Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Bit of Honesty

Its the middle of the night, the LFM is sleeping soundly, WB is snoring away in the next room and its ideal sleeping situation for me...but I can't sleep. The injustice of what I just typed is overwhelming. So instead, I will enjoy the freedom of typing with two hands, and delve into a little bit of new motherhood honesty.

I'm having a bit of an identity crisis these days. I can't seem to find or recognize myself at all. I know its completely normal..I mean, hell, any number of the major life changes of the past 9 months alone would probably cause an identity crisis of sorts, much less all at once. But here you have it- at moments I feel utterly lost, to myself especially. I know who I am as the LFM's mother, as WB's partner...but who am I now as a person, in addition to those things? Right now I just feel lost. Lost and incredibly boring. I used to be interesting and funny with a quirky edge, and now I am just fat, tired, and incredibly boring.

One thing that may be a difficult factor is that I'm not acting or pursuing acting at the moment, and that's always defined so much of who I am. I feel disconnected from the theatre community here these days, and considering I just left the LFM alone with WB for the first time ever last Saturday, it may be a while before I can even think about doing a show here. I received a phone call yesterday from a casting director in New York, whom I had taken a commercial acting class with several years ago (and who had called me in for a national spot shortly after the class had finished because he liked my work). He was calling to ask me to come in to audition for a commercial, and I had to tell him that I was not currently living in the city. So he asked if I was gone permanently, and I had no idea how to answer that one (especially to a casting director), so I explained that for the moment I was gone because I just had a baby. He congratulated me and said "If you get back in the game, let me know". Ouch! I know I'm no longer in the game, but to hear it spoken out loud crushed a little something in my soul. I'm no longer in the game!

Okay, so then where am I? Where do I even want to be? I've been pining for New York a lot lately, but is that where I really want to be with a child? Or am I pining just a little bit for the life that was?

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to be a mother, I adore motherhood, and I love the LFM with a fierceness I never knew was possible. I would not trade motherhood for all the national spots in the world and I knew the moment I saw that little plus sign that the world was going to be a very different place for me. Its just that I'm still not sure what that place is for me and where I fit in with regards to this new world and the remnants of the old world. WB best summed it up tonight at dinner when he said that between cancer and the move from NYC and death and birth and postpartum difficulties, its like we were picked up by this gigantic tornado and torn from everything we knew and transplanted into an entirely new terrain and we're still standing there dizzy and reeling and asking "What the fuck just happened?".

I'm also realizing that I do get a little bit lonely during the day, even though I try to leave the house at least for a little bit every day. Sometimes the interaction with the cashier at the store just isn't quite enough, and while I do love conversing with the LFM all day, his grasp of sarcasm still leaves something to be desired. Yet somehow our days seem so full that to fit in a little extra socializing seems difficult. How can this be? And why is it that the days seem so much easier when we are out and about all day than when we are just at home most of the day?

I know these are all normal new mama feelings that everyone goes through, yet I somehow feel so pathetic for feeling them. That and the fact that I am by far the fattest I've ever been in my life (all those comfort sweets in this difficult postpartum period have not helped, I'm sure) are just plain depressing.

And then I look over at the bed to my sweet boy and everything softens. None of this is permanent. I just keep telling myself that. These are the growing pains of life, and I will find my way again. This is just one of many moments...and I should be enjoying them.

Actually, what I should be doing is sleeping. Grrrrr.....


Anonymous said...

That is so normal, I totally went through that after my first child was born. You have been through a lot so give yourself time, you will figure it all out eventually. ;) Can't wait to see Jonah again (and you too of course!). He is so adorable and getting so big!


Anonymous said...

Dearest Monkey,
I love WB's description. Just when you got it all figured out...that's the moment life picks you up, swirls you around puts you in a place that is so not Kansas anymore. You just buried your mother and gave birth to little monkey (who is such a little flirt, he's posing for the camera already!) Give yourself a break and just go with the flow for awhile. You never find things by looking for them. If you ever want a little city in your life, I'd be happy to come out and bring stuff with me.

Roxanne said...

Oh boy! It all takes time. And as much as it probably would help your sense of identity to do something that YOU loved pre-Jonah, it is so hard to find the time and energy with an infant. You really can't beat yourself up about it. By next year at this time, you will probably be feeling a lot more "yourself." Or at least have the energy to figure out who that is!

I would totally recommend Stroller Strides again because it's a way to get yourself out of the house (every day if you want but as much or as little as you please), socialize with other moms who are new baby friendly and feel good about your body. I totally sound like a shill for Stroller Strides. Rachel P. should give me a kickback. LOL.

I think Jonah's a cutie, but I like you for you. You're still funny and smart. A little meshugah. But funny and smart. :)

Mim said...

I felt exactly the same way. Who was I? Where was the "I" of me? It through me into a flurry of activity after baby #2, making art, to prove to myself that I was still me. To be honest, I lost more of ME with a full-time job in the work world later on than I ever did being a mother, but that came later, when I understood something more. You are you, quirky, funny, monkey YOU!

Mim said...

Ha ha ha, I meant THREW not through but I think "through" is good because I had to go "through" to become.