Self: Growing pains

I don’t know if you’ve been reading long enough to know that I’ve made about three life changes in the past year: moved into a new house, quit my stable job for my peace of mind and moved my son with his father full time. All of these things had some kind of effect on me and while I was driving home from dropping the Kid off, I realize that this way I’ve been feeling is me figuring out  what I do now.

My son is 14. For the first 13 years of his life, he lived with me. For 10 of those years, it was just me and him. When I wasn’t in a relationship or ‘seeing someone’, I had him to fill my quiet space and time. We developed a bond that’s special to me. Before he was born, his father and I decided that when he reached high school, he would go live with him full time because a father needed to teach a son how to be a man. I could teach him how to treat a woman well, but there are some things that, being a woman, I wouldn’t know. A year earlier than scheduled as a result of a stress-induced related decision, his dad and I switched custody as of June 30, 2009. The realization that my roadie wouldn’t be living with me full-time didn’t really hit me though until about six months ago when school started. The quiet was unnerving. Yes, I have the Hero and he is great for adult conversation, but the Kid and I went back like rocking chairs. I realized I missed him and in giving up my custodial rights, I was going through empty nest syndrome. I went from being a full-time to part-time mother. While I see positive changes in my son, I miss him. This mothering feeling, the nurturing, the love, disappointment, anger, joy, ambivalence… all these energies have nowhere to go for two weeks every month. Of course, now that he’s older, he wants to do more than sit in the bed and watch old Scooby Doo movies with me. He wants to hang out with people his own age. He doesn’t need me and while I know he loves me, I have to let him find out who he is with some freedom while hopefully building a safe, honest, new relationship with him while I figure out how to live through this separation anxiety.

Then there’s the job. I don’t miss it. The money? Sure. Who doesn’t miss knowing what will be deposited faithfully every two weeks, but I can honestly say that I haven’t missed a meal or a bill payment since leaving. The finance aspect I was nervous about seems to have handled itself. But I walked away from it because I didn’t enjoy what I did for a living. The title sounds very smart, truly intellectual and when I explain what I did, it only seemed to make people think I was even more important. In my heart, I always wanted to write, so I quit to force myself to focus on completing one of the nine book drafts I’ve started during the past five years. Because I like action, but know that all actions won’t lead to end results, I decided to take it slow for now. Blogging and the articles are a way to help me ease back into the creative aspects of my life that were dormant for the past four years or so. But it’s time to start writing the book, even if it’s just two sentences at a time and I delete it and start over repeatedly.

The new place is really kind of the kicker because I’ve always lived the Spartan life. I’m faithful about throwing away or donating things I haven’t used in six months. I also try to spring clean at the beginning of every season. The last place had little, if any, decorating accents except for my six large vintage ad reprints and a few pieces of art I created. The goal was always to be able to pack up and leave if necessary. No extra anything. But now, I want to decorate. I feel like I need to define myself in this one room and I’m at a loss. I just realized that I wasn’t dressing the way I feel and now it’s starting to dawn on me that I wasn’t living the way I felt either. I love the vintage ads, but they’re a motley of styles and colors and unfortunately, they don’t really fit together the way I arranged them before. But this is hard because I’ve evolved into a more mature version of myself, I don’t even know where to begin making the place feel like me.

My choices are showing me that I’m moving to another level in life, that it’s time to move from Spartan to whimsical chic and these changes are my new metamorphosis. These are my caterpillar-to-butterfly times right in through here. I want to do something, to make progress and get there already, but processes take time. I know where I’m headed is exactly where I want to go. I know when I get there, I’ll appreciate the journey, so instead of worrying the process and trying to figure out what kind of butterfly I’m going to be I’ll just appreciate the complexity and beauty of the chrysalis.

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2 thoughts on “Self: Growing pains

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  1. Are we living parallel lives or what? When I moved to Toledo, my two oldest boys were in California and my daughter was still in Detroit, it was so hard adjusting to it just being me and the baby. And on the weekends when the baby went to Detroit… OMG was I ever lost! It takes some time getting into the swing of “single” life but once you do you’ll find your new sense of style will blossom on its very own. Best of luck to ya!

    1. Wow. In the 70’s children;s fathers thought they were “babysitting” if you went grocery shopping. Can’t speak on the subject….but that’s great today to have fathers’ accepting responsibility.

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