What Do I Really Want?

I know I say it a lot, but it bears repeating. How is time flying by so fast? And why does it always seem as if I am treading water and accomplishing nothing?

I know it’s not true. And yet, it always seems as if my ambition outpaces my willingness to work (and work hard). I could blame the children, but let’s be brutally honest. I highly doubt I would be busy working hard on my ambitions even if I were without family obligations.

I mean, seriously. What did I do before I had kids?

Nothing. A fat lot of nothing.

One could argue that it was the forced break from things that having children required that finally shook me out of my farce of being a financial advisor. And then, even a few more years of being a SAHM that made me really consider what I wanted to do.

Would I actually spend all day writing and hustling after paying gigs if I were unencumbered by my kids? Or would I do what I always did? Fritter away all this precious time with the usual suspects?

I have my money on me pissing away my time like I always did. Because although past performance does not always predict future performance, it’s a good indicator.

Is this what a mid-life crisis looks like? Albeit, a bland, milquetoast, non-explody kind that doesn’t detonate an H-bomb in the midst of my family life?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not UN-happy. I am pretty OK with the way things are going.

But is that all we are made for? To be OK with things? To be floating along on the river of our life in an inner tube of contentedness?

Not that there is anything wrong with contentedness.

In fact, I thought I was content with my life until this moment. That is not true.

The absence of unhappiness is not the presence of happiness. And as I was about to write, “the absence of discontent is not the presence of contentedness,” I had to stop because I realized that I am discontent.

I have been discontent for a long time. Perhaps for always.

Discontent doesn’t mean that I’m not happy. I am often happy. I am even content with most areas of my life.

I AM MAKING NO SENSE.

I feel disintegrated. Scattered.

I have been going to my therapist for two years now. Maybe three? And yet it always seems to circle back with what Dr. T mentioned that first appointment. She thought I was in there to speak to her about my identity – and I laughed at her.

But it’s so true.

Who am I and what do I want? And once I figure that out, will I do what I can to get it?

I am afraid to want so many things.

I feel as if I just started going after what I want – and instead of being satisfied, it opened up a giant maw. A gaping mouth. A hole in my soul demanding to be fed.

More.

More.

Always, more.

That’s why Roxane Gay’s book, (affiliate link) Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, struck such a chord inside me. She hungered for so many things.

I hunger for so many things.

I feel greedy. Ungrateful.

I feel as if I am just like my father. Always grasping. Always lusting. Always leaving.

Always.

Always.

Always.

But that’s the lie, right?

That’s The Lie.

It’s okay to want things. It’s okay to pursue things. It’s okay to hunger. To want.

It is okay. And it is human.

It is in the how of things where it can go awry.

How do I fill this hunger? How do I fill these wants? And do I fill these wants? Or do I do what I always have and shove them down, deep down, burying them in the minutiae of daily life?

For me, I am choosing to be different than I have been.

I know.

I seem to be constantly choosing this. Constantly blogging about this.

It seems as if I will always be stuck.

Always.

I tell myself that changing directions in life is not a one and done.

It’s like changing directions in a large battleship cruiser at full speed. You can’t just make a sharp turn and then expect to be in a different direction. First, you have to decelerate to a safe speed and then turn, slowly, and then re-accelerate.

Making change in life is not just ONE decision to change your life. It is a constant series of small decisions. Seemingly insignificant decisions.

Do I go to sleep early or stay up late to work? If I stay up late to work, will I actually work or will I Facebook or watch TV or read or goof off? If I will actually waste time instead, am I okay with that or should I just go to sleep instead?

Do I stay at home and work or do I leave the house? If I stay at home, am I okay with my children constantly interrupting me? If I leave, am I okay with spending money or burning through the time with commuting? In all instances, am I going to actually work or am I going to procrastinate even more?

A million little choices.

Our dreams are made or broken from a million little choices.

Of Course

Of course, now that I’m finally out with a friend to work, my internet on the laptop blitzes. It always blitzes at this particular place I’m at, but it’s so close to my house, it’s really hard to resist. Everything on the internet works except access to my blog. Talk about the OPPOSITE of what I want to happen.

I fixed it once. But then promptly forgot it because WHY WOULD I EVER NEED THIS INFORMATION AGAIN?

Oh, Life. You betch.

And of course, now that I finally have resigned myself to the reality of lame interwebs, I open up Word and HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO WRITE.

Keep in mind that during the regular day, I have so many thoughts rushing through my perforated brain that I want to chase down and think about more but if I do, I know I will forget it all when it comes down to write. (Not that I haven’t forgotten it all even without chasing those thoughts down, so I guess it doesn’t really matter which option I choose.)

Sigh.

I swear, I used to be a smart, capable, and competent person. With interesting thoughts and ideas. And nice hair and pretty (or at least, less boring) clothes.

In fact, I used to be an extrovert. And night owl.

Alright, I still am both these things. But even with every child I have, I become more and more introverted. By the end of the day, I just want to crawl and hide and read or watch TV or NOT TALK TO SMALL CHILDREN and then stay up all night doing the things I want to do.

Ok, I lied again. I have no problem leaving my house and chatting with my friends all night. I do some version of this with my late night group texting.

But this night owl business – it’s hard on a body.

And since I have a 5 month old who I apparently forgot to teach how to self-soothe because his hands are always stuck in mittens due to his constant scratching of his eczema face and because he is huge and strong he always breaks his swaddle to scratch and I have to perpetually nurse him so that he calms down enough to go back to sleep and OMG you know those babies who suck on a pacifier and are totally awesome sleeping while they have a pacifier in their mouths but as soon as the pacifier falls out they wake up?

MY NIPPLE IS THAT PACIFIER.

That last paragraph is just one huge run-on sentence that I swear had a point somewhere in the beginning but I forgot and am now too lazy to go back and edit.

Also? I often talk in run-on sentences so just be happy you’re getting the real me.

Oh, right.

This being a pacifier for my baby prevents me from unbroken sleep so when I stay up late, it always bites me in the ass and the next day, I’m exhausted and awake but I have FOUR children to keep alive (however minimally) and though Cookie Monster and Gamera are pretty self-sufficient (and therefore, can also take care of Glow Worm), I don’t really want to make it habit of consistently checking out and leaving the child-rearing heavy lifting to my seven year old.

Ooooh. TWO run-on sentence paragraphs in one post! Maybe this can be my new thing.

The benefit of all this rambling, however, has been that I now remembered all the posts I was supposed to be writing in the first place. So, your loss; my gain!

Let that be a lesson to you aspiring writers – just start writing whatever random thing pops into your head and eventually, you will think of what you wanted to write about and voila! You’re already writing so you can start writing that.

Other things that help include: going to the bathroom; cleaning something; folding laundry; taking a shower; going on a walk; doing something mindless.

In fact, that helps for any type of mental block. Do something that doesn’t require a lot of brain power (except reading/watching TV) and allows your mind to wander. Eventually, your mind will wander back to what you wanted to write about in the first place. In fact, your mind has been working in the background this entire time.

Look! I have now repaid you for your reading my blatherings with this gem of a mind hack.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

I’m going to leave now and go write posts about my undying love for the Instant Pot that you will consume and read and find brilliant on a later date.

Thank you and have a wonderful day. (Or barring that high bar, have a reasonably unsucky day.)

Psssst… I’m Also at LYTM SF’s Blog Today


You GUYS!! I’m at the Listen to Your Mother San Francisco blog today talking about the process for writing your submission to LTYM.

One thing I noticed last year while participating in LTYM SF was that though there was diversity in the age and type of story performed, there weren’t really that many people of color, people who were NOT mothers, or LGBTQ in the mix.

Since meeting the producers, I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t a conscious decision on their part – and they have actively asked us to reach out to POC, WOC, and LGBTQ in the Bay Area to submit their pieces.

Gather up your courage and dust off your keyboards. Let’s flood them with submissions!

S0, if you have ever had a mother, wanted a mother, didn’t have a mother, wanted to be a mother, are a mother, or anything related to having, not having, being, not being a mother, LTYMSF is having open casting calls.

This is the last year for LTYM so PLEASE submit! (Although they are coming back in different incarnations in 2018 – but SUBMIT ANYWAY.)

This could be your year!