I haven't blogged in months of course, this is not news. The reason for my blog's semi-coma has been, of course, that I finally started school a couple of years ago - almost three now, hard to believe.
Just lately I've discovered something distressing, however...
This is not what I expected it to be.
Last night a long string of sad and frustrated moments seem to have come to a head, and I realized that I have almost totally lost my passions in life. Not just for school, but for everything that I used to be passionate about. I used to blog, to craft, to read fiendishly. I used to devote tons of time to others, to talk to my mom almost daily, to spend time with friends and TR as a main portion of my life. I used to feel as worthwhile as everyone else, that I had finally gotten rid of my teen angst bullshit and need to fit in.
I don't blog anymore, because all of my writing juju seems to be taken up with research papers and discussion posts. (Interesting side note, the debate over whether Pluto should still be a planet was more intense than the one over climate change during an election year.)
I barely craft anymore. It seems so insignificant - oh poor Mimi with her lack of time for leisure arts - but for me it means I see beauty I want to create and am held back.
I haven't made it through a novel in a couple of years now, Stephen King books excepted.
I used to spend time with friends, but now it feels like all of my friends live so far
away they may as well be in other states between school and work and Kid
schedules the way they are; taking 3 hours to drive 40 minutes, have
dinner, and drive 40 minutes home is next to cripplingly impossible. My
close-by friends are either once-a-cycle-turn Pagan people who have
their own lives to live (we are strangely only close at those
gatherings) or friends who themselves have gone through changes - new
jobs, new love, new life - and now no longer have any time for anything
outside that. Of course, that's my lot too - it's not a judgement, just
kind of a realization. It helps to remember that it's nothing to do with me, it's just how it is.
I used to talk to my mom every day. She's in a job now where she can't talk to me while she works, which used to be our connection point, but now I can't get her on the phone most times - when I can, she's working on something or is simply busy. I don't blame her, I understand it, but I hate suddenly realizing I haven't talked to her in weeks because I've been so busy those weeks have gone by in a flash.
I used to be able to move heaven and earth to see TR any time I
could; I would go over on weeknights just to have a little time together. Now work has me so exhausted, school and Kid obligations have me so
compacted, that I barely get to see him on weekends for more than twelve
hours at a time. I miss his physical presence so much, though
thankfully we talk much more now than we did when I started school -
daily instead of a few times a week - so there at least I've found a
Somehow among all this, perhaps because I'm feeling the loss of socialization and have not yet interpreted it, I have devolved into someone that places their worth in the hands
of whether or not the cool kids want to be friends. It's not their fault, they are who they are, it's a reaction to
the realization that I'm sooooo dull these days. I do things like
complain about how WAHHHH NOBODY WILL HANG OUT WITH ME while
simultaneously making myself so unattractive to talk to that of course nobody wants to hang out. I wouldn't want to hang out with me right now either.
I wouldn't invite me to parties or gatherings unless I really needed a party pooper. And I hate that I have
become like this.
What happened to the confident woman who could walk
into a room and talk to anyone? Now I'm so afraid of looking foolish
that I just find the nearest corner and observe instead.
Last night TR was telling me about this fantastic person he's befriended, who has a knack for inspiring introspection about one's passions. Apparently he can do it remotely, because here I am, working out the reasons that I seem to have changed so drastically. What I suddenly realized, and sobbingly so, was that I have almost no passion left.
School has sucked it all out of me.
Maybe it's because you really can't go back to school after twenty years and expect to be a bright-eyed learner, but I also think that I had unrealistic expectations of what school would be like. I hoped to have scorchingly awesome discussions about the nature of literature in these classes - instead I'm worn out from reading Paradise Lost, and nobody will even respond to my carefully crafted posts so the discussions are nonexistent. School has also, and this is going to sound weird, made me think too much. I was probably more interesting before I started being a fun-sucker who blows astrology out of the water by quoting astronomical fact.
I wanted school to be the answer; for many it is, but for me it's become only a burden, and not even a means to an end. I was foolish to think I could do anything with a bachelor's degree except pad my resume - that's some expensive padding right there. I'm truly thinking that I might just finish the AA degree and call it good. This might disappoint some, but I don't think it will disappoint me. I used to think it wouldn't be good enough, that an AA degree was only a halfway point, that I wouldn't celebrate it's completion, but you know what? I think I may throw myself a graduation party and be done. Those who it disappoints will have to just bite their tongues, or risk a serious bitching out by yours truly.
I can't wait for it to be over. I want my life back. I'm so afraid, though, that when I'm done... my life as I knew it will be pretty much gone, and I'll be faced with more changes, a new world I don't recognize, and a new life with nobody to need me for anything because they've learned so well how to get along without me as I've been spinning my wheels trying to get some traction. (Metaphor!)
School's ability to drain me dry has resulted in me having no passion for much except where it concerns The Kid and TR - I am still passionately dedicated to both, but my demonstration of such has been severely lacking. They're more and more finding themselves not needing my help or input. I'm so glad they're both doing so well, that they're both finding themselves and their happiness, but I feel so left in the dust to fend for myself, and ashamed because I know it's my own fault that I feel like that. I feel so left out of the picture, an afterthought or an obligation, but again - it's my fault, not theirs. If this is the new normal, I need to redouble my efforts to salvage what's left to me. I don't want to lose either one of them to my lack of time and passion for life.
So here it is... my grand plan
1. I am going to really, really try to start working things into the mix that are for my own pleasure. If I'm going to be a supporting satellite now instead of a gravitationally powerful planet, I'd better have something to do while I orbit and wait for the sun to shine on me when my influence comes around again for a while. (Oh, Astronomy.) While my loved ones are out living their lives without me, I don't want to sit and cry in my soup feeling left out. I have to make my own way. That means that if I get C's in school then so be it; I need to finish one goddamn project thank you very much. Just one. Just like, a whole scarf or something. I need to go take an art class that isn't online or something. Maybe I'll just own my craft nerd status and join a knitting club.
2. In the same vein as finding my things to do since I am less necessary than I was, I am going to learn to accept that The Kid is going to college and is going to no longer need me to take care of her. She'll always need me to be her mom, but I must teach her at least to clean a toilet and make more than just spaghetti and do her own FASFA and such. I won't feel like I'm ready to let her go until I know she won't suffer if I'm not right there. I am going also to learn to accept that TR has found new direction and just be happy for him instead of feeling like if I'm not part of it I am fading from his favor, that if I don't grow in the same direction he does and do the things he does that he'll lose interest in me. I am going to learn to accept that I don't have to keep up to be loved. I hope I'm right about that one; I'm betting the farm on it.
3. I'm going to remind myself that maybe I didn't know about Fun Fact A, or I wasn't invited to Gathering B, but that it's okay and not because I'm not cool enough or worth knowing. Maybe I haven't heard from people lately because they're busy with their own stuff, not because they don't like me. Hell, maybe they miss me too. Maybe it's up to me to send out the olive branch or invite myself along if I really want to be there. Maybe I should stop waiting for the way I think things ought to be to come to fruition, and either accept that it's not going to happen or MAKE it happen.
4. In that spirit, I'm going to try to remind myself how totally frakkin' awesome I am. Daily. Because you know what? I am kind of fantastic, and it may sound arrogant but so what. If nobody else is going to be my cheerleader then it's up to me. I can crochet you a house. I can sew 80 felt crowns to utter perfection in a week. I know how to cook a turkey without looking up directions. I wrap presents with mathematical precision. I raised an amazing kid, and whether or not someone thinks I did it wrong or strangely does not matter. I can type faster than anyone I know. I taught myself almost everything about what I'm good at doing, mostly through my interpretive abilities. No amount of cool factor in someone else should be able take those facts away from me, even if they think it's uncool, and if it means I have to list my accomplishments to myself in order to remind myself of who I am and what I'm worth, then so be it. So back to blogging - I'm going to get back to boring the universe with my thoughts and lists of accomplishments.
Is it too late? Do I still have a chance to grow back my ladyballs? Or do I now find myself having to make the choice between New Life A where I'm a sad sack who pushes others away and ends up alone and New Life B where I drive myself crazy trying to fit a mold?
I used to think I had all the answers, I used to think I was pretty smart and intuitive, but I'm so not myself anymore I honestly don't know how to solve this yet except to try and implement 1-4 up there and stop trying so hard to please everyone but myself out of fear.
I want to stop being a slave to my past hurts and insecurities.
So say we all, I know.