Having a “This Is My Life” Moment
It’s 1:25 in the morning and I should be trying to violently throw myself down the sleep stairs (because we all know there’s no “falling” to sleep when it comes to me). I decided I needed to check-in with myself before things get too ridiculously bleak for no real reason.
In my privileged state, I’m ashamed at times I even have these morose feelings when the world is in the state it is, and I’m on the blunter edge of things when it comes to crappy situations.
Obviously, it could be worse.
I have food to eat, a lovely lovely home to eat it in and I mostly pitter patter around the house with only laundry on my actual to-do list, free to write and surf the internet and edit the book.
I have people who care about me, and they help foster the world I now live in. I absolutely adore helping to take care of the little one, Miss Thang, and I think I mostly succeed at it. I’m not going to lie, kids are 100% little drunk people (and I purposely stopped hanging out with drunk people a long time ago), so it’s also challenging, but I’m trying harder every day.
As evidence, here lies a conversation with Miss Thang we’ve had in some shape or form thus far:
“No, seriously, don’t drink the bathwater,” I tell her.
“But I’m thirsty,” she replies.
With no water bottles in site, I say, “Look, I’ll turn the faucet on, just please don’t drink the butt juice.”
“WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME???” she says with the biggest tear drops I’ve ever seen in her eyes.
I look at her in horror- because she’s gone from happy to extremely distressed in a matter of minutes, and then in a whisper, I say, “i’m not yelling at you….i loooove you.”
(Another day, after picking up the little one from school by way of a lovely bike ride thick with hills)
We got home and she jolted up the back stairs, yelling over her shoulder, “You’re no fun on bikes, you always stop and get off.”
I stop at the bottom of the stairs, bent over, breathing like a smoker, even though I haven’t smoked in forever, and I reply “…I’m fat…”(she raises her eyebrow at me and I elaborate, “fatish..and I’m older. My bones hurt. I’m not going to lie kiddo, that hurt my feelings, I haven’t ridden a bike in probably ten years and it’s all I can MANAGE to not fall into traffic, because also, I had the bike gears set on 7…not 1 like I should have, no one warned me…no one warned meeeee…..”
“I like old people,” she said, “but you like things neat and tidy, and you don’t know how to play rough and play-fight like mommy does, and you never let me do gymnastics on the school swing set…also, what does manage mean,” she asks.
“Well here’s the thing honey, I’m supposed to watch you and make sure you don’t die, also, thank you for saying you like old people..by the way, manage means…to handle.”
“What does handle mean, like a pot handle? I’m hungry and also, we’re going to play hopscotch after we do my barbie’s hair, but not before we do my nails, right after I make you watch Peppa Pig.”
“Hot dog hot dog, hot diggity dog!” I scream/sing (That’s a song Mickey sings…ALOT…on Nick Junior.)
Sometimes I’m scared I’ll totally screw her up, like the time I told her about a certain someone peeing off of the back of a trolly. I have no idea what possessed me to tell her about this. Oh wait, I remember, we were reading Ramona Quimby: Age 8, and there was a part where a little boy wee wee’s in the sandbox. She absolutely lost it and had the giggles for 20 minutes just from the mere words “wee wee.” So yeah, sometimes I doubt my ability to take care of a teeny little person with the temperament of a barfly who’s out of whiskey.
Her mom is ridiculously good at parenting though, so I just try to follow her lead.
One day, to convince Miss Thang that I was capable of play wrestling, I dropped her on her head. Ok, ok, I didn’t purposely drop her on her head, I was just spotting her so she could try a back handspring, and I kind of sort of missed catching her, but we were on carpet, so I’m sure it’s fine.
So, back to the check-in.
A week or so ago, I found myself very sad again despite all the legitimate blessed things I had (and I don’t say blessed in a hashtaggy kind of way, I say blessed because that’s what it is, a feeling of reverence in happiness stemmed from something outside of myself).
The sadness stemmed from a lot. I missed my mom, more than I ever imagined I would. I missed knowing my way around the city I live in, I missed having a routine that I had for so long. I had applied to two jobs and neither places hired me. I had a, “I’m 32 and this is my life now” kind of moment…I had quit a high paying job to become a writer, and I wasn’t sure I could do it. I left a man who probably wasn’t for me but my heart still shrieks at night, “But he WAS.”
Eight months later, I still missed hugs from HIM. For months, I begged my heart to just rip itself out so I could go about my life. I didn’t want that distinct feeling of “lacking” that people leave behind when they’re gone. I didn’t want to care where his life took him, but there I still was, asking about it. I didn’t want to care period.
I couldn’t find a way to stop being sad for long stretches of time. Some days, I felt fine, good, happy, content and whole. Other times I didn’t. A new fun thing that developed in that time was, I literally developed a tic. The only way to describe it is like when you get a chill, but for me, it only happens in my neck and my head jerks ever so slightly to the left periodically. It became a new phenomena I didn’t understand. I told my body to stop it, be normal, chillax. Like, hey, brain, you’re doing some weird shit right now, knock it off.
How did I handle that you ask?
I didn’t handle it, but I managed it.
Look guys, I know I’ve harped on this whole breakup thing for awhile. I know I know, I wish it would stop too. That’s the thing with mental health, there’s no endpoint and sometimes you always come back to the same things. I know you want me to cease talking about it and get the crap over it already, but hear me out, it gets better.
One night, after another bout of listening to Jewel, I came to the conclusion that my heart was also in fact a little drunk preschooler.
A short time after the hub bub of being sad again, I found my real non-paying job. My job now, is to listen to Heart foam at the mouth, and rant and teeter and totter on the barstool that is my chest and I must tell Heart I still looove her.
I must nod my head in acknowledgement when boozy Heart decides to text him, but also throw the phone in the refrigerator while Heart isn’t looking so it doesn’t text him. I must physically guide Heart to things that are good for it, much like dragging a drunko little person out of the way of oncoming traffic. I must protect Heart, like I protect Miss Thang. I must NOT keep Heart from playing on the swing set though. I must not always say no to Heart, because bruises teach kids how to do things better the next time.
Heart will do better the next time, whenever that is. Either way, what’s wrong with another bruise, because certainly it will make a lovely shaded story.