Wednesday, September 05, 2007

An Explanation…

It’s been quiet here in CookieLand, as you may have noticed.
And I’ve been trying to figure out what’s up with that.

Below is a long, rambling and probably incoherent discourse on (maybe) the “why” of it.

I’m not so sure that you actually need to read it.
(it is long, and ramblesome)

But I think that I needed to write it…

(Although, if you are going to read it, you may want to do so now. As I am not sure how long this one will stay posted…)

At one point, when I was still in my 20’s, I briefly considered continuing pursuing my Psychology degree further, perhaps going into the realm of counseling. I (wisely, I think) decided that it wasn’t a good fit. At that time in my life, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to leave it at the end of the day - that if I had clients with real, true problems, I might be able to help them, but at a cost to myself. I was worried that I’d end up taking these problems too much to heart, taking them on myself – and while it is a very noble thing to help others, I feared that it would end up being a detriment to myself.

And if you eliminate counseling people who have “real, true problems” – well then, who is left? I remember proclaiming boldly that I would never work with “middle aged, mildly depressed women who sat across the desk from me and whined that ‘they just didn’t feel fulfilled.’” I went on to proclaim, somewhat proudly, that I’d not last long in that capacity, seeing as how I’d probably succumb to temptation and kick the “whiny bitch” out of my office with the instruction to “get off her ass and do something!” (My 20-something self was not particularly tolerant, or nurturing.)

Now, I fear, I am dangerously on the verge of becoming that very thing: a middle-aged woman with so many advantages, and privileges – who takes advantage of exactly none of them.
And then has the audacity to whine about “I’m not sure I’m happy…”

Oh. Ugh.

Let me clarify: I’m not unhappy. I’m not moping around the house like some emo tween who has just discovered listening to The Smiths. If you ran into me irl, I don’t know that I’d make a huge impression, but if I did, I don’t think it would be one of abject sadness and listlessness.

It’s more a free-floating thing.
It’s not so much a feeling of “is this all there is?” – but a feeling of “is this all I want to be?”

This past year, I’ve focused my energies on being a wife, a mother, and a friend. And after a year of this experiment, I find myself questioning if I’m “doing it right”??? Am I a good wife? Mother? Friend? Am I the person that I want to be?

I’m glad that I’m not the person that I was in my teens and 20’s anymore. As I look back, that person wasn’t particularly likable. Too opinionated, too inflexible. Too bossy, too intolerant. Just too, too, too much… I saw things in black and white; there wasn’t a lot of room for gray in that world.
But one thing I will say for LLA1.0 – she got shit done. There was a lot of setting the world on fire, etc. There was a certain degree of confidence.
I always knew that I was right.
About. Everything.
I knew what I wanted, and I did what it took to get it. End of story.

And that’s the complete opposite of how I find myself today. I tend to dwell on things, and try to see all sides of an issue. On one hand, I know this makes me more tolerant, but sometimes it just feels wishy-washy.
Instead of charging ahead like a bull in a china shop, I now weigh all my options, pondering endlessly over small variations to a plan, and as a result it seems that sometimes I accomplish very little at all.
It’s much nicer to be open to the side paths and detours that life throws our way – but is it possible that in doing so, one never reaches any sort of destination? And does there even need to be a destination? Is it enough to be all about the journey itself???

I think the problem is not that I don’t like LLA2.0 – but that I don’t know who she is. Or what she wants.
I know that I don’t want to go back to whom I was – but that doesn’t seem like enough of a plan…

So, even though I said the introspective navel gazing was going to stop – I feel like maybe these are big questions that need to be examined. I think that’s what the universe, or karma, or whatever is trying to tell me. I think that is why it’s been quiet around here lately. I’ve just not been inspired create, etc.
I’ve waited for the “knitting/crafty urge” to kick in. I’ve even tried to force it to kick back in a little, and - sweet cracker sandwich! - did that feel wrong.

So – I need to just not try to fight it, and not be afraid to examine these issues. Heck, I may even need to speak with someone on a professional level, about it. Just so I don’t get too mired down in myself.

The big thing, though, is that I’m just not going to force anything. If there’s stuff to blog about, I’ll blog. If there’s not, there’s not. I’m going to be easier on myself in some ways, harder on myself in others.
But I think figuring out who I am, what I want, and where I’m going (if that’s anywhere – maybe it is OK to just sit back an enjoy the ride) needs to be the top priority right now. The crafting/knitting/etc can wait until it wants to come back. And, I’m pretty sure that no matter what else I discover or learn, the crafty grrrl will be back. I can’t imagine life without her, even if she does seem dormant right now.

Oh – and part of the going easier on myself part includes this: I’m granting myself email amnesty. I let my inbox get so cluttered up over the summer when I was without reliable access. But I kept everything in there until I time when I could respond. But then I got more nice emails, and interesting comments – but I couldn’t respond to the newer stuff until I’d responded to the previous stuff. And then even more would come in. A vicious cycle that’s tough on an OCD-type like myself! (Don’t worry; I do acknowledge how crazy that is…)

So – amnesty! I’m going to go back through, and read everything – with no pressure of replying. (Because really, do you want a reply to a comment you left 6 weeks ago??? You’ve got your own in box clutter with which to deal!) And it all gets filed away, and then the slate is clean.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better already….


laeroport said...

Oh, honey! Hugs to you! Take all the time you need to navel gaze. Good luck. And my husband would tell you that I'm still too bossy and too much of a know it all, but what does he know?

jen said...

i don't think everyone expects a reply to everything! or maybe that's just me!

i think maybe you shouldput on some smiths, the cure, or even better JOY DIVISION and mop around like an emo tween! haha could maybe do you some good. Maybe even add the tiara!

blah, i think we all feel that way from time to time. I'm not dismissing what you said in a way to say i relate, but i'ms ayin' i don't think you're alone out there.
I know i feel the same way from time to time. And the crafting thing, maybe just try to do something else you like, read...wear the tiara and grocery shop, garden, take pictures every day, or something like that. Perhaps that will help you feel less blah like.
anyways i'll stop rambling now.
i've been up since 6am and to my nephew's pre-school open house so i feel like i've done a whole day's stuff and it's only 10am here.

normanack said...

Sometimes I think I craft only to fill my mind with something other than, "What does it all *mean*? Am I making a difference to anybody? Why haven't I done anything with my life" yada yada.

But then the brain chemistry pulls a lefty (or something) and I feel the joy of creating again.

I don't know the answers, I don't even know if I know the questions, but I really like the thoughts you put in your blog.

So thank you, and here's hoping for inspiration/ happiness / usefulness / complete and utter laziness / or whatever floats all of our boats (I kinda like the last one, myself)

(and no need to reply! hee hee)

autum said...

Selfishly I'll say I've missed you, but blogging- be it reading, posting, commenting... should in some way enhance your life and if it isn't doing that, then you shouldn't do it. Right? I'm like Jen, I don't think everyone expects a response to every comment and if they do, they should just get over it.
Now for those deeper questions, I think it's completely normal and natural to have those. Self examination has got to be healthy. How else can you expect to grow if you don't take an inventory of where you are every now and then?

3 to get ready said...

Hey there!

Jen may be onto something with that tiara thought....

No worries on posting or on the email thing. Do what's right for you -- your friends won't judge you and the people who do aren't your friends.

I wouldn't be surprised if your malaise had something to do with this dogbreath weather that's FINALLY looking like it's starting to break!

capello said...

um... who exactly knows everything about themselves? i mean, really. we're human. we're suppose to be flawed assholes with not direction in life. right? right.

other than listening to THE CURE (not the smiths), of course.

Laura said...

First LLH 1.0 was quite likeable and positively the best friend I every had--nonjudgemental, always up for an adventure, funny as hell (as is LLA 2.0, of course). Remember squealing when we saw each other at dances? Yeah, I don't do that any more either, but I wish I could.

I've been on and off depressed my whole life. I head off to a counselor for a few weeks, have a good cry, put things back into perspective and all is right with the world again. Yeah, I'll be back there again in a year or two, but hey, it beats sinking further down or being on drugs or whatever.

I usually know I'm out of whack when the things I used to do daily don't seem fun anymore--blogging, watching the Daily Show. I have faith that it'll come back.

It really is too bad you're so dang far away or that one of us didn't have a private plane. Haven't you won the lottery yet? :)

Take care--and you should call if you want.

TinkerBlue said...

LLA1.0 sounds alot like me in my twenties. Although my mum would still tell me that I am bossy, impossible, stubborn and a know it all. Hugs to you. Navel gaze all you need.

Debbie said...

I think that was a great post. Very well put. You know sometimes I think we fight what I call the "icky blah blahs" a bit to hard. Think it might be like fighting grief. You might need to let go and let yourself really feel the emotion in order to come through on the other side.

Chara Michele said...

I don't have anything much to say, just take time for yourself. Sometimes we need to figure out what it is we are doing and if we are really doing something that we find fulfilling. I hope you figure it out (although I don't think you should feel bad if you don't, since I think most people go through life without it figured out:) We will all miss you if you take a blogging break, but I think it is better to take a break if you need it because really blogging should be fun and not forced.

Kim said...

I think that its part of our evolution through our lives...we reach a point when we look around & say "hey, things (I) have the heck did that happen...and what the heck am I supposed to do with it?" Personally, I had it at some point in my 20s, had it after I was an at home mom & will probably have it again when my baby (sniff) goes off to school (about 3 years from now, but I'm bracing for it).

Rebecca said...

what you've described is a universal human lament. i struggle with those issues as well. at least, the "is this all there is?" "is this all i can be?" and mostly i try not to dwell on it too much. you know how busy i stay with all my activities! doesn't leave too much downtime for serious contemplation. enjoy it as much as possible? if possible? i'm certain you'll find a path that pleases you.