One of my bosses past said to me, as I was trying to push for a needed change, “The current state is the desired state”
At the time it blew my mind; how could someone say that? It sounded so smugly self-satisfied. Captain Kirk would not agree, we as humans are supposed to be reaching and exploring. Certainly that had been how I lived my life.
NEVER NEVER satisfied with what was in front of me. When we first met, Chris gave me a quote to impress me “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, else what’s a heaven for?” He got it right. That was me. Push for higher achievement, deeper understanding and broader experience. I figured that all I could ever hold on to in this world was myself so I had better be the best I could possibly be. I had to be big enough to beat down whatever came my way.
So this year I had a baby.
Higher, deeper, and broader narrowed to a one-dimensional pixel. The three-dimensionality of my life was POOF. It was all the one thing, and all my largeness had rendered down to nothing. That nothing of a dot that my life had become was bigger than me. If I was all I had, and I had lost myself. I was lost.
So I waited. Perhaps I would solidify again. Time would pass, the mists would clear and I would find me again.
Or maybe it was the universe I was looking for. I read books–of course I read books–on this new universe of babies and parenthood. I called and talked to people. These things kept my faith that the universe and myself in it would align into a recognizable shape.
Every day would bottom out. I would stagger, and then recover to keep going. Every time I recovered I thought “Oh, that’s it. I’m going to be okay now.” And then the next day I would hit bottom again. And it was not okay.
Was this normal? I couldn’t believe that it was normal. Then again, I couldn’t believe that the human race came into being by exiting a woman’s vagina. Belief had nothing to do with it. Perhaps this was the way things were.
I’d been reading a mommy blog and the author talked about her first childbirth and struggle with post-partum depression. She took those blog entries and made a book of it. Well! that’s a book to buy in hardback, not only ’cause it’s about my exact problem but because blogger chicks should have their books bought.
I started it, but it was too much. Prior to reading the book my crying and anxiety needle-pegging took less than 25% of my day, which was real progress. But the book was like a homeopathic medicine that I wasn’t strong enough to take. I needed a little more health before I could get health from her story.
So here’s the thing. Time has passed. Crying and anxiety have been taking less than 1% of my day now for weeks steady. I got from there to okay. So I decided to try to read the book again. It’s a very good book.
But I’m not going to talk about what’s in the book. I’m going to talk about achieving ‘okay’hood. Because the weird thing is I feel more okay than maybe I ever have. My drive is more of an idle now. Higher? Deeper? Broader? I’ll get around to that. Eventually.
I don’t get it. I don’t get it at all. But I feel like I’m still capable of all the things I could do before. But this time I don’t need to rush or stress or push. I can trust that it will happen.
which is so weird
Here’s what I’m picturing: a machine, maybe with pistons, moving and pulling and MAKING THINGS HAPPEN. But that machine is not anchored, and it jolts and rattles around. It can’t do its job very well and in fact it’s damaging itself with trying.
Then this powerful active machine gets locked in place. It’s a very different machine now, not moving around. And it feels so weird. But now it can run smoothly, and with so much less effort do what it was designed to do. Painless.
My daughter takes up all the extra room. NOT, in fact, all the oxygen like I was afraid she might, but all the extra room. Now that I’m getting used to it, maybe that was room I was a lot better without.