It's not all doom and gloom around here. I am making my way slowly out of my funk and regaining perspective as we settle in to determine our course. Big Man and I are on the same page regarding our values and the job search is ours. We get to choose our path though I admit it felt out of control for a bit.
My head is clearing on so many fronts. I think I felt like I had no voice. Wonderful friends and this computer let me vent and my biggest concern was this: how can I not be bitter? how can I let go of what I thought would happen and sink in to what is? I have some experience with bitterness. I have watched people I love dearly be unable to let go of betrayals and it seems like wide swaths of their life were given over to something for which they had no control. I do not want this for myself. And so I am reflecting and planning ahead while working hard to be in the moment with my feelings and my family at once. All of this can feel so confusing, but that seems to be the trick of life.
I admit I probably reflect too much yet it is what greases my writer's wheels.
So here is what I have determined so far:
We thought the last job would work out. It did not. We tried for another job and were denied and that hurt both of us in unexpected and different ways. And now we are forced to think further outside our box. It has been admittedly harder for me, but I am doing it while reminding myself we are in control. Letting go of one picture makes room for a new one. I am really trying to make that room.
My babies are growing and they still need me. I am holding their hands and giving them hugs and baking cookies upon request. While sitting on the couch during the Olympics, I am trying to memorize their smells and sounds of giggling and their looks of wonder at amazing athletic feats. I am doting too much on my baby boy because we both like it. I am sinking into his elementary boyness before he floats away from me for good.
My tween is inching towards becoming a self-confident teen whom I do not recognize. It's not because I don't know her. It's because I don't see my own teen self in her. She appears unflappable. I know she is nervous about her upcoming middle school musical performance, but she is digging in her heels and working hard. At her age, I would have never put myself out there the way she has. I was much later to bloom. It is weird to parent someone I don't exactly relate to. I don't always know what to offer her besides a hug. What she needs from me seems to be on her terms only so I try to roll with it and heed her calls for attention.
Big Man is efficient and goal-oriented in this present down time. He makes lists, but they are playful. He mixes in meaningful work with fun and thoughtful focus with daydreaming. Amazingly, we have found ways that make no demands on either of us except to support who we are. His physical presence in space I had planned to have for writing a book has jarred me a bit, but he gets it. We stumble sometimes with each other. It's not always rosy, but I do have to say it is the best kind of real. The Valentine's Day sort of love that will get sold tomorrow has nothing on what we are living in real time. My real love is messy and complicated and yet exactly what I need when I need it.
Well, much of that seems unclear, but I do know I want to pursue a more rigorous study and practice of writing. I have been interviewing friends I met in California last fall about their own studies of writing. I am hoping once we find a place to land, I can enroll and get accepted into an MFA program. The current undergrad writing class I am in has shown me that I want more and am ready for it. For now I am researching, writing, and practicing the application process. It's a lot and not enough at once.
That pretty much sums up this whole experience. It's a lot and not enough at once. We may move, but we may not. The past is over, there is much to enjoy right now, and it is totally great to start making some plans. Ours, his, and mine.
And we are.
And so he is.
And so I am.