Friday, March 4, 2011

Not Who I Was (The Adventures of Adulthood)

I have been known to throw temper tantrums in times of stress. I have been known to rail against God, to lash out against friends and family, to lose my patience and throw things in fits of rage. I have been known to shut down and close people out. I have been known to internalize my anger and take it out on myself ("You are stupid, fat, lazy..."). In the darkest times, I have cut and even burnt myself to externalize internalized self-hatred. .

I strived to maintain control over every detail of my life and any semblance of any one of those details slipping meant that I was not good enough, not smart enough, just not enough.

I lacked a sense of peace, a sense of contentment. I lacked maturity and grace.

But I'm not who I was.

On Thursday, our family's one and only car died. Hubs, Z, and I were stranded, in the midst of rush hour on a busy street. It was clear to me that it would be a costly repair in a season of costly repairs and it was the second time in less than two months that this had happened.

The old me would have been angry. Pissed that this had happened (again), raging that I would have to miss work, figure out where to find money to fix it or buy a new one. I would have felt cheated and picked on by the fates or God or whatever. I would have taken out my frustrations in nasty, snide remarks to the Hubs and cold indifference towards Z.

But I'm not who I was.

Instead, I was strangely calm. Thankful that we had already bought dinner as I munched fries and reviewed our situation. I made calls to our family and was glad that Z had fallen asleep in the backseat before this had all transpired. Hubs and I pushed the car up the hill and awaited for our rescue to arrive. Friends, seeing our situation, stopped to assist us push the car.

I know that this post may not seem remarkable or even interesting.

Just as a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, I can change my old ways too!

But I am not who I was.

The old me lacked confidence in myself as a person. I felt cast out, pushed asisde and tormented in my own skin. I was depressed, miserable and without hope. I lacked patience in myself and the world. I spent a lot of time and energy being frustrated and angry.

In the days and weeks following Z's birth, I faced a series of life challenges, bigger than all of the anger and rage that I had ever posessed, bigger than all of the things I had ever experienced. Life was no longer under my control, and the only thing that I could really focus on was my little girl.

Small and helpless, her needs outweighed the car being broke down in the driveway, the Hubs losing his job, the new grandfather dying in the hospital, the threat of my maternity leave replacement taking over my job, emergency surgery that left me on bed rest for nearly two weeks.

I dropped all of my balls. I left them for others, for God, and I did the one and only thing I could do. I took care of my daughter. I slept, I nursed, I rested my mind from all of the things that I would normally battle internally and externally and I let life take it's course around me.

I gave birth to my daughter and in doing so I gave life to a whole new me. A calmer, gentler version of myself. I am not as concerned about the piles of laundry waiting for me, there is a little girl that wants to play with her momma. I am not as concerned about the dishes that are cluttering the counters, there is a little girl that wants one more story before she goes to bed. I am not as concerned about the bill that may have to wait another week or two before it gets paid, there is a little girl that wants to go to the park.

I have learned that life has a way of taking care of itself, I have someone far more important to take care of.

1 comment:

  1. This was a beautiful post. Sounds like when you birthed your little girl, a new woman was born too.


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