Over the past week or so, I started feeling boring. Not bored; boring. I’m four months into motherhood and it feels like my globe trotting, last-minute, backpacking self is a distant, mocking memory.
Maybe that spontaneous spirit started looking for another life to lease when my son, Forrest, set up camp. Maybe this is the “new me.” Maybe that’s how it goes.
But, no, that’s not it. That can’t be it because I can feel her in there.
And she’s pissed.
She’s tapping me, whispering stories, taunting me with a glass of all the things we used to do and be and they’re slithering down my throat, and all of a sudden I’m choking on a licorice laced cocktail of whatifs and usedtos.
Because now what? Now we go to Home Depot. A lot. We go to Home Depot and come home and build things and paint things and figure out how to DIY things, all to make this house our home.
Yea, we do other stuff, too. This weekend, we headed to the Catskills for some would-be-snowshoeing-turned-hiking-because-El Niño, and I’m training for the Boston Marathon, which makes me feel a little more connected to my former self, which is in truth probably why I’m doing it.
At times, though, I guess it feels like my outdoorsy, world-wondering self is focusing a whole lot on what’s indoors, right here at home.
And here’s the kicker: I like it. I love how hard we’re working on making these walls and a roof our home, and I love that Forrest sees that. I love that he’s haggled at flea markets with me and hung out in the wood shop with his dad.
He’s a part of this, and I hope that if he sees us labor with our hands and heads then maybe he’ll default to using his, too.
With the same verve as ever, I love all of the places my husband and I have ended up because we’d never been there before or, “What’s down that road?” I love the clunky weight of hiking boots and the sandy crunch of unwashed trail hair and that moment when you look up and…sigh…that view!
Maybe there isn’t an easy answer. The best I can come up with is that I need to embrace both selves; more so, I need to be proud of them. By enjoying our home and nesting in our community, I’m not betraying that spontaneous spirit. And, when my family and I hit the road next for parts unknown, we’re not abandoning home.
If I give myself permission to be both, accepting that compromise is part of the deal, maybe the result won’t feel boring at all.
What does your “other self” whisper to you and how do you answer?