And then the clouds started to lift. The black veils over my eyes started to part. A friend of mine told me, god bless her soul, to listen to the ugly voices deep inside. To get down to the level where the real fear is. It's amazing how when you go there despite the foul odor of your thoughts, the years of entrenched self-loathing, the beliefs that are always holding you back, it is still a liberating experience. Each time I revisit this place I feel like I've peeled away another layer, I'm a little bit braver, A little bit closer to loving myself enough to acknowledge who I really am and not just the image I have constructed.
In certain ways I am a perfectionist. I'm very hard on myself. Either I'm the best or I'm an epic failure. I've achieved everything I wanted to or I'm totally worthless. This trip of mine down "the shit in my head" lane taught me something. I can let go, breathe easy. I can do what I can in the moment without going bat shit crazy about my future or what I had wanted from it. I can trust. In myself, in the universe, in my struggle. Not my own notions of what my life 'should have' been nor anyone else's of what it should be matter.
I wanted to be a filmmaker. So desperately. And I have friends there, connections, making it big. I've hidden behind my son as the reason for not making the move. But I need to re-examine it. I need to not resent him for it, because if I really want I can make it happen. I can leave him with my parents or take him with me. I can make it happen. If I choose not to it's my choice and I need to see my reasons for it.
I want to travel the world. Or so I thought. Honestly I don't think I'm cut out to be a constantly on-the-move kinda gal. It's exciting and glamorous. It would make for a great story. "Post divorce single mother rediscovers herself and hits the road." But that's not who I am. I value enduring friendships with people I can meet regularly, I like having a home. I like routine and familiarity. Sure I love to travel. But I can't live on the road. What I can do is make sure I travel a couple of times a year and as my son grows I'm excited about the idea of doing trips with him.
I want a man. Oh God Yes!!! It's been so long! All my friends are hooked up or married. I go out to a bar and everyone has someone to be with. I sit and wonder who to visit my favourite restaurant with, who to take to the movies. I am alone. A lot. I love my son but honestly, he's 3! I want adult company. I want a man, who'll hold me, who I can rely on, who'll kiss me senseless and then make love to me all night long. But the truth is I'm not ready. As desperately as I want this I am not ready to allow another man in to my life yet and nowhere near my heart. So maybe instead of moaning about not finding someone or only attracting creepy men I need to learn to love myself. Truly and deeply. To value and respect myself. To know what I want, from myself, my life and my man. Maybe then the universe will conspire to let the right person into my life.
I want to be the perfect parent. Supermom. So awesome that my son never misses not having a father. So cool that he never has to go to a shrink with 'mommy issues'. A mother who nurtures the perfect child. He should be smart, sensitive, respectful, multilingual, genius, child prodigy, sports legend! Sheesh! The amount of pressure I've put on myself as a mother! And when it starts to crack I panic. I love my son. Deeply. All I really want is for him to be happy. He will tell me at some point in his life that I suck and he hates me cos I screwed his life up. It's natural. It's the ways of the world. Hopefully he'll outgrow that soon enough and will have an awesome life and we'll have a relationship that's healthy and close. But I can't bend over backwards trying to be perfect. I can't take on the guilt of him not having a father. I can't and shouldn't over compensate.
So as the funk started to evaporate I realized that I must renew my vows to myself. I must recommit to my goals for the present. I have to write, everyday. I have to work towards being healthy. And I have to know that my struggle and fight are real, but not impossible. I will not sink because I am not alone. I have friends and family who will haul me up. Each time the fear threatens to drown me, each time that hideous voice gets all snarky I have to look it in the face, resolve it and move on. And each time I will be closer to loving myself in the way I deserve.