I keep trying to write. I type a sentence, delete it, and type a new one. Ideas are growing-I feel them pushing up against me but I force them back down convincing myself that now isn’t the time to give birth to them. Writing in the midst of parenting, working, sleep deprivation, and life in general is tough. I feel the tension each time I try to get something down and I think of the 400 million other things I could be doing. I Pinterest word study centers, investigate advanced degrees, peruse Instagram-anything to avoid having to sit in the tension of trying to get my thoughts down.
It’s a common theme for me these days. I constantly feel it. I feel the reluctance to sit in the tension. Instead, I want to push through and get rid of all of the complicated sentiments and onto something prettier and shinier.
Last week I ran a half marathon. It was amazing. I never thought I’d be able to get through the race so soon after having Clara, but I did. And now I wonder if I should have. Running is like that. Running is beautiful and cathartic and such an amazing experience, but mostly because it operates as an escape in my life. When I’m pounding the pavement I don’t have to think. I don’t have to think about postpartum life and parenting four kids. Or wondering how I can get through this week. I can put my earbuds in and go. My only focus is the miles in front of me. And it’s glorious.
But is it?
Is it glorious to tune out to all that is my life? To pound out the uncomfortable feelings and pretend that I’m the same person I was six months ago? How can I capture how profoundly changed I feel? Does anyone, including myself, even want to know how profoundly changed I feel?
I feel the pressure to get “back to myself”; to remain unaltered in the face of something that rocked the shit out of my life. My perfectly crafted little life was shattered and trying to put it back together so it looks the same is proving to be a frustrating experience.
Lately yoga has been pulling me close. It’s not a new thing-I’ve loved the idea of yoga for a long time, but when I’m in a class I find it such a startling reminder of how much I am not the same. My abs no longer work and my arms have the strength of wet noodles. There’s no pounding through a yoga class. I have to sit in the tension. I have to embrace where I am. There’s nothing about yoga that allows me to escape my reality. Instead, I’m forced to confront and process it.
I want to pretend I’ve gotten “back to myself” but the truth is that person is no more. Where she once lived is now a mother of four challenged by her new reality and no amount of miles or medals is going to change that.
It’s time to take the tension to heart, and rather than mourning for what was accept what is and with it, create something new.