Home » That Woo-Woo Thing.

That Woo-Woo Thing.

People that know me have heard me talk about how I think the universe takes care of everything. I won’t admit to believing in a god, because that feels artificial to me. I appreciate organized religion but I stopped pretending a long time ago that I was a religious person. I am spiritual to some extent but mostly, I just believe that everything works out in the end and everything happens the way it’s meant to. The universe is forever testing us, and yes, maybe I don’t believe we have free will. Or maybe we do. I don’t really know, to be quite honest. I think maybe I believe that there are many options available to us, many possible directions laid out in front of us. For one reason or another, we pick one direction over the other. Lame analogy alert: life is like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book. I mean, it is, if you read those books like I did. I employed no strategy when reading those books. I just picked a page to skip to without thinking much about it. And now that I think about it, my approach to real life is the same. I’m terrible at strategy, foresight is not my strength. Of course, hindsight is no problem for me.

Anyway, my point is: lately, I’ve felt frustrated, stuck, depressed and just generally very blah. I keep thinking about all the decisions I’ve made in the past and how they got me to this point today.  In general, I have a good life but I am increasingly unsatisfied. I spend too much time thinking about my life pre-marriage, pre-kids, even pre-Henry. What was my life then? I had independence. I had a job. I had money. But it’s not just those things I miss. It’s something intangible, hard to put my finger on… maybe  I knew who I was, mostly. But that’s bullshit, if I’m being totally honest. I was lost then and I’m lost now but it was easier to be lost then, because I was accountable to no one. The stakes are higher now.

I’ve believed for a long time that it’s important to manifest your own happiness. That’s the woo-woo thing. It sounds very hippie dippie but really, we all know that happiness comes from within. It used to be easy for me to reach in and pull it out. But it’s harder these days. My true happiness is buried under regret, resentment, frustration, apathy, too many desires. A thought I was able to put together recently: I’m tired of wishing that I were the person that I wish I could be. Does that make sense? Think about it. I strive to be a certain kind of person, and I’m constantly disappointing myself. I’m often teased as a “supermom,” and it makes me feel like a fraud. What I project to the outside does not often match what is inside. Yes, I have two young children and I appeared to be non-frazzled in public but trust me when I say that I’m barely keeping my shit together. My housekeeping skills have gone in the toilet, I spend a lot of time hiding from my kids, hoping they won’t ask me for anything, and I look forward to bedtime like it’s the second coming. I don’t have the energy , desire or space to do any of the things that would make me feel satisfied. My sewing machine is collecting dust, I hardly ever bake, and the mental list of house projects has nary a check on it. I sit now surrounded by dirty dishes that need to be cleared away, dried oatmeal on the floor–my filthy, filthy floor–, random items of clothing tossed over a chair here and there. The disorder is depressing and I keep trying to will myself to go beyond maintenance and enter deep-clean mode.  I think I’ve come to feel that keeping order and keeping everything clean is an act of futility. All that hard work, just to be destroyed. Such is the peril of living in a 700 square foot studio with two small children. There are no “areas.” It’s impossible to keep food and other junk from traveling into other parts of the apartment. Those shows on HGTV are forever talking about “creating sanctuaries.” Where is my sanctuary? It doesn’t exist. I don’t even have the dignity of my own bedroom.

Okay, this has pretty much devolved into a whiny rant, hasn’t it? *sigh* First world problems. *sigh* Okay, yes, my life could be worse, way, way worse but still, if some kid in a hut in some godforsaken country deserves happiness (and you know, clean water), then so does this bored, lonely housewife, okay? Now, I am going to push the woo-woo thing and quote something I read in Whole Living magazine this morning, seriously. It fit perfectly into how I’m feeling right now. Some girl, some “community blogger” says that she gets peace of mind when

I’ve tried to let go of what I think my life should be. The moment we stop swimming upstream and go with the flow, that’s when the real magic happens.

Wise words from some chick named Jeannie Page, age 36, San Francisco. Indeed. And wouldn’t you know, last year I read this book my friend Jill recommended, Loving What Is, by Byron Katie. Of course, I didn’t read the whole thing. I got the gist. Basically, it’s the “shoulds” in life that makes us unhappy. Instead, happiness comes from accepting the truth and then, working to get what you want…to turn the “should” into reality. I suppose it’s along the same lines as The Secret, another book which I’ve never read but I pretend to know a lot about.

I’m tired of wishing that I were the person that I wish I could be.

So, how do I stop wishing? Do I quit cold turkey? I have to convince myself somehow that it’s okay to accept who I am. But it’s hard to do that when I am profoundly unhappy with who I am. I am a person that lacks passion. That has to be the saddest thing ever. I have no internal drive that compels me to do well, no matter how badly I want to do well. I have to accept the fact that I do everything half-assed? Is that it? And be okay with that? BULL-shit. How can I possibly be okay with that? I need a kick in the pants, and maybe the head, too.

  • Kristi Magowan

    I just want to hug you right now.
    *hug*
    I can totally relate to all of these feelings.

    • http://sehacecamino.com ncavillones

      Dammit. You made me cry. But thanks.

  • http://tamaralikecamera.blogspot.com Tamara Like Camera

    I wish we could meet for coffee right now. I may appear to have my sh*t together too..oh wait…no I don’t, but I agree with a vast majority of what you wrote about. Sigh. If only we could meet at Rao’s right now…

    • http://sehacecamino.com ncavillones

      Oh, man. It’s been so long since I sat with another mama over a cup of coffee with no kids about… <3

  • Momy

    hey!! lets see how fast you snap out of it as soon as you sell your apartment…sometimes we tend to overthink…im going to go out on a limb here and say that as soon as you sell your apartment the sun will come out , the birds will sing, and you will be whistling a tune down the street! You have a bad case of the “stucks” right now, but you will get out of it…where is your realtor? Put a fire under her/him!!!

    • http://sehacecamino.com ncavillones

      No doubt, Mom. Like I said, where we live definitely has something to do with it.

  • Anonymous

    Except for all the mom stuff, I could have written this. Getting this out there seems like it should help; we can all inspire each other. Sending hugs to you. :)

    • http://sehacecamino.com ncavillones

      It definitely did help. After I wrote this, I managed to not only clear away those dishes but mop the floors. :)

      • Anonymous

        Nice! Recently I read something on a blog about decluttering etc, something about “do it now.” Like, when you see something on the floor and you think, oh, I’ll get to that. No, do it now. (Of course with two very small children I imagine there’s no way to get to everything “right now”!) I’ve been trying to be better about that, and do my dishes right away, put clothes away right away, etc. And tonight I tidied up in three different rooms! But…sometimes I’m still lazy and leave shit around. :/

        • http://sehacecamino.com Nancy Cavillones

          Along those same lines, I read a tip recently in the comment thread on a post about keeping order in chaos. The commenter said to follow the “touch it once” rule. If you pick it up, put it in its rightful place right away. Don’t just put it on a counter or whatever, to deal with it later. Now, every time I pick something up off the floor, I think of that. 9 times out of 10, it motivates me to put it away or throw it out.

          • Anonymous

            Yes! That might have been it. I’m getting better about listening to that voice. :)

  • Dianabenton

    So your post really moved me. And I rarely make time to respond to blogs I (only seldom) read. But I, like everyone else who has commented, can TOTALLY relate. Who doesn’t feel inertia and its rings of anxiety from time to time? What has gotten me through these stagnate times is to remember: nothing lasts forever. Nothing good. Nothing bad. The pendulum always swings (though sometimes the arc is small and we must recognize when our yin has some yang. Or vice versa.)
    At any rate, Nancy – you are an excellent writer and you sum up many of our emotions into very articulate and digestible posts. Have you thought about organizing your blog into a book of some sort? Or maybe a screenplay? I don’t know…I have this feeling it would bring you the passion you seek.
    I had a voice teacher ages ago (when I was about 18) who gave me a lot of shit when I didn’t count while I sang through one or the other aria. I whined at him that I was trying! He looked at me coldly and said ‘Diana, there is no try. There is just do.’ I’m sure it’s been said before but somehow it has struck me so simple yet true in recent years.

    And just so you know, I’m a fan. I’d buy the book or see the movie.

    • http://sehacecamino.com Nancy Cavillones

      Thanks, Diana! It means a lot to me. In the past, “this, too, shall pass” has been my mantra but it’s easy to lose perspective until someone prods you…

    • Anonymous

      Your voice teacher Yoda’d you! That’s kind of awesome! (“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”) It really is good advice. :)

  • Erika Estey

    Good gosh, I could’ve wrote this too! I felt this way for years, stuck in a rut, not sure which way to go, drowning but not sure how to save myself…until recently. A fire was lit because I had nowhere to go but up. (Okay, I could’ve climbed into the hole and died, but I don’t think people like us settle for that because we are seeking something greater!) I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but for me, it’s because staying home (with barely any funds to do all the things I would’ve liked to with my kids) wasn’t fulfilling to me like I imagined and wanted to fully believe it would be. Raising kids is a beautiful thing, it is, but we NEED SO MUCH SUPPORT, and it’s hard to get it these days because those of us who stay home don’t interact much with the rest of the world, or at least not all of us do.

    And with my personality, I had to accept that working and putting the intellectual side of myself to good use fuels me and helps me thrive. So…to me, it’s worth it to work for not a lot of extra money IF it’s going to bring me joy, my family joy, and lead us to a place of peace and happiness. Once I decided to work, it put things in perspective for me. I got so much more organized and efficient at home, realized the things that really mattered (um seriously, do I need to be making every meal a grand production, it’s exhausting!), and I am actually more present and engaged and seriously closer than ever with my children, no lie!

    So I’m not saying the answer is the same for you, but with your personality and seeing you operate, I know you have to have an outlet just for you as well. And maybe you also need to believe that regardless of the shit on the floor, the sewing projects unfinished, etc, it says nothing of *who you are*

    & right now, really, you are exactly where you need to be. You are in this place of desperation and confusion and discontent because change is just around the corner, I just know it.

    And p.s. stop watching those HGTV shows if they make you feel like crap! :)

    • http://sehacecamino.com Nancy Cavillones

      Erika, I know you’ve been on this amazing journey this past year! I would love to see you write an essay on the lessons you’ve learned and publish at Offbeat Mama or Babble.

  • callalillie

    I can totally relate to this, too, and I wish that I could give you a big hug right now, even though we’ve never actually met one another (which is weird in itself, as I think it’s been almost 10 years of blog stuff). I only have one kid and a bit more space than you guys (though with walls and doors helping) and I often feel like everything is collapsing in, with no personal breathing room and wrong pathways taken too long ago to fix. This came out a lot when Lex started working really late and traveling and it was just me and Eme and a three cats and a dirty house, etc.

    The way I’ve tried to wade my way through things is to truly believe that stasis happens for a reason sometimes – that these periods, as hard and sad and confusing as they are, give us room to think and brood and plan, even if we feel like we’re not getting anywhere. It might not seem like you’re producing anything or moving forward, or even getting the kitchen clean, but ultimately, your brain is moving and you are sorting out emotions and plans for the future. And at some point, it will all knit together.

    In the meantime, I have found taking a half day, doing a babysitting swap or hiring one (I found a neighbor who is happy to watch Emelia if I reciprocate at some point) and cleaning the house, going for a long walk and getting coffee helps, if only so that I can return home with kid to a clean house at the end of the day. You know, so she can throw her cereal on the floor and the cats can throw up all over the house, immediately.

    • http://sehacecamino.com Nancy Cavillones

      I love the idea of stasis. It makes total sense. It totally changes my perspective on this, I’m not kidding!