It feels strange to just jump right back in. But here I am again, after two years of silence, itching to write. I guess you could say that motherhood and marriage got really hard, really fast, and this space became something of a past life. I'm not even sure I belong here anymore, surrounded by entries of sleep schedules and photos of eggs. I'm not even sure what to write about.
No, I lie. I know what I want to write about. I just don't know how.
Last November, something happened. I uncovered truths that turned my world upside down, and shook everything out, and it would never, will never, turn itself back again - at least not exactly how it was. It was a Saturday morning. "Go for a walk," my sister told me after I called her from my car, sobbing hysterically. "Go someplace to clear your head. Someplace that makes you happy."
I went to our old neighborhood - our condominium complex that was set among wooded hills and four small lakes. I went to my favorite spot there - a short trail along one of the lakes, with trees on either side, creating a tunnel of thick foliage. I walked along my old running route, back in the days when I used to run. I revisited spots where I would stand with my old Minolta film camera, taking photos of my feet, and of shadows, of light hitting patches of earth wherever I could find it. Always chasing the light. I posted the photos here, in a past life.
I realized that I needed to take care of myself. There are some things completely out of my control, but in order to really give my family the love it needs and deserves, I need to love myself. I had forgotten how, or maybe I never really knew how. It's hard. It's all hard. I feel like I say that to myself over and over again, multiple times a day, sometimes just wanting to crawl back into bed and let someone else take care of it all for me. It's so hard. But no one else will do it. Reminds me of moments alone with little Murdo during those first few months, when I couldn't get him to nurse or I couldn't get him to sleep, and it hit me hard that no one else could do it for me. No one else could be a mother to my child but me. No one else can write my story but me.
This space isn't a past life. It's a part of my story. I'm just rewriting it from here.
I explored this idea for the first time in a yoga/support workshop that started off with a discussion about rewriting our stories. We sat in a circle on our yoga mats, about 10 of us, in a room with two walls of windows and the Sunday morning light beating through. Mostly, people talked about how they began rewriting their stories after a defining life event, and how their new stories included things like letting go, exercise, trying new things, noticing and embracing the synchronicities of every day.
I am rewriting my story to include love, light and Being.
Spirituality was not something that I wrote into my previous story. If anything, I might have intentionally left it out. But why? "I've always liked the idea of everything being connected," I said that day, to the circle of yogi strangers. "Of the same energy force passing through all of us. I never welcomed it before, but I am now."
What does this mean? Not sure, exactly. It means I'm reading more - searching for truth, inspiration and meaning through words. I'm making a stronger effort to find peace in my everyday, and to be more conscious of the present moment. Being mindful. I really hate to use that word because lately it's everywhere, and sometimes I feel like I'm just jumping on the bandwagon. I don't like bandwagons. But I find myself drawn to those beliefs - of meditation, silencing the ego, breathing positive energy in, negative energy out. Although mainly I just feel like I'm stumbling around, trying not to be a phony, hoping that one day it just all makes sense to me. That I'll find it, whatever it is I'm looking for. Is that how it finally happens?
One evening during little M's dinner time, he started having a meltdown and flinging food across the kitchen. It was the end of a long day, and I was tired. I thought about the rest of the night's story. We don't have to rewrite chapter by chapter, waiting for the next big thing. We're editing every single sentence at every moment. So in that small moment, I decided that the evening's story would not be taking a sharp curve into a deep hole of frustration and negativity. There's no reason to let one sentence, one moment, one thought take over my night. A period, a pause. There is still more to go. I've got this.
"Stories are important," the monster said. "They can be more important than anything if they carry the truth." - from A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness