Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Stinky Pile of Lemons

In her book, Carry On Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton writes “Reading is my inhale and writing is my exhale. If I’m not reading and writing regularly, I begin to suffocate and tend to climb the nearest person like a frantic cat, clawing at the person’s eyeballs and perching on his head, desperate to find a breath of air”.  I am on vacation with my mother, father, father’s girlfriend, Grace and our dog (a true modern family), and I am not breathing. There has been no reading, writing (until now), exercising, or relaxing for that matter. The only thing that has been pervasive is now that I’m actually on an island, I feel more isolated than ever. Watching the happy families on the beach, strolling the boardwalk, mom and dad enjoying the kids together. It hurts in the deepest places.

I spend my days trying to meet the demands of my little one. Making sure my father isn’t being reckless with her, and ensuring my mother has an enjoyable vacation. I know I am supposed to find the joy in each moment but my heart is only registering the loneliness I feel. Maybe because family vacations were one of the things I was looking forward to most when I was pregnant with Grace. Maybe because I’m just exhausted.

At approximately 1:30pm eastern time yesterday I had a nuclear meltdown. Largely triggered by my toxic job, which I care more about than I suspect my boss even does, so I attempted to join a conference call from my vacation. Upon finding out the realities of a very complex project I’m working on I realized that it is being set up to fail. The management and resources on the project aren’t properly aligned and I’ve been placed in the middle to somehow magically make it make sense.  As I told my boss I was concerned about the project, so much so that I was worrying about it on vacation, he responded “no worries”. I wanted to throw the laptop out the window right then and there. Doesn’t he understand “no worries” are why the project in a mess in the first place?  If we worried a little more six months ago, perhaps I wouldn’t be concerned the ‘biggest launch in the company’s history’ was about to flop! And let’s remember, I proactively sought out a job for more challenge and growth so I chose this job because I wanted to show Grace you don’t rest on your laurels, you keep exercising you keep learning!

On top of work stresses, I started sputtering on about the fact I’m not dating anyone and haven’t met a prospect in over a year.  I have people demand things of me at work all day and then come home and have a three-year-old demand things of me all night. Sleep, repeat. It is draining and not fun. Yes, I try to make the best of things by “putting myself out there” and signing up for activities, volunteer and otherwise – but right now it doesn’t feel like I’m making lemonade out of lemons, it feels like I’m making a stinking, rotting pile of lemons smell just a little less bad.

I tried to support my friends while they were trying to get pregnant and have the family they have always dreamed of. Now that they’ve gotten their newest member, they are off living the life I always dreamed of. And I’m still alone. Who is going to support me through the next 50 years of spinster-dom? Why do I always have to go it alone?

Poor me, I know. I’m whining on about all of the unfair breaks that I’ve endured recently.  I know everyone has their own material for their own nuclear meltdown. But right now I only have the capacity to feel the piercing pain in my chest, it won’t let anything else in.

What to do? What to do? (as Grace frequently asks when confronted with a problem).  I supposed this is when you “feel the emotion and let it flow through you” - acknowledge the hurt as just a feeling, not my reality (or is it? This is where I get hung up because at the moment it sure does feel like reality is the stinky pile of lemons).  Then pay attention to the points of light that break through that pain – each little moment of joy when Grace smiles, laughs or experiences something new on our vacation.  Or maybe the key is just to write until I am completely drained and the pain is dulled to where it is tolerable again!  What do you do when you start to spiral?

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