I’d like to blame it on January.
January. Such a nauseating word. A month filled with pathetic attempts at weight loss and life changes-a month of broken promises. A month in which we sit at our computers, pale and ashy from the lack of sunlight and outdoor time-looking out the window wondering where Christmas went and exclaiming “wasn’t it just Halloween?” This month in which we are told we can start over, start fresh. It’s a new year. A reset button allowing us to stop eating carbs after seven and start loving ourselves first.
I will take the offer then. I blame January for my lack of writing and for my overall shitty mood.
I am in the last semester of graduate school. I have a mere four months until I am back in the world. I am thrilled to be finishing, but I am disheartened by the fact that I still don’t know what I want in life. I feel continuously pulled between my role and identity as a mother and as a professional. I thought I would have accomplished more by now. When I was in college, I remember the ferocity I had towards life. The way in which every cause, every issue moved me. I wanted to be a teacher, a peace corps volunteer, a lawyer, an anthropologist. And today? I don’t have a clue what I want to be.
It’s as though, as we age we become more and more lobotomized. The issues that once touched us, and drove us to action have been clipped away one by one until all that is left is a self-centered cynic without a care in the world. A pale and ashy cynic as well.
As I’ve said before on this blog, the phrase “women can’t have it all” has always troubled me. For starters, it’s exclusive to same sex couples who are struggling with work/life balance. How do you apply “women can’t have it all” to a gay or lesbian couple? The breakdown of the modern day couple challenges the phrase in and of itself. Additionally, I have always found the phrase to be unfair to men (or should we be honest and say unfair to the partner who earns more money than the other). Nobody has it all. My husband feels a profound need to provide for me and for our children. That need is almost biological. He “can’t have it all” because of that need. He misses bedtime because of that need. He misses first steps and “I love you’s” because of that need. Having kids means that no one will ever again “have it all”.
But I will say this. And this is only one mother’s perspective. Before I had children, my identity was rooted in my professional accomplishments. I was well-known in my very small pond. And I reveled in that. I envisioned my future self a professional at the top of my game. And after kids? I search for an image of my future self-I squint my eyes to try and make out who this blurry, unknown and unfamiliar woman is in the distance. I can’t see who she is. How can she be the accomplished, impressive woman that she wanted to be her whole life while simultaneously being the fun-loving, always energetic and present mother? I don’t know how those two women co-exist. And further, because my role as mother is so all encompassing, it’s as if my brain doesn’t have any more room to envision another future of myself. My brain is filled up with thoughts and feelings about being a mother to two wonderful children. There isn’t room for anything else.
So that’s what has me depressed on this cold, windy January. That’s what has kept me from writing for two months. I am going to make an effort to write more. A lot of really crazy, very funny stuff happens to me on a daily basis. I should share it.
In the meantime, I will enjoy my last carbs of the day, apply lotion to my ashy legs, drink more water and love myself more 😉