I’ve been coming back to this space quite a bit in the few weeks. Not to write, but to read.
A month ago, an old post popped up on my Timehop. OLD. 5 years old to be exact. From the first days that this blog existed. Before I had thousands of readers.
Before I lost most of those thousands.
I read the post and was horrified. Horrified by my abysmal writing style. My inability to craft a clear narrative.
Even more horrified by the dramatic, whiny, insufferable version of myself that wrote that post.
When I talked about the post with my therapist I talked about “her”. About how “she” was a drama queen who didn’t know how good she had it. About how annoying and insipid “she” was.
My therapist called me on my bullshit. Yes, I need to be more compassionate toward myself. Toward my old self.
I hadn’t been here in quite a while when that post popped up and brought me back.
So I’ve been reading. Over and over. Re-processing events I described here in detail but that I don’t even remember happening. Grieving for my son again.
The most enlightening revelation has been how clearly and absolutely I understood my own neuroses at any given moment. I read these clear descriptions of them – my anxiety, my tendency to disconnect, my depression. I understand that those descriptions were written in a fog, but the clarity of them is not lost on me.
I was more aware of myself than I thought.
Yesterday, in a fit of boredom I took one of those personality tests. How strongly I agree or disagree with statements like “I like to be the center of attention.” and “I keep my living space tidy and organized.”
Several times over I selected an answer, then stopped myself and selected the complete opposite. What I was, and what I am.
I’ve been in a weight loss group for the last couple of months, in an effort to rehab some unhealthy habits. I usually show up wearing a tunic and leggings – my old “constant pregnancy” wardrobe. An outfit I throw on to be comfortable after work.
On Wednesday night I ran into the group wearing a dress and heels, full makeup, and a rushed demeanor. I’d come in to get weighed and leave. Client meetings back to back and a trip to the UK next week. I couldn’t stay. I’d shown up wearing my strong, put-together persona. Not the usual vulnerable mess that steps on the scale.
The next day the woman who heads up the group (who I love), called me. It was to catch up since I missed the group but I also knew she was curious. She didn’t recognize the frantic, put-together woman that she had seen the night before. She told me I looked “like a beautiful doll”.
She seemed surprised and amazed that the person who sometimes leaves her group a wet, sobbing mess was also a high-functioning professional.
She knew the messy part. The mother that openly wept the week before when she spoke about pleasing everyone but yourself.
The other part was foreign to her. Energetic, smiling. A”beautiful doll.”
This last week has been busy. My manager was in from New York and I was in meetings all day, every day. I ran home in the evening, all makeup and heels, to hug my daughter and put her to bed.
And every evening she looked at me and said that my dress was pretty. That she liked the flower pattern on my tights. She touched my made up eyes and asked “what is this?”
On Thursday night when I got home I hugged her tightly and told her I had missed her. When I looked her in the eyes she smiled and said “mommy!” in a way that I knew – I just knew she was seeing me. Truly SEEING me.
The energetic, smiling, “beautiful doll” was present and accounted for.
I don’t know where this long, meandering post is going. Maybe it’s a tribute to that other long, meandering post that stirred up my ire a few weeks ago. That made me confront “her”.
Worlds collided this week. My daughter saw my heels and makeup. The weeping mess met the “business woman here on business“.
Perhaps this post is about melding the two. Re-embracing “her”. Accepting her for the train wreck that she was. That she is. That I am.
Because she’s still here. She IS the beautiful doll. She is the weeping mess.
It’s just that those two don’t seem to be on speaking terms very often.
I wonder if they’ll continue to be mutually exclusive.
Maybe worlds are coming together. Maybe not.
Maybe 5 years from now I’ll read this and barely recognize myself.
Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.