Growing Up

I’m still deep in the throws of life improvement. As I’ve said before, being pregnant was kind of a big moment in my life and not just because I had a baby. Those crazy hormones really throw you for quite a ride and almost kind of force you to look at the things in your life that you’re avoiding. I’m driving my husband crazy with all my hare-brained ideas and talks about how to improve our lives. Not that I think much actually needs improvement. It’s more just…insurance I guess. A way to make me feel like I’m doing something productive with my days and to unravel myself.

I’m about to start on sorting through our Christmas decorations today. I didn’t even bother with the fall ornaments I usually have, opting instead to use simple gathered plants from outside.

eotihesoirh

I’ve just become almost a bit fanatical about eliminating eliminating eliminating. I know why so many poor people have junk all over the place. When you have no money, it’s a scary thought to get rid of things. What if you need it? You have no way to replace it. Having old dishwashers and cars and baby toys leftover from your twenty year old kids makes so much sense to me.

There are so many things that I’ve wrapped around myself. So many ways in which I’ve attempted to shelter and protect myself to get through things. Letting go of a lot has been so therapeutic. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of emotional baggage and a lot of closet baggage. I don’t feel like I need to hang on to things just in case I need them anymore. I think I have the security of life to count on my ability to replace whatever I may regret and to find satisfaction with what I have.

(I’m about to share some very sensitive pictures….of my closets. !!!)

(bathroom closet with all of my makeup and accessories on the third shelf; my clothes closet since I don’t have a dresser. Three shelves of clothes; And our shared hanging closet, his stuff on the left mine on the right. The wicker basket in the middle is laundry and the one up top is sewing supplies. The white boxes are our out of season clothes. The emptier these become, the happier I become).

I laugh now that I am able to go into stores and buy things, I rarely do so, because I can’t think of a place for it. Keeping my house purposeful has become more important than filling it with whatever catches my eye.

That is a good metaphor for how I feel about life I suppose.

I rarely feel the inclination to do things I don’t want to anymore. I seek out those things that bring me the most happiness and decline the things that are less than. Life can only contain so much and it is useless to fill it with meaningless clutter.

That is a good metaphor for my house I suppose.

I used to say that The Awakening was one of my favorite books. That I could read it over and over again because the flavor of Chopin’s words were so satisfying. Despite my love for the book, I would never have said that I emphasized with Edna, that I understood her but didn’t connect. I know now that is not true. She is more perfectly a part of me than anything I could say about myself.

“He could see plainly that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”

I understand now that Leonce and Robert do not have to be their own person but are two sides of the same coin.

“But the thought of him was like an obsession, ever pressing itself upon her. It was not that she dwelt upon details of their acquaintance, or recalled in any special or peculiar way his personality; it was his being, his existence, which dominated her thought, fading sometimes as if it would melt into the mist of the forgotten, reviving again with an intensity which filled her with an incomprehensible longing.”

I understand now the ambivalence of motherhood. Or at least I have the ability to acknowledge these things to myself.

“I would give up the unessential; I would give up my money, I would give up my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself. I can’t make it more clear; it’s only something I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me.”

Do I reflect on my own feelings too much? I feel like this blog is becoming more and more of a standard outpouring of my own internal microscopic searches. It is one thing to strive to know yourself better but it is another to realize that you don’t know yourself at all. To find that you are a puzzle you don’t even understand.

“Even as a child she had lived her own small life within herself. At a very early period she had apprehended instinctively the dual life – that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions.”

Most of all, I am grateful that I do not live in a time in which women have to chose. A time where women can savor both contentment and life’s delirium. I believe women can have it all, as long as we are confident enough in our decisions to accept it (more on this in my next post, covering the book Spousenomics). In the meantime, fin.

“Some people are born with a vital and responsive energy. It not only enables them to keep abreast of the times; it qualifies them to furnish in their own personality a good bit of the motive power to the mad pace. They are fortunate beings. They do not need to apprehend the significance of things. They do not grow weary nor miss step, nor do they fall out of rank and sink by the wayside to be left contemplating the moving procession.
Ah! that moving procession that has left me by the road-side! Its fantastic colors are more brilliant and beautiful than the sun on the undulating waters. What matter if souls and bodies are failing beneath the feet of the ever-pressing multitude! It moves with the majestic rhythm of the spheres. Its discordant clashes sweep upward in one harmonious tone that blends with the music of other worlds–to complete God’s orchestra.

It is greater than the stars–that moving procession of human energy; greater than the palpitating earth and the things growing thereon. Oh! I could weep at being left by the wayside; left with the grass and the clouds and a few dumb animals. True, I feel at home in the society of these symbols of life’s immutability. In the procession I should feel the crushing feet, the clashing discords, the ruthless hands and stifling breath. I could not hear the rhythm of the march.

Salve! ye dumb hearts. Let us be still and wait by the roadside.”

-Kate Chopin

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