i have been trying to write this entry for a week. A WEEK DUDE. every time, i sit down, and just stare at a white screen. i don’t know.
i can’t get my thoughts together. i’m all over the place. i’m trying to work on eleventy billion different projects. both personal and work related. my mind wanders. i get sidetracked. i have at least 17 chrome tabs open, 3 intellij projects, 2 android studio projects, a million text editors open with different snippets and files, 6 terminal windows, facebook keeps spitting out notifications. the little “(1)” thing in the header bugs the shit out of me until i get rid of it. same with my gmail inbox. all the while trying to put my thoughts into words. i am my biggest distraction.
the other night when i got home from work, i started cooking dinner. brett was in and out of the kitchen helping to entertain caylin while i tried to get dinner ready. i wasn’t saying much, and the little i did say came off as snippy.
usually when i get home, i try and wind down when i make dinner if it’s possible. zone out a little after being around a million (albeit unbelievably awesome) people. cooking is methodical, mindless. sometimes it helps.
brett usually works out with the guys in the garage, so it’s usually just me and caylin. depending on her mood and how complicated (read: long) the recipe is, it’s either super calm or the complete opposite. this particular night was the latter, and dinner was taking longer than caylin wanted to wait, so my patience was wearing thin.
brett picked up on my frustration, and rightfully assumed i was taking it out on him. i was not. at least not intentionally. i just needed some quiet time–something neither of us get a ton of unless we stay up until the wee hours.
which is fine. as the saying goes, there truly aren’t enough hours in the day.
later that evening, i broke down a little. a combination of hormones, lack of sleep, built up frustration. i have nothing to complain about in my life–but every once in a while, all the little things build up. this was one of those days.
what started out as a simple, “it’s been a long day”, turned into much more than that.
brett was taking a shower and i got dressed to do my workout. i laid down on the bed waiting for him to go downstairs, and he walked over and laid down next to me. there was a long silence between us, and then we started explaining our sides of things. he wasn’t mad. i wasn’t mad. just frustrated. with myself for a lot of reasons.
let me preface the rest of this by saying, kids turn your world upside down and inside out.
i am not the same person i was 15 months ago. nor do i want to be. i mean, part of me wants to be, because GOD I MISS COLLEGE (no, i was not in college 15 months ago, but my mind was still there). but the better part of me knows that i’m better because of caylin. my perspectives have changed. my life has changed. i have changed. and she is amazing.
i appreciate EVERYTHING so much more. i appreciate brett so much more. i appreciate my parents so much more. i appreciate my friends/coworkers so much more. i appreciate being at work and having ME time and freedom so much more.
i am down for whatever basically all the time now.
drinks at lunch with coworkers? yes please.
happy hour? yes please.
candy store? yes please.
coffee at midnight? why not?
volunteering? yes please.
overnight hackathons at work with no sleep? yes please.
drive the 4.5 hours to north carolina just to hang out with my long lost friends for a couple hours and not see the concert that got cancelled and drive back at the ass crack of dawn? YES PLEASE.
everything is fun. sleep doesn’t matter (i’m milking it while my body can still keep up). ENJOY ALL THE THINGS.
all of the time i previously spent doing nothing is being made up for. now. and if it weren’t for caylin, i wouldn’t appreciate any of it nearly to the extent that i do.
all this to say, again, kids turn your world upside down and inside out.
when i get home from work, i immediately snap into mommy mode. and when this happens, i am not the EVERYTHING-IS-FUN me. i am not the ENJOY-ALL-THE-THINGS me. it varies day to day, and it’s not always synonymous with bitch mode. just… rigid. i cater to caylin, and that’s it. my brain is almost entirely single-threaded.
the one time in my life where my habitual multi-tasking would be somewhat beneficial, and it is instead nonexistent.
when i get home, it’s almost 6pm, if not later. it’s dinner time. cook dinner. clean up the downstairs/kitchen. feed caylin. clean her up. make her bottles. clean up dinner. give her her bath. get her jammies. give her her bottle. play with her until bedtime. clean up the upstairs.
2 hours a night, to do all that, and to spend time with the most amazing little bundle of joy. it simply isn’t enough. she deserves more than that.
my brain is in overdrive for those 2 hours. i’m trying to be with her, commit every second of her to memory, and at the same time suppress all of my UNBELIEVABLY annoying OCD quirks. toys everywhere. clothes everywhere. food and formula on pajamas. pacifiers all over the place. our bathroom like a tornado went through it. random everything in random everywhere. bedsheets are wrinkled (god forbid). i can hear the voice in the back of my head absolutely freaking out over EVERY little thing, and then i tell myself to PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TRY to ignore it all and be with HER and enjoy the hell out of it.
let me just say, i HATE that i can’t immediately kill -9 all of those thoughts. or at least not let them interfere so much.
after days and weeks of that piling up, i am not fun to be around. not in the evenings, when she’s full bore. when i am frantically trying to cook dinner AND keep everything spotless in the process. it is just… exhausting… trying to keep up with my own compulsions.
i turn into a bitch. i AM a bitch. i HATE my personality day in and day out. mostly when i’m like the above. it enrages me to KNOW when i’m not being myself, and not be able to flip that switch.
and it makes me incredibly sad when i think about the evenings when i’m like this, and i’m not me. i’m not the me that brett fell in love with. i’m mom. i’m not the fun, down-for-whatever me that i am during the daytime when i am worry-free at work. i am mom. and i wish, so badly wish, that i could be both at the same time. i want to be ME for my family. that sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? it seems like that should be the one place it would be the easiest.
that hit me like a brick the other night, when we were talking. and all he said was, “i miss you”, and i absolutely lost it.
that is when the tears started flowing.
a couple nights later, his company had their annual christmas party. my mom babysat for us. the night was pre-paid–dress up, fancy dinner, open bar, desserts, football, bars, friends, a beautiful villa for the night. and i KNOW he saw it. i was ME. we were US. worry-free for the night, laughing our asses off, socializing, and having a great time.
we rarely get nights like that–that is parenthood. he knows that. i know that. the night was over in the blink of an eye. and it was weird to find myself longing to relive the night, and at the same time i couldn’t wait to get home to caylin. completely conflicted–i felt nothing but guilt.
it takes time to find that balance. it takes time to find yourself again. it takes time to wrap your mind around a newly compartmentalized life. it is… so surreal. every day. still.
there is an adjustment period. how long it lasts, i do not know. and just when you get used to something, it changes again.
hello, quarter-life crisis.