Posted by: angelnorman | August 6, 2008

Oh my. Don’t bother reading this.

I am physically worn out this week, and I’m not really sure why. At first, I thought it was my body just trying to revolt because of the spur of the moment roadtrip. My legs were achey as if I’d walked miles, and my ankles were hurting. Then I got the dreaded stomach issues (I swear it’s my metformin combined with my really bad eating habits, but because it technically could be more than that, I really need to go talk to my doctors about this). So I am sorry about any apathy or aloofness or whatever that I’ve shown either through the internet or in person/over the phone.

It’s not you. It’s totally me.

I just found out last week that my 10-year high school reunion is being planned. Previously, I would have never thought I’d be one of those people who dreads it. I mean, I totally did not enjoy high school. I barely even remember it. (My senior year, I had special permission from my principals to leave school early because they changed our credits-needed-to-graduate requirements so frequently while I was in high school that I ended up with more than I needed. So I got out of school every morning at 10 the first semester, and 8:40 (yes, I was there for 1 hour and 40 minutes) the second to go to work. I had to earn money for college since I didn’t have mommy and daddy’s help with that.) So, I didn’t really love school or that time in my life, but I don’t look back on it with disgust either.

Now that my ten-year reunion is here though, I feel like I haven’t done enough since high school. And I dread the reunion and the questions of what I do, where I live, etc. I’m not at all ashamed of my life. I have the best little family ever, though I’m sure I’m quite biased on that matter. But I am a little ashamed of myself. And I think feeling this way is rather lame of me. I mean, sure, I’ve got a family. I have a house. Those things are great, too, like I said. But there are other people with those things who also have fascinating careers and a college education under their belts. They’ve been busy for the past ten years. Me? Not so much. Unless you catch me around Christmas time, I’m really not that busy.

And those are the choices I made- to not work, to not continue with college after my “break to find myself”- yes, but I don’t remember actually making them. It seems like they just happened. My life just happened and I just went with it. I feel like I’ve been missing out on something, and it’s almost like I am hiding out from what my life could be. I mean, how many times in the past 10 years have I said I wanted to go back to college? Remember the last time? The last time, I registered and everything, I filled out the fin aid forms and all. But then *Mike* decided he wanted to go back, and he was only 5 classes away from graduation (cha right.) The only logical thing was to send him first and let me wait till he was done. After all, someone has to take care of Nick. And the house. And the bills getting paid. And everything else that goes unseen. Unnoticed.

Mike says I’m bitter. And I know that resentment is not a lovely ladylike quality to have, but I am free to feel what I want. I, at least, have that freedom.

Something bizarre is happening to me now because of all this, though. I sat down yesterday morning and just wrote out some ideas I had for a novel. I took Stephen King’s advice to write without editing myself and I got seven pages in before I had to tend to Nicholas. It was amazing how it all just flowed out, but of course I have to wonder why it’s coming to me now. You have to admit this timing seems rather suspicious. Is it because I plan to write a book before the reunion? No, because no one can write a good novel in two months. I’m not taking it to the extreme or anything. But I think it’s because, deep down, I have a desire to do something that I thought I would do, even if I fail miserably. Just to say I had done something. Anything.

This also comes two weeks after I found one of those furry (as in covered with fur-pink fur at that) little diaries from my teenage years where I expressed all my hopes and dreams in the entries I made. Something I said, though, about who I was then, really got to me. Apparently it was written before my trip to Mississippi (woo.) and Mike was upset with me because, “he said I could never stay in the same place for too long before I’m itching to move on”. In this same entry, I launched into this mega tirade about how I am who I am and Mike needs not worry himself with trying to keep me still. I, after all, wanted to see the world. I wanted to write from cafes in Paris! I had dreams, you know. And so I state all this and I say, “And I’m going to see them through, and he can either come with me or he can leave me. I don’t care.”

At this point, we were not married, so if he left me now, I would most certainly care. I love him. And as much as it seems like I’m trying to blame him for something, I’m not. He is the love of my life and he has never ever, not even once, failed to support me. Well, except when my brother died and he wouldn’t go to the funeral with me. (What kind of ass does that?! Seriously!)

But what stuck with me is how determined I was before marriage to take care of myself first and foremost. Just me. How selfish I was– and here’s the best part– How much I wish I could reclaim any bit of that selfishness just for one day! MAN! I’d like to do something that was all about me and what I want from life for just one little minute as opposed to helping others do whatever they want. I’m almost positive this would send the world into utter ruin, if I turned any of my focus to shine more on me than on anyone else here. But if I could, just for awhile, focus on myself without factoring in everyone else’s dreams and goals and needs and wants, then maybe I could find myself again. Maybe I could be that girl I once was, that writer, that woman who defines herself not by the successes she has with potty-training, what sort of nutitious foods she doesn’t feed her kid, or the crafts she makes during naptime, but as someone who defines herself as someone who’s made her goals into realities. At least, as someone who tried to see her goals through.

So writing more is definitely not a bad thing for me, because it’s me trying. It’s me doing something. It gets me to focus on my thoughts for a while, and it gets those thoughts out of my head for a minute. It’s good for me to write every now and again about something other than Nicholas too, since I let my role as mother define me so often.

Also: at least now I know I won’t be bored when Nick goes to school. I’ll have a hobby to fill my time, right? 

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Responses

  1. good for you! I have similar feelings about who I am and what i have not become! about how my 10 year reunion will be here next year and how all the people that went on to college will have their degree and how I don’t, then I think about doing something about it and then I remember oh yea, i don’t have time!!! So who knows, but I feel ya! I’d love to read your novel, I bet it will be great! I use to love to write all the time and still do, but have less and less time to do it. Good luck with that and you have something to be proud of, look what a wonderful person you are, not just as a mother and wife, but who you still are on the inside out!

  2. I can’t wait to read your book…I bet it will be awesome.. You’re a great writer…love you dearly.

  3. I really really really think you would benefit from THE ARTIST’S WAY. It’s amazing. And maybe you could even take a class based on the book. Cindy Phiffer offers the class… or at least she used to.

  4. charlene: i’m glad you understand! i was expecting that if i got comments at all it would be of the “stop being so selfish” variety. it’s good to hear that someone else might feel similarly, even if the feelings don’t feel so great to feel, you know? it sucks to think of ourselves as what we’ve not become as opposed to focusing on what we have become. i guess we all have to feel that way from time to time though, and that it’s natural. still is hard to work through though.

    jen: thank you. i love you back.

    mandy: actually i have the artist’s way and i did the free-flow writing exercise for a few days but when i went back and read the things, even though it says not to, i was sort of unhappy about my innermost thoughts. i mean a lot of stuff came out, mainly about relationship woes, so instead i set out to change how i felt about those things. i should get back into it though and give it a better effort this time.

  5. my biggest advice for you during nicks school time is to get away and do something for you! Don’t get caught up too much in errands or housework – do you r best to at least make an hour thats all you, if not a whole afternoon. hell, I’ll even go with you! I have a feeling you & I will be growing a lot this school year and I can’t wait to see the outcome.

  6. I feel alot like you do Angel. My 10 year reunion was last month and we didn’t go. I think one reason it hits me so hard about turning 30 is all the things I thought I would have done by 30(which I don’t think i’ve done hardly anything I wanted to do). But, on another note, I ran into a old high school friend about 3 weeks before the reunion and she asked where I was working and I told her I wasn’t and I was at home with my kids. She was so jealous because she had to work and wanted to be at home. Isn’t it funny, we usually want what what other people have. If we were working then we would be saying what she says.

  7. I 2nd what Emily said….that is the best way to discover so much more about yourself too…because so much can change in our interests and self even in a year. But, you will always have the same laugh that brings everyone joy…it’s the same one that Nick has! You deserve it! And you aren’t being selfish at all!!! You’re taking care of yourself! And that’s the best to do, even for those who love you!

    Wow…I am discovering more and more how much of a “SAP” I totally am! See! A new discovery!! LOL

  8. Ems: Thank you for your advice, and your offer to do stuff with me! I hope we do grow closer this school year. I’m also looking forward to that very much.

    Brooke: I agree with your “grass is always greener” theory in that case. It’s true that the opposites of what we have will always seem appealing. In my particular situation, I think I am less focused on what I will accomplish by a certain age, because I have this master list of things that I want done by thirty and I’ve actually done a fantastic job of crossing things off this list. Mine is more of a “I had these goals and I gave them up and wasted 7 years of my life before my child came along” sort of issue. I really wish that I could say I had given some of my goals then a try, you know? Just to say that I put forth some effort. So, bottom line, I’m just disappointed in myself for being lazy, for taking the easy road (though it was never easy), for not just sticking things out and seeing things through. For going with the flow and accepting things as they were without trying much to change them into what I wanted them to be. For not letting myself be, as my favorite movie says, a leading lady in my own life.

    From now on, I want to live on purpose.

    Jen: You’re very sweet. I never knew my laugh brought people joy… sometimes it’s a partial cackle and I am always worried that it’s getting on people’s nerves. But I do love Nick’s laugh, so I do agree with that part wholeheartedly 🙂 Thank you for the back up. Your support means a lot.

    And there is nothing wrong, not at all and not even a little bit, with being a sap.

  9. You are never too old for school. =o)
    Our 10 year reunion is this Saturday in Ohio. I thought about going when I found out about it, but after traveling in the car with 3 kids for 8+ hours I changed my mind. TOO crazy. The people I would want to see, I already have good contact with and saw back in December, so I don’t feel too bad for not going. I just let my friends know to take tons of pictures. I am sure if I went and told them that I do have a degree but I am a SAHM they would laugh. I would like to go back to college, because I miss it. lol Funny to say that now because I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
    Like the rest of the ladies said, make sure you take some “Me” time while Nick is at MDO.

  10. Ahem. Shea and I are both going back to school RIGHT NOW. Ahem. I am getting a second degree. I can’t wait to graduate, and I am just starting. Ahem. You could join us.


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