You know those times in life when you’re just kicking ass and taking names? Well, for me right now, I am kicking no ass. I am taking no names. In fact, I’m trying to get my name back from a bunch of ass-kickers that took it from me. My therapist, generously, calls it “a rough patch”. I call it “What the hell am I doing with my life why have I made everything so hard that only a superhuman could possibly do any of it without totally collapsing GAAARRRRR!”
I know that everything on earth needs times of break down in order to function. The cycle of contraction and expansion is not just a modern dance principle, it is how people grow. This time around, however, it feels like I’m on a rickety wooden roller coaster run by a carnie whose smile makes you think “There’s something not quite right about him” just as he pulls the lever and sends you around the first turn. My elbows are all banged up and my brain is rattling around in my head.
I’m certainly not winning Mother of the Year awards these past few weeks, either. Thank God for the resiliency of children. Olive has taken a couple of tumbles, some of which I think I could have been there sooner for. I’ve been bringing home all these used toys that are plastic and make noises the ones that are endlessly annoying to parents but are total baby crack. When you’re 4 days in to a heinous cold and the baby just wants to play even though you’re snottier than a tree slug, you don’t care if you have to listen to a cat meowing “Old McDonald”, at least you don’t have to think for the next 30 seconds while she is entranced by it.
I am holding on, though — I have two days left of work and then Olive and I are going on a road trip to find the summer — the SF gloom is not helping my attitude and I am desperately in need of the world to shine its face on me a little bit through bursting flowers, ocean waves, and blue skies. I need to be reminded that I live in California, so we are going south to be with girlfriends and have a change of pace. Of course I understand that vacationing with a baby is still full-time work, and since my husband is not coming with me, I will be “on” 24/7. But it will be nice, for a change, to have Olive be the only human I have to take care of, other than myself. So, here’s hoping for some respite.
Either way, whether I feel rejuvenated by the break or not, I am actively choosing faith right now. There just is no other way! Love is natural, faith is a choice that often seems totally wrong. I am choosing to lean deeper into God, to trust that there is a reason I feel pushed out of the nest, that sometime soon I will find the way to fly. Maybe I am flying now, I’m just so caught up with it looking like soaring that I can’t see that I’m creakily, unsteadily finding my wings and doing a very awkward version of flight. I’m not sure I’m ready to believe that yet. But the possibility is there and I’m savoring it in this moment, like the last piece of dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt, like a kiss on a train in the countryside, like a dream in which I knew my true name.