I have a big ole confession to make today. I think it may fit in with struggles? Who knows but I will try to work some magic and make them fit together as I sculpt this piece of writing together. Let’s add in hashtags to make it more fun. #bearwithme
Last fall my life started to shift, if you will. I was thirty-four and I guess the happy started slipping away. It wasn’t like I suddenly became sad or a down in the dumps person but it actually stemmed from the actions and lack of reactions by another person. If you’re guessing and you’re thinking my spouse then you would be correct. #marriageisnotfortheweak
I hit a spot where I felt happy but empty. Sweet friends and readers – that was the first time I had ever had that feeling and or experience in my entire life. It baffled me, confused me, and then it just scared me. How is it possible to be happy but also just be a container of emptiness? If I loaded the scale then you would see that my kids, my dog, my best friend all were in the winning load. And over to the side of losing was my spouse, my constant questioning of what I was doing with my life, and my location.
Did you ever think you could map out your life? Maybe not so much at thirty but more like when you were in high school or college? You had all these ideas for how you would exist when you were a true, bonafide adult. Well, as a kid who liked to cut stuff out of magazines and make collages – I sure as heck did. The pictures I glued to the paper did not really resemble what ended up occurring on the reality side. Never fear – I was not shocked about that when I made this realization. I’m not living pipe dreams and reality is close by at all times! I never wanted to return to my hometown. Never. Even when I met my husband and things started to get serious I knew it would make me sick to come back here and live my life. You may be thinking, “gosh what is so wrong with where she lives!?” It just is not a place that makes me happy. It really never has made me a happy. I dreamt of getting out, I did get out, and the plan was to not come back. But look where I am, slap dab in the middle. I have been back for ten and a half years; and every day I feel more closed in.
My collage did not show me in a role of not being a professional. This one I am torn on. I never had a clue what I truly wanted to do with my life when I was in college. I skipped around so much and it should have been obvious that I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to be when I “grew up” so I thought education was safe and melding it with healthcare was even safer. Both of those ended up being areas I truly hated. I often think that I should have got a “trade” of sorts and used it for ten years then when I was more comfortable I should have made my decision. A little secret – I wanted to be a journalist for a good eight years. I wanted to write, write, write. But I never acted upon it because I will never forget someone telling me journalism was dead thanks to the internet.
When I look at all the other stuff – family, friendships, etc – I’m happy I have my two kids. There is no struggle there other than I feel like most moms. Are my kids getting the best? Are my kids too spoiled? Are my kids going to grow up to be happy? My marriage scares me because we are at that area of the sea where we drift around each other but really have no clue what the hell to do. I have fears over my marriage. I worry about what will get picked over our relationship. And yes – people have told me this is the hardest time in a marriage – when you have small kids and you are ten times busier with them than you have ever been before. Friendships – well that’s a fun topic. Let’s be real and let me be totally honest with you. I have ONE friend. ONE. And she has been my partner in crime for 12 years. Unfortunately, we aren’t subdivision neighbors, we don’t work together, we are besties who live two counties apart. We rely on text, FaceTime, and email to hang out the majority of the time. It sucks. But we take it because we get each other that much. We are as much different as we are alike. She lives in a small area where most of the people did not leave home after high school and instead stuck it out in whatever jobs the town had available. They kept a certain mentality and that’s the same way it is here where I am. I’m not degrading these people – you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. I don’t play well with most girls because I am a feelings on my sleeve type person. If I don’t like you – I’m not going to pretend I do. Life is too short and I hate a fake. Then there are people I just don’t fit in with. I can excuse myself politely from these folks. I cannot hang with people who never got passed the high school days and I really cannot take five seconds with what is referred to as basura de blanco. #browniedoesspanish Life is hard enough and to cat around with bitches is not in my plan. #yeahisaidit
If life is to be made of never having regrets then I have failed the test. I do have regrets. These regrets make me feel guilty and torn every single day. But they also fuel my desire to stop being OK with what is and start making strides to create what can be.
The first thing to tackle is what is up with that person I agreed to love for the entirety of my life. We have had some sit downs and come to Jesus meetings. You know marriage is hard as hell. And maybe I don’t recommend it to the next generation? You cannot ever get lax on anything because that just means the whole structure will start shaking. It is cliché but communication breakdown will ruin any good thing. My husband is an evader. I am a waiter. In case you were wondering that is like taking vinegar and baking soda and dumping in a bowl. He ends up burying things so deep inside that they eat him alive. I will wait until my simmer becomes a boil and then it’s all Fourth of July firecrackers from there. The sick part is we know how each other are – so like a bunch of loonies we keep on with the same pattern. I’m too old to continue the pattern so I guess I’m breaking it.
The second little tackle is this (I like saying tackle because it reminds me that football season is like 85 days away!) change-up the day job. This isn’t going to be a quick fix. But I have decided to return to school in September. And if you caught my Friday post from last week you know I’m going back to school already, in a different capacity, in September too. Yes, I’m enrolling in an area I should have entered years ago. But I didn’t realize that’s where my enjoyment would be fifteen years ago.
Cultivating relationships with new people did not make my list of life work. (Does that sound new age or what? Damn I swear I impress myself with words every freaking day.) I’m not a seeker when it comes to friendships I kind of feel you will meet people by not looking and not giving a damn. Just the other day at a play date a mom said, “Meeting friends after you have kids is so hard. I never thought it would be that way, I really thought it would be totally opposite. But people can be rude.” Preach it sister. So I may not be trying to be cheer captain of the make new friends world but being more nurturing over the friendship I hold most dear is a priority.
And lastly – I may cuss and skip church. I may drink and think unclean thoughts (see: Gronkowski). But I always have relied on my faith to get me through tough times. When I started feeling happy but empty I started sharing that in prayer. I am a firm believer in the “give it to God” idea where I can sit in silence and dig everything out of my heart and gut and vocally say, “I cannot but you can. Take this away. You deal with it.” It may sound nutty to some of you but it has worked for me time and time again. When a panic attack sets in I find my calm and give it away. When I start seeing red – I find my calm and give it away. When I want to ball up and cry my eyes out – I sit down and give it away. Sometimes I have to yell out TAKE IT more than one time and sometimes it just takes me taking a deep breath and saying – please deal with this for me. Honestly, every time I have asked He has taken it and maybe He didn’t deal with all of it but He did take care of the brunt and left me with a portion controlled size that I could handle.
These are my confessions. It may not be the most fun post I have put out lately but it’s me being real. That’s scary, right?
Oh and did I tell you I think we’re getting a cat?