I’ve been thinking a lot about what my and Hope’s next transition will look like. I’ve had a taste of what it will be like when Hope leaves for college this fall. She will be farther away with a lot more freedom. I’m sure I will fret a little, but I’m excited for her.
As for me, I’m starting to ponder what’s next for me. I’ll never be finished parenting; I already tele-parent, so this parenting thing will of course continue. But I’m struggling with the big “next.” Looking into the next few years there’s a bit of a void.
These days I work, I come home. I take Yappy for long walks. I spend a little time with someone I met last summer. If you follow me on FB, you know I’m working on my first knitting project. I do some writing, try to get some exercise. Sadly, I don’t go out much anymore. When Hope came along my loving, long term relationship with happy hour ended. It’s so rare that I ring someone up to say, hey, let’s grab a drink and be social. And given the rigors of single parenting, most folks stopped asking me to meet up years ago.
I’m thinking about starting language classes; something I haven’t done in nearly 10 years. I’m back to doing yoga almost daily as well; that feels really good.
But I’m spending a lot of time alone. Probably too much time alone, actually definitely too much time alone. I still don’t spend as much time with my old friends as I used to or as I’d like. I go to bed early, quality sleep has become really important to me. I even bought myself a couple of really, really nice new sheet sets for my birthday a few months ago. Yeah, super exciting, I know (that was supposed to be in sarcasm font, but frfr, I love those damn sheets!).
I’m tired, and I know depression looms around the edges and well, I’m feeling a bit frayed, and a little…stuck.
My heart has grown more than I ever thought possible parenting Hope. I have learned more about life…hell about everything. I am a radically different person than I was 5 years ago. I know that even if I hadn’t embarked on this journey that I would have changed; but I never anticipated being who I am now. I am still trying to figure her out, trying to figure out what she wants.
I knew pre-ABM me really well. I’d worked hard to become her, to slay my dragons and to post up as I slid into what is probably the second half of my life. I liked her. I’m proud of her.
Now…I like me and I’m proud of me, but I’m still figuring the new me out.
I spend a lot of time thinking about my own little and large traumas over the many years. Motherhood has taught me where my tender spots are, that some of those dragons I thought I slayed were really just hibernating in a dark cave somewhere. Things that I thought I’d worked through and resolved over the years have bubbled to the surface during the last 5 years. I spend so much time dealing with current “stuff” in therapy that I haven’t begun to rehash the stuff that I feel like I rehashed years ago. So some of this chapter feels like a backslide rather than steps forward.
I bristle sometimes when folks say, “resolve all your stuff before you become a parent” or “before you adopt.” Yeah, I thought I did, but parenting—any kind of parenting—has a way of rustling up a lot of stuff that you thought you’d resolved.
I’ve still got mommy issues. I’ve still got self-esteem issues. I’m still demanding and self-criticizing. I’ve still got relationship issues. I still struggle with food and disordered eating. I still get lonely. I still wonder should I have done this and did I mess up Hope’s life more than if I hadn’t done this. I replay so many early era pre-ABM movies in my head that I could keep a movie studio in business for years.
And so, with Hope preparing for a kind of launch this fall, I’m seriously thinking about me, what’s next, what makes me happy, and how do I fight my own dragons that this mom experience has awakened.
It’s hard to force myself to think of all of this even though it occupies a huge space my heart and mind. I have some work to do. The depression tells me to think about it tomorrow. The anxiety frets because I didn’t think about it a couple of years ago. It’s just icky.
Me and Hope are going to be alright, though. We made it through high school and 5 years of family. We will muddle and stumble through the next chapter. I know I’ve got some work to do on the current iteration of ABM. She needs help, some care and feeding, some self-love and some compassion. She needs that and more. So, yeah, I’m going to get to work on that.
April 26th, 2019 at 6:52 am
Maybe this is a kind of launch for you, too. I’m sending some optimism your way for those next steps. I gotta day though…the alone time? The new sheets? The early bedtime? I’m drooling with envy over here. It’s funny the things you look forward to in the thick of parenting. Lol.
April 26th, 2019 at 5:43 pm
Haha! The sheets really hit a not with folks. They are marvelous. Organic cotton and bamboo (separately).
Don’t get me wrong, this period of quiet reflection has its perks. I just don’t want to get stuck here. Wherever the wind blows, I’m talking the sheets with me! 😂
April 26th, 2019 at 4:43 pm
Your adoptive journey has taught many lessons which you have shared in wonderful posts teaching important things. The future that is upon you will also provide thoughtful exploration for a part of parenting truths that hasn’t had as much exposure and needs it. Please keep writing and sharing. Your audience is larger than you think and the need is great.
April 26th, 2019 at 5:40 pm