One thing I learned upon entering the adult world of customs is this: with regard to "small talk" the weather is always a great place to start. Every one has an opinion on it, and chances are high it's the same opinion. No one likes scary high winds that might cause damage, or sideways sleet, or 300 days of rain in a row. We can get past whatever differences we might perceive, or whatever else is catching our minds in a web, and look to something universal. Since I'm feeling rather intimidated by the blank page or screen these days, I'll do what I would do in elevators to break the ice.
Hey, how about this weather we're having? Don't you just love the summer-time? I know! The sunshine is like some happiness disease that I wait all year to catch.
There now, I feel better.
Speaking of blank pages, I haven't written a blog-post in ages! There is one good reason for that, I've been too busy sobbing uncontrollably!
Doesn't that sound like fun? The first afternoon it happened really knocked me for a loop. Luckily, someone in my household has been reading the pregnancy books with high frequency and he told me that I should probably keep in mind that my hormones are more insanely loopy than ever before. It had not occurred to me, even as I cried and cried about "not being able to see myself."
Since that day of not being able to see myself I have slowed my roll a bit. I have also taken the advice of a great friend and relatively new mama and decided to "wallow in not having a job," as she put it. "As soon as you have that baby," she said, "you're never going to want to leave it. Forget about going to work all day." Hadj nods his supportive head at me when I report her advice. Somehow, I'm the only one who didn't think to take my pregnant psyche and body tenderly.
The back story to the job situation is this: I went to Chicago in May and while there I decided that I was sick and tired of some of the things going on at my cooking job and that it was too hard on my body, too long of a drive, and not enough money for the trouble. I decided to seek new employment as soon as I returned home. I decided to have a totally smooth transition from that job to the new-and-improved office job I would get which would secure me benefits and paid time off in the future. Somewhere along the way, however, my decision making did not translate into corrective action and I now find myself again in between jobs. It has been hard on my ego which has, in turn, been hard on me.
I am again, circling back. Balance is the constant quest in my life and I am regaining the sensibilities, I know I have, on how to care for myself. I am asking more realistic things of myself and giving myself more leeway when I can't do everything I wanted to do. Slowing down to wallow, to languish, under the more present sunshine has brought me back to myself. I can see who I am again and recall how to reach out. I remember what stirs me again and what strengthens me.
Through all of this has been Hadj. All of the baby books have sections on "your changing relationship." We both find ourselves appalled more often than not, at the advice given to dad's to be. In one of his "So your gonna be a daddy" books there is advice which directs the male partner not to purposely screw up the chores just to get out doing them. After I pop my eyeballs back into my head and get over how insane that sounds, I smother Hadj in love and praise for being so incredibly supportive, helpful, and present to my needs. Sometimes, I don't even know I need ice cream and yet there is he is, a 1/2 gallon of rocky road in hand. Did you know that rocky road ice cream is some kind of pregnancy mandate food?
Our relationship is changing, but only in ways that are for the better. Our trust for one another is being strengthened, our communication skills being tested and proven, and are smarts about when to shut up and get out of the way sharpened. These seven months in a tiny apartment together have pulled us together into a more rich union, even though there were times we knew for sure we were completely insane.
Another mama friend of mine reminded me that I am not quite my own right now. I am more sensitive to the movement and stagnation of energy than ever. When I slowed down and began seeking balance, I found that I could hear myself again. I found that making the best choice for the present moment was again possible and satisfying. A simple solution to the blues rang out in my head. Whenever I'm down, singing brings me back up. It might not happen quickly, or last when the song is over, but it happens either way. Simple solutions like this one, or drawing illustrations of the things in my imagination, or feeding my cats fresh catnip and watching them freak out, bring me back to the place I'm supposed to be.
Doubt has torn at me once or twice, but it has never been the kind of doubt that made me think I made a mistake by taking on the journey to come out here. Yesterday I went to a big box store to purchase cheap summer flip-flops. While at the store I saw a very pregnant lady working, and a new mama with her baby in the stroller, shopping. I felt guilt for a moment. I felt that I should be working, should be making money for the things we need and want. I felt envy too. I felt desire to feel financially secure enough to casually shop for summer clothes with a brand new baby. Then I realized my fortune.
How many campfires have I started or attended this year? How many times I have roasted marshmallows? How many nights have I slept in a tent in the cool pine woods? How many times have I gazed adoringly at mountains? How much gardening have I done? How many goods have I made myself? How many unknowns have I conquered this year? I have all the dirt, all the stars, all the birdsong I used to be wistful for. When I lived in the city, I used to feel freedom every time I hit the road for the more open spaces outlying, but I also smiled and sighed relief every time I approached the looming skyline when I returned home. My heart is split between these two worlds which grants me the joy of feeling wanderlust and a craving for knowledge and experience my whole life over. I'll never tire of this world, that much I know.
One more thing before I end today. I learned a tidbit about a favorite Talking Heads song title today. This Must Be the Place is subtitled with (Naive Song). That's my song. I'll sing the song of innocent connection and experience forever. I'll promise an honest experience to everyone I touch. Sometimes I'll cry, some times I'll whoop, but always will delight live in my heart.