“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.”

14 Mar

After the better part of a week away from home, I have to fly home tomorrow. A day wasted in the air.

Sometimes when I’m away I pretend that I’m living a different life, a life I turned my back on years ago. No kids. No family. Just me.

Briefly it’s exhilarating. Browsing the bookstore and not needing to be somewhere. Drinking a latte while it’s still warm. Having actual conversations about things.

You forget so often that you have a life, a mind, thoughts that belong to you when you have small children. You forget that buried underneath all the chores and to do lists, all the clothes sorting and toilet cleanings, there’s a person, a substance. The woman you once defined yourself as. You forget her, in much the same way you forget about a lot of things.

So when she comes out, you get excited-it’s an old friend, a confidant, someone you can lean on, giggle with, shop with. Maybe she’s someone you never even really got to know-in my case, that woman buried underneath all that shit-I never knew her. She’s as new to me as my daughters were. And I like her. She’s funny (I think) and outgoing and adventurous and sly and witty and all those things I always wanted to be but had trouble being. Getting to know her, listening to her talk through the haze in a smoky dive bar, it’s been almost sad.

What I missed. What I’ve lost, the years that I let slip by me, the thoughts, the things I want to do, the person I want to be-what I’ve let myself do. I’ve become lazy and complacent, unwilling to push my comfort zone. Unwilling to stand up and say “I want something.”

Why are those words so hard to say? Why do I strain to please everyone but me every second of every bloody day? Why is it that the only time I can be selfish is when I’m psychotic?

For brief moments, that woman I could have been, or maybe will be, came out, and peeked around at things. Talked to people. Lived. I’ve spent so long not actually living-breathing, but not BEING, that I forgot how sweet it is to breathe in the air and taste possibility again. I’ve spent so long cloistered in myself. Time away opened a door I’m desperate to keep my foot in.

I want to go home. I want to hold my daughters and smell their sweet hair and listen to their nattering. I want the arms of my husband around me-I miss my family, their familiarity, their constants, their love. But I miss things being new. I miss being dazzled, I miss wonder and laughter-belly laughs. Somewhere I forgot how to do some of this. I want to be that fun person with my children.

Maybe it’s the drudgery that slams home the nail in that coffin, the day to day struggle to stay afloat, to work 50-60 hours, and still be there for your kids, still have a relationship, still have some time to yourself. But I want to be that new person again-I want to know myself again. I want to laugh more, to create more, and I want my children, my husband to feel this too.

I want to be happy-truly happy. Not mostly, or somewhat, or when the moon is full and in the 6th house. I want to love and appreciate and enjoy my life.

We all deserve it after all.

12 Responses to ““We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.””

  1. nursemyra March 15, 2008 at 7:15 am #

    hope you get all the wonderful things you deserve x

  2. Jenn March 15, 2008 at 8:08 am #

    Beautifully said. We all need it, time to ourselves. Time to do what the woman inside you wants. With kids this is especially true to do whatever has to be done in order for you to not only take private time for you and your partner but also time for you. I struggle with this concept too, I feel guilty for it when I take the time for myself, I have worked all week and desperately want to spend time with my partner when I am not working but feel guilt if I also want to spend time by myself. We all get so caught up in the day to day that we put ourselves on the back burner, how many cant even find time to eat 3 meals a day and god forbid you actually want 3 home cooked meals a day. I dont know about you but that never happens in my home. Always rushing somewere with something else to do, and I dont even have kids.
    Time management is not on the top of my list of strengths. I am glad to hear you got a little time to explore the woman inside. Embrace her. Try to bring her out and play with her every now and then. Balance is the key to a happy life. (at least I think)

  3. sweetsalty kate March 15, 2008 at 8:34 am #

    I adore that paragraph, the one where you talk about your on-hiatus alter ego as a long lost confidante. Love that. So true.

    Sometimes it’s those times away that recharge gratefulness and connectedness to the everyday. One of the oldest cliches in the book, but one that couldn’t be more true.

    Glad you had a break. Lucky duck. 🙂

  4. Marcy March 15, 2008 at 9:47 am #


  5. Judy March 15, 2008 at 10:44 am #

    You almost made me cry, because it’s so so true.

    I’m glad you got some of that time for yourself. We all need it. I’m jealous! 😉

  6. Gwen March 15, 2008 at 4:06 pm #

    I hope you do find the real happiness you deserve. You can almost taste it, right? It’s there; just keep working for it.

  7. marcelarhodus March 15, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    you, once again, have read my mind and my soul.
    every word you said here is so true.
    I also miss from time to time the woman I used to define myself as…
    but then again is such a fragile balance, and we simply can’t have it all.

  8. mercurial scribe March 16, 2008 at 8:51 pm #

    My goodness you said that so well! Made me think of a quote I thought you’d appreciate:

    “Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.” (W. Somerset Maugham)

    Our miraculous little lives of husband and children, work and home can so quickly have that “deadening effect of a habit”. How we women need to recognize our own value, step out of those realms occasionally for perspective, righting our course so we can see and live clearly again. Balance is so hard to achieve but promises such beauty that I think none of us can help but strive for it.

    Great post, per usual.

  9. Bon March 16, 2008 at 8:59 pm #

    amen, Thor. the drudgery, the person within…

    i look forward to meeting sly, funny you.

  10. Hannah March 17, 2008 at 7:52 am #

    Just… yes. I hear you. Seems like we all feel the same. So why do we all have such a hard time keeping in touch with that person? I feel like if I met up with pre-kid me somewhere I wouldn’t even recognize her.

  11. Julie Pippert March 17, 2008 at 8:56 am #

    Ahhh, this would have been…should have been my post today. Just back fro my weekend away, with just friends.

    What a perfect description of the feeling.

  12. thordora March 17, 2008 at 9:03 am #

    It’s so hateful when it melts away isn’t it? Why do we let it?

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