Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Letter To Myself: Calm The Fuck Down

Dear Me,

It's so easy to be unhappy.
It is too easy to look at someone else's life and think: wow, I wish I had the guts, I wish I had those experiences, I wish I had that talent, I wish I had that outlook, I wish I had that job...
It can be especially hard when your brain doesn't really know what it wants, what's best for you or what will make you happy.
It can be hard when your brain just doesn't want you to be happy.
There is a never-ending war going on in your head between what your chemistry naturally does, and what you know you want.  It takes bravery to know the difference.  It takes love for life to actually do something about it.
The thing is... when you are feeling on top of the world, when everything you do feels right and when all you want is to love everyone around you - that is good.  That is real.  That is happiness.  And when you're feeling like you just want to run away and leave everything behind, that is not real.  That is cowardice and sadness catching up with you because you haven't been maintaining yourself appropriately.
Shitty fucking shit happens to everyone.
Everyone has regrets, and everyone wishes they had made the most of the time they had before they carved their future out in stone...

But what you have is magnificent.
Self:  You have made so many bad decisions in your past (granted) and you have come out the other end of all of those bad decisions beautiful, smart, caring and gifted.  Not everyone can say that.
You may wish sometimes that you had explored the world while you had the freedom and opportunity and desire.  You didn't.  and if you truly had wanted to, you would have.
It's easy to feel trapped when you settle down and have a baby and decide to be there every day and be the best parent possible - because that means that you're there no matter what.  That kind of pressure can be overwhelming and you shouldn't feel guilty about feeling it.  But you have always trusted your instincts and your passions and they have led you to the place you are in.  You flew into that cage and you shut the door yourself (and it wasn't easy to do).

You have this incredible boy.
You can see it in him all the time: you.  Little pieces of yourself surface in this itty bitty creature, and he has so much to discover.  Isn't that exciting?  He has to learn so much, and most importantly he has to carve out some sort of self out of this lump of a body that you gave to him.  You gave him this chance to live and to experience and to love in a world where life is decidedly given less and less each day.  You gave birth.  Remember?  Remember the exquisite pain and the car ride to the hospital?  Remember when he came out and didn't cry at all?  The doctors were worried - they didn't let you hold him, remember?  But he was fine, he was great: he was ready to be here.  And you were ready to have him.  Remember when you first looked into his eyes?  You thought he would look so much different.  He was already his own person.

You took him home.  You cried when he would refuse to sleep.  You mixed a million bottles full of formula.  You watched him grow, bang his head on every single thing and you kissed every boo-boo and you changed every poopy diaper.  You were his mommy.  And nobody could have loved him any more than you.  And you know it.

It's so easy to be unhappy when it's what your brain naturally wants to do.  It takes so much more strength and courage to look misery in the eye and tell it to fuck off.  You have made this life, and it is full of love.  It may not include exotic places right now, it may not include a big move to Montreal.  But it includes a home.  It includes the luxury of late nights and glasses of wine.  It includes watching your son learn to walk and talk, and learning that his favourite food is chicken nuggets and his favourite person is his daddy.
His daddy.  That's another thing.  You really made a good decision there.

Relax.  Stay on your meds.  Know that when life gave you lemons, you made lemonade and know that when you were faced with a decision, you made it.  No one else.  And it got you this incredible family, and they're waiting for you to go to bed and make them pancakes in the morning.

You did good.  Calm down.

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