Archive for the 'Love' Category

All by myself

I’ve spent most of my life believing that I am a highly extroverted person. I’m great socially and until my late twenties, spent most of my time out, with people.  When a significant relationship ended for me at 25, my lifestyle changed dramatically and I put it down to the fact that I was mending a broken heart (albeit at my breaking) and was rebuilding my life. But, in rebuilding my life, I realised I wanted some things to change. While I’ve always had an active social life, I haven’t ever had a lot of good friends. To be honest, I’ve never really needed many people in my life. Sounds strange doesn’t it – I was very social and yet not sociable.

As I got my life back together post-breakup, I moved out for the first time on my own. It was this step that opened up a whole new way of being for me. I LOVED IT. I had a sanctuary from the world. Somewhere I could breathe. Somewhere I could be. On. My. Own. It was as if, I fell into some sort of coma, my identity repairing itself from years spent constantly around other people. Often people I didn’t know well and people I didn’t connect with. Years spent being ‘on’. All the time. In my own place, I could just be.

I found I enjoyed being with myself. I felt reenergised. I felt wholly happy for the first time in years. I felt more complete. And, I met someone amazing, someone like me. Someone very adept socially. Someone who others sought out in social situations, but someone, like me, whose preference it was to be quiet. Alone or with someone close. Very quickly we began a family. We knew so soon that we had found an answer in each other.

It was when I allowed myself to identify as an introvert, to live my life this way, to acknowledge that I sought energy from time on my own, preferred aloneness, that I found true peace within myself. I made decisions in my life based on my need to be quiet, to avoid large social situations or situations that required I meet a lot of new people. This drains me considerably and has so often made me feel inauthentic. I accepted that I had a few close friends and that this was enough. I began searching for a career that would allow me this quiet, which would not demand significant social interaction. I planned a family to provide community and connection in my life. All of this made sense.

And what has happened has been transformative. I have ironically, met more people and made more friends with whom I share real and authentic connection. I find social situations much easier. I no longer dread my social engagements in the same way. This is because I have found a way to be present, to be me.  I don’t have to pretend anymore. I don’t need to always make conversation. I don’t need to always be funny, be interesting, be pretty, be known. I enjoy being social now because I feel more real.  And I don’t feel obliged to do it again tomorrow or next week or even next month. I enjoy it for what it is and then retreat into the space that I feel most alive. I write this having come across this website the other day.

It felt like I’d come home.

 

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fatigue

I am continually

blown away

by the effects of fatigue.

It is like a drug which

absolves

actions, behaviours, and

thoughts.

I enter each day

with the best intentions

but

if my night has been

chaotic

full of waking moments

full of feeding

full of that whinging cry

full of wet beds

full of nightmares

full of heat

or

full of cold snaps

I wake the next morning

awfully

regretful

that I have

to start the day.

My tone of voice is

sharp and shrill.

I snap or

I am silent and each time

I forgive myself

because

I’m tired.

But it’s not fair and

it’s not enough.

And little people can’t achieve

that level of empathy

yet.

How are they

to understand?

That mummy

is

damn

tired and

therefore

not

expected

to be

nice.

I have spent

5 years now

tired.

It’s nothing new

so I shouldn’t act

each time

with such

entitlement.

This is

life

right now.

I’m back

I’m not sure the protocol in these situations.
Am I meant to start a new blog.
My purpose is gratitude.
Which fits too neatly with half full glasses.
I’m sticking around until
I think of somewhere better,
if I think of somewhere better,
to house my thoughts.

These days we are quiet.
There are now five where there were four.
We’ve added another little boy.
Four and a half months and every day more.

The reason these days are quiet,
is because 2 little boys leave
the house early in the morning
3 days a week.
These days are my solace, my substenance
my necessity.

So gratitude seems to me
one very real way
of making sure I live
squarely in every moment.
Looking for the things about which
I should give thanks.
Maybe looking will help me
be.

So where does the love go?

C and I were not together long before we fell pregnant. We’d talked about it, how much we both wanted kids together but we hadn’t really committed to it, or at least I hadn’t in my head. We were lax about contraception and voila, A was born 9 months later.

The speed with which things have happened have, until now, worked in our favour as a couple. We were still going through the honeymoon phase of our relationship when our first was born and fell even more in love as new parents. I really do believe that the newness of C and I helped us cope with first newborn hell and made us even more starry-eyed.

And for so long since then, even after S was born, I’ve thought how lucky I am to still feel so utterly (and newly) in love with my husband. Until about a month ago, when I had the inevitable reality of the relationship shakes. I believe that these ‘shakes’ truely are inevitable and probably a necessary part of any relationship. My guess is that they play an important role in making a relationship stronger.

Having said this, it threw me. It was unexpected. It scared the hell out of me. We’ve recently moved states and I’ve left friends and family to be here in Melbourne. I was always looking forward to the challenge and I’ve always been impressed by Melbourne as a city, but as leaving day drew nearer, I realised I wasn’t so fine with it all. I freaked out. And C kept getting more and more excited as I got more and more resentful.

We started fighting. As you know my health has also been crap and that was getting me down. The boys are sleeping that well so add to all this a good dose of sleep deprivation. We bickered, I was irritated and irritating. He was nasty. I was very angry. So was he. This pattern has played itself out on and off for about 4 weeks now and it’s getting tired.

I realised the other night when we were out to dinner that it was the first time where we were on our own that I didn’t feel excited and heady with love for him. It seemed mundane. No fighting, but no intensity of conversation and emotion that usually comes when we actually get some time on our own. None of this speaks of any underlying troublein our relationship – at least I don’t believe so. But I guess what I’m coming to realise (and perhaps dread) is that this is just a natural part of any relationship and I need to get used to it. Or at least not get so despondent about it.

C says I have not been nice to him for a long time. He says I snap and always look for the negative in what he says. I realised for the first time yesterday, that he’s right. It’s been relentless, and while we’ll survive the inevitable boredom, the lessening intensity, we will not survive my constant niggling and undermining.

So, I realise that the love is obviously still here. No question. It’s changing form as it will continue to do for years and years to come (I hope). We’ve now been together long enough that negotiating one’s physical and psychical space is challenging but necessary. It’s hard but we have to do it and we have to do it better than we have been.

I need to improve and yesterday, I realised, I am totally committed to doing so.

We’re here

I’ll write more soon but we’re finally here, altogether now and while it feels so nice to be a family again, I cannot help feeling loss. Tears well in my eyes as I inspect our new home finding the linen cupboard and the breadboards, the nappies and the toothpaste.  

I am thrilled at the making of a new home but I can’t help but wonder why, oh why, did we need to do this 800kms away from the people I love.

I’m not sure I’ve made the right decision but my first day, tired as I am, in this new house, in this new city, in this new state, must just be that – a first day, rather than a last.

Toddler totals…..

I had completely forgotten the highs and lows of having a toddler. While I spend much time delighting in the fact that I am getting to know the little person S is, what makes him laugh, his favourite books, his favourite rabbit and the way he hugs her for his dear little life, I also spend equal time pulling my hair out (or screaming because someone else is pulling my hair out) as his little body catapaults through our lives.

I forgot that toddlers can’t communicate but desperately want to. I figure they go from, “nah-can’t-be-bothered-trying- to-tell-her-what-I-want-cos-she-won’t-get-it” to “why-the-hell-can’t-you-work-out-what-I-want-goddamn-it-are-you-crazy?” in a matter of days.

S screams all the time for things he wants but gives us little indication of what that might be. He throw his head back or his body to the ground, opens his little mouth and lets out an almighty wail and then stares right at me as if to say, ‘here’s your chance to change my life. can you do it?” and of course I can’t because I DON’T KNOW WHAT HE WANTS.  Have I said that already?

He’s bloody cheeky I can tell you that much. A was mellow. The mellowist little toddler dude (although I think I”m paying for it now) so I guess some of this with S is novel. S is N-A-U-G-H-T-Y. And while that rocks my socks fleetingly it’s also beginning to be a bit painful. REALLY. Like the little adventure below. I heard a draw in the kitchen open. I heard a rustle. I heard giggles. I heard little pellets drop like rain across the wooden floor.

010

013

015

He’s been sick which doesn’t help things. So he’s really been trying to tell us how he’s feeling. After an overdue visit to the doctor yesterday (desperate enough to pay Sunday rates – sheesh!) I realise he’s been trying to, croakingly, tell us that he’s got bacterial conjunctivitis, a middle-ear infection, and bad, bad tonsilitis. Oops. Doctor will be visited more promptly next time. It was a good lesson for me not to blame everything on the craziness that toddlerdom is.

All you need is friends

I was listening to an interesting piece recently on a new favourite podcast. It was women talking about female friendship and while that seems like the most banal and standard discussion for women, I realised (as the participants realised) that we don’t often talk about the nature of female friendships. Sure, we talk about our friendships – we usually bitch and moan about all of them at some stage but we don’t often ‘out’ ourselves and the way we conduct our friendships.

I’m useless as a friend. Particularly since having a family. But more than that, I’m pretty introverted. I’ve always had a handful of good friends (close? I’m not sure) and make little effort with others; others that would consider me a friend and that they are one of mine. But what can I say? 

But I guess what I was most fascinated by on the programme was the capacity women have to talk about each other to each other. Not often to each other’s faces but about each other. How this form of communication is really quite normal. Par for the course. We all do it. We can’t help but do it. But I’m just not sure why. I know why I get frustrated and annoyed with friends but I don’t know why I have to talk about them with my other friends. For reassurance? For guidance? I don’t think so. It confuses me.

I’m leaving this city soon but more importantly I’m leaving a group of wonderful women who make me feel better (usually) when I’m with them. Only now, faced with ‘starting again’ on the friends front, am I truely aware of what my friends mean to me, what they bring me in life and how much I share with them. It’s going to be tough and I’m not great socially. I’m already at risk of failing to share all of myself with others but over the last 6 or so years, the friends in my life have inspired me to be more open, to share more, to give more, to care more, and to laugh more. It was quite a long time coming. It took a while for these disparate women to come together regularly and just be with each other. But we do it now (albeit not as much as we’d wish) but we are a team I guess.

What team will I belong to now? I’ll be teamless and I can’t help but feel that my natural reaction will be to look for one-man sports, avoid the groups, the many, the glasses of champagne. I also know that this isn’t healthy for me.

Only time will tell and in the meantime, I’ll be flying when I can back to Sydney, back to the arms and the laughter and the too-many-bottles-of-wine of my nearest and dearest.