I am still alive. I still have meandering trains of thought which overwhelm me and which I need to sometimes get down on (the proverbial) paper. The difference now is that I am a working mother living in an unfinished house and struggling to raise an 8 month old boy without secondary carers and without the (immediate and physical) support of my extended family. Time is short, and blogging has slipped to the bottom of an already badly suffering priority list. But as I crawl out from my babymoon and begin to allow time for things in my life which existed before my son, I have missed my writing. There is only one problem - I don't know what the hell to write about. This can only be attributed to one fact. I am happy. For the first time in my life - and this is not an exaggeration - my psyche has been pretty quiet.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think that I am content. I think that I am finally satisfied.
Maybe it is a phase, perhaps I can attribute it to the oxytocin released into my system from the breastfeeding. Maybe I have entered a stage of temporary madness. Whatever it is, it is foreign. But God it is comfortable. I could get used to this. Whatever is an obsessive misery addict like myself to do with such emotion? It is not that I don't feel stressed anymore, because stress is a pretty permanent fixture in my present life. It's not that I never feel sad or angry. It's just that for the first time in my life I am not looking for the next thing. Not telling myself that things will be great if I could just do X or if I just had X. I feel like I have everything I need, like anything else is just gravy. I don't need tomorrow to come quickly because I am perfectly happy to see what happens today. Some of the more Zen readers in my small audience may know this feeling well, but it is a new one for me. It is a feeling that I genuinely never believed I would know.
Once, about four years ago, I came home from a disastrous day at work and ran myself a bath. I climbed in, lit some candles, and drank a bottle of Chablis in just under an hour. Drunk as I was, I can remember that night so clearly. I sat there in the dark, weeping, and telling myself that some people just were not meant to be happy. Some of us were supposed to always feel like something is lacking, regardless of whatever joys entered our lives. I accepted then and there that I was one of those people. That I would never know what it was like to just feel all right. For days afterwords I listened to sad songs and buoyed myself with the comfort of self-awareness. Since then I have had plenty of happiness in my life, but until now I remained fairly convinced of the "epiphany" I had that night.
But to quote the Monkees, "now I'm a believer." Some people find God, I found motherhood. Please don't misunderstand me here. I have not suddenly decided life is worth living because I have a child. I have not placed my entire self-worth on the tiny shoulders of my poor, unsuspecting son. Milo's birth is not the reason, it was simply the catalyst. A moment of clarity in a previously foggy life. How incredible, and embarrassing, to think that all this time all I needed was for someone to drag me out of my own head and force me to focus on something else entirely. By stepping outside of myself in order to better care for this tiny creature who needed me so badly, I was forced to take a good long look at my life. And it is good. It has always been good, even when it was bad. I am lucky, I am blessed, and for once I am finally grateful.
Kind friends, do not despair. I have not become a child-obsessed, happy-clapping optimist who quotes "Chicken Soup for the Soul" (God I hate that shit). But I am happy. Welcome to the Unbridled Rantings of a Jaded, but Contented, Idealist. I hope satisfaction makes me more, rather than less, interesting.