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.