who am i?
May 25, 2011
who’s face is peering at me in the mirror?
when did all those lines form? Splotches appear?
when did the rosiness in my cheeks drain away?
why do I look so drawn?
god, maybe it’s the lack of sleep. I don’t sleep anymore. even when I do, I really don’t. it’s not good, solid, I’m lost in the netherworld sleep. it’s quick-paced, jittery, uneven and surface. I often wake up wondering when maddie’s going to walk into our room and say, “HI!!!!”, whether at 12:32am, 1:40am, 3:20am or 5:45am. It’s always the same refrain: really upbeat, really excited. It exhausts me.
who am I?
I’m serious. I’m having a mid-life crisis at 40. It’s so cliché. I only thought men went through this crap (apologies to my male readers out there – you’re NOT alone!)
I knew who I was. Not in my early 20′s. But, just about at 29 years of age. I knew. I liked myself (most of the time). I liked how I looked. I really liked my friends. I was psyched about my job. The dating game still sucked but I was upbeat and ready to conquer that aspect of my life. I was intent on finding the “right” guy. I had committed myself to working on meeting the right guy. It gives me a chuckle thinking about it. It was the right thing to do. I found that GREAT GUY but I still have to chuckle at my fortitude and seriousness with it all.
I had a few moments of not liking who I was in my early 30′s. Mainly because I had a bitch of a boss. And when I say BITCH, I really mean a fucked up, messed-in-the-head, self-loathing, hate projecting, eye of Sauron, kind of BITCH of a boss. She sucked! I quit and then was like, “what do I do now?” I decided to think upon what I really LOVED to do. It took some time. Nine months, exactly. But man, that was a productive , and looking back now, great time in my life. Everything congealed. Came together. Blocks stacked together nicely. I didn’t think of that time as that way but again, looking back, it was.
I really knew who I was when I started my business. I was purposeful. Filled with passion. Raw ambition. Drive. Ballsyness. I love male-part adjectives. I just wish I actually had balls. I think they would be fun to grab every once in a while. You know? Come on…you know!! I loved saying I was an entrepreneur. I would go to parties or events and really didn’t care if people asked me what I did. And believe me, I REALLY DIDN’T CARE what job title someone else had. I was doing what I wanted to do. I was my own boss. I didn’t have to report to anyone. I was creating. Making things happen. I wasn’t part of the “rat race”. I didn’t feel like I had to compete with where I was in the career world and size someone else up (or myself) by how much money he/she made. God, what a terrible waste of time that all is.
Where I lost who I was – I’m being completely honest here – is when I had Maddie. It’s been over two years and I still can’t reconcile who I am.
who am I?
Am I a mom? Yes, I am a mom. But not a stay-at-home mom. No knock to stay-at-home mom’s but I think I would DIE if I stayed at home with Maddie. Shrivel up into a big fat wrinkly ball of dry skin. Really ugly stuff. I’m a mom but I don’t’ want to be JUST a mom. I ask myself why is it that I’m not OK with just being a mom or said another way, why am I not ok with owning up to being a mom as a part of who I am? There’s a feeling of relegation – a “I’m now put in a box”; a I’m that person who stands around a sandbox with baggy pants on and smiles wanly around the park at other mom’s. For me – and believe me, this is my issue – I can’t stand it all. I hate jungle gyms. I hate hanging out in parks with little people.
Even before I had Maddie I would tell people that I’m not that mom that likes to get down on the floor and play with her child. I do but it’s not my primary instinct. I tell people I’ll like to cook and go to museums with Maddie, as she gets older and is into that stuff.
I have a nanny four days a week- sometimes five – that takes great care and concern for my little lady. Often, when it’s time for me to “take over”, I have a kind of panic attack; a little – oh no, what am I going to do with Maddie moment; a I don’t want to do this again feeling. It’s hard to ‘fess up to these emotions. It’s easier when I’m writing it on a piece of paper and don’t think anyone is going to read my blog. No one’s reading, right?
I told Patraic last night that I started a blog that I could spend HOURS writing. No absence of things to write about on this topic. So, this one’s going to span a couple of weeks. You’ll have to wait with baited breathe (or a good deal of patience) to see this blog entry to the end. Apologies at the get-go.
Who am I?
Well, I am actually a mom now. For sure. It’s called into question the idea of who I thought I was before having Maddie: a Kate, who was married, an entrepreneur, independent, a good partner to Patraic, a great cook, healthy and fit, and a well-rounded individual. After Maddie, some of those “ideas of who I am” flew out the window, like -independence, great cook, healthy and fit, well-rounded and frankly, in the early days, a good partner to Patraic. Mommydom completely ruled my life. I didn’t bestow the power to it myself but it grabbed control and went screaming and running in the other direction.
What’s helped me come to grips with the mommy-side of who Kate is? Frankly, a lot of bitching and complaining. Thank god I didn’t do so much of that in my past, otherwise I would have worn out my friends before I really needed them. Also, the passing of time. You grow into the new you. You change. You diverge from what you want to what is. I’m sure hitting 40 also helped. As one of my amazing friends, Valarie Samulski, just said, “Align, flow and then let go.”
I’m getting back to taking regular yoga classes at one of my all-time favorite yoga studios in Manhattan, the Jivamukti Yoga Center. I took a class last Saturday and again on Monday. I physically felt AWFUL in the classes but it felt SO GOOD to be moving and breathing and huffing and puffing and zenning out, man! I can’t tell you. I slept so well after both classes. In Saturday’s class, I cried. Only yoga has been able to reach me so spontaneously like that. Something was said or I moved into a pose and hit some deep emotions – in my kidney region, perhaps, and I started to weep. It’s always shocking but I know it’s a good, good thing. When it happened to me the very first time, I was afraid and ashamed. I didn’t know why I couldn’t control my emotions. I didn’t know why, or what, made me cry. But now I know. And in this time of my life, during my Kate mid-life crisis, at 40 and now a mom, I need the release.
You know one of the very best things about yoga – taking a yoga class? It’s dedicated time to completely focus on yourself physically & emotionally and simultaneously, if the studio, practice and instructor are genuine, to dedicate that entire time, to someone else or to the universe, as a whole. Its’ SO brilliant!
And so the journey continues…and this blog, on Who Am I? To be continued.