I rarely cry anymore.
While I was pregnant with Ben, I thought it was hormones. A gentle cocktail that left me feeling grounded, even, content. It was how I imagine being on an anti-depressant might feel, protected from the high highs and low lows of the world. After years of trying to conceive, it was a welcome respite. My theory was that I had cried my quota of tears, way too many, and I was done crying for a long while. I was all dried up.
But even now, 19 months later, I rarely cry. There is a way that I no longer have the indulgence of looking at my inner life like I used to. Sometimes this is a blessing… focusing on this other life called Ben, on the immediacy of the moment and his needs (and not my own) protects me from my own mental drama. At best it keeps me from obsessing about things I can’t control and leaves me more present.
The down side is that I feel disconnected and confused a lot of the time. A simple question like, “How are you?” can disarm me. I find myself wondering where to look for the answer, How am I?… and I’m never sure. I’ve trained myself to just say, “Great!” because if you don’t know, then why not? (and some people are just being polite and don’t really want to know how you are anyway…) but somehow these simple questions stop me and point to some sadness in me, some ungreat part of me that I haven’t untangled yet.
I share this partly by way of an apology, or rather an acknowledgment. I haven’t been sharing as much here or as deeply. I’ve felt a bit more quiet and hidden, more like the superhero pendants I recently designed and not the bright bold superhero necklaces of before. Becoming a parent has left me feeling less visible in the world, tucked away a lot, not going out that much or wearing hottie clothes, feeling more simple and less shiny.
And I’m okay with this. It’s the being less visible to myself that concerns me. Have you ever gone through a period like this? When you didn’t have access to your deeper layers?
And then there’s the crying. It seems to happen only when I see a sad movie, and then I am sobbing in big gulps and my throat swells from trying to hold it back…. Did any of you see Sex and the City? I cried my freakin eyes out. I cried during the movie, when I got home and even a week later when I talked about it with a friend. It opened the floodgates. I was like one of those dudes that never cries when they lose their parent and then 5 years later they find an old watch or something and they cry for three days straight.
I’m not sure where I’m going with this. After trying to come up with some snappy post for several days I am going to have to satisfy myself with something from the heart. A snapshot of where I am today, a bit tangled up and a bit less shiny than normal.