Can I be frank? I have not been the best version of myself lately. In fact, I haven’t even been a good version of myself, or an average one. I feel as if I have been barely eeking by, somehow managing to pull off being an ok member of society, and ok just meaning I haven’t robbed a bank lately or mugged anyone in an alley. Other than that, I haven’t been nice. I haven’t been myself, the girl who finds the glass half full and sunshine in the details, but rather a dark, scowling creature who someone has a resting b*tch-face rather than a contented one. I feel like I used to have some kind of sparkle, and I’ve lost it somewhere along the way.
And I have blamed many things, seasonal depression, delayed postpartum hormones, first trimester new baby hormones, sleep deprevation, and the list goes on and on. And while indeed those many things added up may be to blame, I still feel helpless as to how to fix it. And what is frustrating is I know the line that comes next from all the do-gooders out there that will want to say, “It just a change in attitude, then everything will be better!” Believe you me, I have tried/am still trying my hardest to have a better attitude about everything. Gritting through my teeth at the snow storm while everyone is “oohing” and “aahing” at the mounds of fluff, mustering up the words, “Yes, it’s beautiful,” all the while thinking how long it’s going to take to melt, how icy and gross everything will be until then, and the cold. Trying to tell myself that spring and summer will be here soon, but I know in reality that REAL spring is just more rain, and summer doesn’t arrive until mid-June or July, and even then there is a good chance it’s not going to get crazy warm. Maybe I should buck up? Just embrace it? Oh how I’ve tried on countless occasions, and it leaves me dreaming of a real spring (the kind with warm and sun and a handful of rain storms and garden planting and the start of sun-kissed shoulders and cheeks) and a real summer (the kind that get wonderfully hot and all you want to do is hike and swim in the lake and sun bath while reading and grill all your food outside and camp and never be inside again). I know those really don’t exist here, and that leaves me a bit dreamy and sad.
In the midst of this, I open up my Bible and study book in the morning to have devotions in the morning, searching for something that will be a hopeful balm to my soul. I have read and re-read through scriptures that I know by heart, prayed through prayers that are familiar, and also tried to read passages that I haven’t ventured into studying before, and writing out frank, honest prayers. It usually ends up being a plea of some sort, in the nature of “Ok, I’m here, and I’m trying, and I’m stuck, and I don’t know how to fix this so . . . help? Please?” At which point Mabel is usually done with breakfast and needs to be thoroughly wiped down from her oatmeal or peanut butter costume which she has painted all over herself. I clean her up and take her into the nursery to get ready for the day, feeling stuck in the same funk I woke up in, a sort of fog where there is no promise of sunshine beneath or above the clouds.
I say all this from a place of deep vulnerability. I don’t like being in tears regularly because I don’t know how to fix this. I am trying to be better, and that quickly spirals into a semi self-loathing chant of “Be a better person, be a better person . . . ” whic isn’t really what I am going for either. I don’t have an answer. And I very rarely share this with anyone, because if I share snippets, I start welling with tears, and I get the pity stare. You know the one, the stare of someone who doesn’t really know what you’re talking about, but feels bad for you, but doesn’t really know what to say either. They just look at you with sad eyes and wait for you to say something else, or say something that will wrap up your confession with a neat little bow. Bad news, guys: no neat little bow, just the hard truth from an honest lady.