time for coffee first.

BG didn't want pants. LS didn't want shoes. We made it out the door.

And then I collapsed on the couch. Numbed out with my phone. And gave my brain just enough space to tell me how worthless I am.

Shit.

Rumination. It's not just for cows anymore.

I have been looking forward to having time to myself for so long and now it's hard to admit that it's hard for me. That I don't know what to do. That the enormity of the time available can sometimes be overwhelming. That I wish I was a little busier. That I avoid things because I don't wanna and not because I don't have time.

It was quite a spiral, friends.

My head is better now, 14 hours, 3 meals, two doses of ibuprofen and 3 cups of coffee later. Somehow the world doesn't look as scary and ragey now, but what that leaves me with is sad. Raw. Confused. Lost. I don't like feeling this way.

But here it is and it's real.

Monday, September 24, 2018

From the middle of the mess

Today, my kindergartner stayed home sick from school. I feel like a mess. I'm tired of feeling like a mess.

I'm committing to write anyway from the middle of the mess.

But why.

Why do I want to write every day? Why is that something that matters to me?

There's something about the idea of not breaking the streak, if committing to a practice, come what may, that appeals to me. That feels right to me. And right now, that's all I've got.

Every time I've tried to assign any other meaning to the practice I've been disappointed. I don't want to be disappointed. I don't want to quit even if I get disappointed. I don't want to try to prove myself a failure.

Again.

This post is messy like my house is messy, like my hair is messy,  like my brain is messy.

But here I am. Showing up.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Feelings

Right now, my eight year old is in her room, periodically screaming that she's never getting dressed and therefore, as per my decree, never coming out of her room.

My 5 year old just curled back up in her bed after telling me that her brain, her eyes, her throat, and her stomach hurt.

I just need some quiet.

I've been staying calm. I've stayed calm when BG locked her door and kicked it because we wanted her to wear shoes. I've stayed calm when LS screamed and sobbed because I had the nerve to expect her to eat chicken that she liked the day before. I've stayed calm through all the ups and downs, through the exhaustion and hangriness and all that comes with transitions.

I'm kind of tired of staying calm.

When is it my turn to throw a tantrum, to get really righteously angry and sad? When is it my turn to really just lose it and let all my emotions fly onto whoever is nearest?

I have a lot of feelings. It may not always look that way.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Day 2

I am sitting on my couch with my feet up, a girl leaning on each of my shoulders, word girl on the TV. It is Saturday morning, which is the opposite of a day off for a stay at home mom of school age children. The last thing I want to do is write.

But here I am. Because coming back, showing back up, has been the hardest thing for me in my life. Because quitting is go to and because telling myself that I just can't do it because a quitter is who I am is such an easy way out.

Yesterday, BG threw a twenty minute tantrum over having to practice a new piano song. I get it, I told her, it's hard. You don't like when things are hard. You can't play it yet. But it's important for you to do things that are still just out of reach. It's important for you to stretch a little. That's how you grow.

Et tu, Brute?

Day 2 sucks a little. It's hard to keep showing up when you aren't good at something yet. But it's important for me to stretch if I want to grow.

Friday, September 21, 2018

A New Chapter

For the first time, both of my children are in school all day. It's time for an entirely new chapter in my life. For the past eight years, I've always been home with at least one child. I've been in charge of educating them, feeding them, and loving them. And while I still have to do most of that, for 7 hours a day, I get a break. I am alone in my house. It is quiet. I almost don't know what to do with myself. 

I've been cleaning. The surfaces in my house are getting clear, everything is staying within a few minutes of being clean, my laundry piles are minimal, even some of my cabinets are getting organized. I don't feel overwhelmed by the idea of picking up anymore because I can actually see where things go. 

I've been running. Really running. I went five miles yesterday, by myself, in the middle of the day. I feel strong. I feel like I'm breathing better. 

I've been playing mindless games on my phone. It's okay, I tell myself, I enjoy them. It's okay to enjoy things. I have time. 

And all these things are good things. Truly. All of this was something I needed after being talked to 24 hours a day for the past eight years. But. 

But. 

But not at the expense of crafting my life. 

I want to figure out who I am, what I want to do. I want to write. I want to create. I want to start to build something that belongs to me and isn't just about what my children need. And I think maybe that sounds so hella scary that I've been spending a little more time on my cabinets and candy crush than I really need. I think that I'm avoiding going deep, being vulnerable, figuring out what this next chapter is truly for and I think maybe it's time to stop hiding. 

I was afraid that without kids here with me all day I'd seem boring and useless, I  wouldn't have anything to say, I could never come back here because it wouldn't fit anymore. 

I was afraid. 

It's been a nice three weeks of much deserved vacation, but now it's time to get to work.