Ed note: What follows is a rant. A vent, if you will. It is not, despite evidence to the contrary, a cry for help. Promise.
She said the girl I was with the business degree probably wouldn’t recognize me.
I was gonna run the bank.
I was gonna run the math.
Now all I want to run is a bubble bath.
Back then you know I had this plan.
Before all of this reality set in.
Here comes life boy ready or not.
Hey I wanted it all and that’s what I got.
Kenny Chesney, Woman with you
This last year has gone by in a haze. I know I was here, but trying to pinpoint the events of a month, a week, heaven forbid a particular day? No. just no. I feel like I’ve been walking from crisis to crisis, conflict to conflict, dodging bullets, catching shrapnel, holding on for dear life. I ride on adrenaline and crash into fitful, terrifying sleep. Because sleep is the place where all the fear comes to life in vivid live-action, macabre tragic comedy. The place where I, half-conscious, can’t move, can’t speak, can’t DO ANYTHING to make it better. The place where everything sees itself to its worst possible conclusion and then … Good morning and good luck! And people can’t understand why I don’t like naps.
After our recent team meeting at Brooke’s school, I gathered my things in a hurry to get back to my office. In one of those moments that you remember years later, one of her teachers said, ever so casually, “I just don’t know how you switch gears like that.”
And that’s it, isn’t it? Constantly shifting gears, spinning in my phone booth, spinning, spinning, spinning, shifting, shifting, shifting — who am I today? Who do I need to be in this exact moment? What cocktail of roles can I mix to make this work? This high wire act of being and doing and creating and sustaining — who am I today? — wife, mother, advocate, writer, teacher, student, professional, politician, friend, agitator, mediator, daughter, sister, counselor, consultant, strategist, apologist, friend, warrior, connector, decider, planner, bread-winner, trail-blazer, walking credit card, life of the god damned party, don’t mess with me mama bear, disciplinarian, maker of limits, soother of egos, defender of honor, soft place to land. Who am I today?
I’m tired of feeling like the more I do the less I do well and the more I try to do less the more I let my children, my husband, my work, my friends – myself down. I’m tired of being too tired to be the mother I want to be – the mother they deserve to have. I’m tired of being so tired that I snap and snipe and find fault where it doesn’t have to be. I’m tired of my daughter saying with those earnest eyes that bore through my soul, “Mama, are you sure you’re ok?”
I’m tired of saying, “I’m okay, honey, it’s just been a rough day / week / month / couple of years.” I’m tired of educating. I’m tired of shifting. I’m tired of spinning. I’m tired of managing life from one crisis to the next. I’m tired of aching for sleep that I’m afraid will come.
I’m tired of being someone I don’t recognize. Someone so far from the woman I hope to raise my daughters to be.
I’m tired of trying to remember who I have to be today.
I’m just .. tired.