"...So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So, good night, dear void." ~Kathleen Kelly, You've Got Mail
I've been struggling with something recently. Okay, not just recently, but only recently have I been able to pinpoint and admit to myself that this "funk" I've been feeling for quite some time may not be just a funk. And I haven't wanted to admit it for a long time because it means there's something wrong with me. Or maybe not even that something is wrong, but more, that I would have to face the truth and deal with it. It's easier to tell myself, "You'll snap out of it eventually. It's the haze of young motherhood. You'll be your old self again someday." Only, the last part of that statement has begun to haunt me.
YOUR OLD SELF.
Who is that? I don't know her anymore, and part of me misses her. And part of me wonders if I ever really knew her.
Bert and I will be celebrating ten years of marriage this fall. In all, we have been a couple for twelve years. That's over a third of my life. Just before our one year anniversary, we learned I was pregnant with Her Highness. And while I wouldn't trade Bert or our babies for all the riches in the world, I find myself wondering who am I if I'm not Bert's wife and Her Highness and The Storm's momma?? Six kids in eight years, all of which I am eternally grateful for, but I'm only now starting to realize I haven't slowed down and caught my breath, nor slept through the night, in a very long time.
I used to laugh when people would comment on our lack of sleep and respond, "It's kinda like a slumber party, when you get super giddy around 1am. I live in a state of slumber party giddiness." Only now, I'm not giddy. I'm just TIRED. "Spend the Night Penalty!" my own mother would sing, after we returned from a slumber party as kids. Spend the Night Penalty meant you had to go to bed extra early (while the sun was still up) because she could tell you had seen the sunrise that morning, by the way you were crying at the drop of a hat. I could use a Spend the Night Penalty right about now.
If this post is coming across as bratty and selfish, then maybe I'm not making myself clear. It's not a situation where, "You asked for those kids so hush about it." I would be feeling this way no matter the number of children with which I had been blessed. Motherhood, with all the wonderful changes it brings, can also leave you feeling so... ALONE. Yet, I never even pee by myself. It's not that I'm not proud to be a wife and Mother. It's just, after all these years, I'm taking a step back to look at it all and ponder... Is it an Identity Crisis maybe?? Or maybe it's just that my body simply doesn't know what to do with all the extra estrogen flowing in my system. Either way, I'm afraid these insecurities within are causing problems in my marriage and my relationships with my children and even my closest friends.
It's not that I would necessarily change the way things have happened in my life. It's just a haunting thought that has been with me for quite a while... At the end of the day, who am I really? Am I reaching my full potential in life? Is this what God's plans for my life looks like? Because it certainly doesn't always match the dream I had for myself.
Just like Meg Ryan's character in You've Got Mail, I don't really want an answer. Besides, it's not one that can be found quickly. It's just a cosmic question I'd like to send out into the void. So, good night, dear void.