Go Your Own Way
I have always resisted being defined as one thing. I am many different things. My creativity doesn’t fit into a box. When I was young, I felt this intuitively and struggled with the expectation to choose a lane. I internalized a lot of these pressures and assumed that growing up meant growing into what I was supposed to be.
Early Fall Mood Board
This summer I became a summer person. I’ve always thought of myself as a fall person, but 2020 has turned everything upside-down, and I’m no longer who I was before. Hell, I’m not even who I was last week, which was technically a lifetime ago. Now I’m a summer person.
Spring Mood Board
It has been a challenge to write this post. To be fair, it has been a challenge to do almost anything these days. I don’t feel much like writing—I just don’t have the energy. How can I write about my mood when I can barely even manage it? It’s all over the goddamn place, oscillating between hopelessness and hope, despair and calm, heartbreak and joy. I’m trying my best to ride the wave but man, it’s exhausting.
We recently took Chloé to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar puppet show at South Street Seaport Museum with some friends. Billy and I were so excited for her to experience the show, but we weren’t exactly sure how it would play out. Other than the playground and our daily adventures in the neighborhood, Chloé spends most of the day at home with us. She’s a big, bright light, but I couldn’t help but wonder if she’d shine outside the comfort of her little world.
It has taken me until now to realize I’m not the same person I was before I had my daughter. While I understood this truth intellectually, it has taken me a while to “get it”—this feeling of disorientation in pretty much every aspect of my life. I’ve changed. And while a lot of my life looks the same, becoming a mother has shifted my relationship to it all.
One Year of Motherhood: What I’ve Learned
Chloé is turning one in a few weeks and I have to ask: HOW is that possible? One year of motherhood? It’s unbelievable to me. Understand—I’ve wanted to be a mother my entire life. I waited for Chloé for as long as I can remember. I named her when I was twelve. I had so many dreams, ideas, and expectations around motherhood and I can honestly say that my experience is beyond anything and everything I could’ve imagined.
And it has been HARD. This kind of love is hard. It’s painful. I love her so much it hurts. Every day I think I can’t possibly love her more and somehow my heart rips apart and I love her infinitely more. To feel that much love means I also feel that much pain. I feel more sorrow, more stress, more rage and more joy, more contentment, and more patience. This year has taught me so much, but the most impactful lesson is the reality I live everyday: two (or more) very different things can be true at the same time. Anxiety and ease; awkwardness and grace; sadness and bliss; feeling lost and feeling found. I suddenly understand everything and also I have no clue about anything. To be perfectly honest, it’s disorienting, overwhelming, and exhausting to feel constantly pulled in every direction, but the more I cling to some definitive, the more I collapse under the weight of it all. To look for the answer or to look for myself in any one thing is the fastest road to suffering. Motherhood is all about expansion, fluidity, and surrender—because there’s no other choice. I have to make room for it all.
The Fourth Trimester
If I look happy in this picture, it’s because I am. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to finally be feeling better. The fourth trimester was beautiful, but also brutal—mostly brutal with some beautiful moments I was either too exhausted, anxious, or hormonal to appreciate. I was prepared for it to be hard, but after years of loss and longing, I expected to find joy in it all.
The Work I Love
We spent Labor Day up at my parents’ house in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. It was a significant weekend for me, because it marked the end of my maternity leave. I’ve been feeling anxious about returning to work. I’m excited, but also overwhelmed. It has brought up some big questions. How will I balance my career and motherhood? How will I do it all? How will I be it all—for my students, my work, my beloved, my daughter . . . myself? I’m blessed to ask these questions. Deep down, I trust the bigger picture. I know it will all come together—it always does, even if rarely in the ways I expect or appreciate until long after the dust has settled. But right now, my faith is of little comfort to me. And so, vacation.
Mindfulness Is The Worst
Mindfulness is the worst. I’m serious. It has single-handedly forced me to face reality and accept that so much of my suffering is of my own making. I can’t sit around pointing fingers anymore. I can’t wait around for other people to change or fulfill me. I can’t hit the easy button and pretend that my unproductive habits will fix (read: ignore, numb, avoid) my pain. I can’t just implode and wallow in my own misery without also witnessing myself imploding and wallowing in my own misery.