I am choosing to come clean. I was going to write a private email to a dear friend, but the correspondence so far has shown me that my only choice is to be completely outed because that's why I started this blog in the first place. I have, in a way, been hiding from it because to write here is to tell my story. I worried what people would think instead of trusting that I'll find a way to say it.
I have been feeling different. Different from everyone else, and therefore, afraid to say what no one would "get." But how can anyone get it if I don't share it? And I also know, deep in my soul, that others can relate, in their own way.
Seeing Next to Normal again this weekend helped me to see that, too. Because I shouldn't be able to relate to a mother whose baby died. I shouldn't be able to relate to a husband who is willing to stand by this woman, even as she falls deeper into the depths of depression, despair, bipolar disorder, and even herself asks him, "why stay?" I shouldn't be able to relate to a 16-year-old girl who was deprived of her parents who were lost to grief, to simply surviving the day. But I related to all of them because no matter what our circumstances, we all experience the range of emotions that is simply being human. So while you may not be divorced, while you may not have children, while you may not struggle from paycheck to paycheck, I know that you can somehow relate to some of this. Maybe not in this moment, but sometime, through some experience, you have experienced this sense of feeling alone, of feeling different, of feeling like no one gets it.
Part of me, too, is ashamed of feeling this way. I have so much, I know. I am so lucky in so many respects. I have wonderful friends, wonderful family, a job I actually love that is as dependable as a job can be, and while I have money issues, I know that so many have it so much worse. I actually do know that I can pay my rent every month. I do know that some choices I make for what I call "quality of life" aren't needs, but wants. And I do know that some problems I have are self-inflicted.
So this isn't a "pity me" post, but rather a "this is me" post. I do love my life, but I want more.
I know that there's still a lot of work for me to do to achieve some of my goals and missions, but at the same time, I'm fighting the resentment that I feel for somehow never doing enough. Like a petulant toddler, sometimes, I just don't wanna. I feel like I certainly do my share of basic responsibilities every single day, and sometimes I just want to feel like that's enough. And that's not to say that I don't take downtime because I certainly do, but I want to take it without also fighting the guilt.
The guilt. The guilt is the overriding emotion that affects everything. I spend ten minutes rationalizing to myself that it's okay, I can spend $1.29 on a new song, or taking the time to read a book that's not for a Book Club or assignment is okay because I can't really focus on "serious" reading anyway. Or even when I am doing something productive like washing dishes that it's okay to tell Riley that I'll listen to her story in a few minutes when I'm done.
It feels like every moment that I'm doing something, I'm also spending trying to fight the guilt that I should be doing something else. I even feel guilty that I don't spend enough quality time with my cat! Or convincing myself that it's okay to be doing whatever I'm doing.
And then there are the really embarrassing things to feel guilty about; for really wanting a netbook so that I can sit on my couch to read blogs, for buying myself lunch at work instead of going home, for buying myself an avocado.
And I feel guilty for feeling guilty because I am not a bad person and while I could be a better mother, I know that my kids are nourished both physically and emotionally.
I started this post thinking that I had something entirely different to say. I feel guilty if this post lead astray.