I keep finding myself at this place where I am so overwhelmed with life that I don’t know which direction I should look or if I should be looking up or down or which bright light I should be following.
Maybe for the first time I don’t feel like I am trapped inside a dark tunnel. And the stimulus of freedom is stifling.
Like – I don’t know what to do with the choices.
On the other hand, as I’ve been out exploring the world without the safety net of school work and dissertation writing and all the other constraints that have surrounded me, I’ve discovered some things about myself.
Principally, I really struggle playing by the rules. And not because I don’t respect the rules or believe in the value of having a structure to follow – but because I don’t think within traditional confines.
And when I have to work within designated boxes, I shut down.
I shut down to the point where I feel shackled to a stake driven deeply into a hard earth that keeps me from moving forward in life.
And that is where I am.
And burnt out.
I’ve reached this new place of exhaustion that I’m not quite sure what to do with.
And with the exhaustion is this pressing anxiety that I’m not doing enough.
Even though I rarely find a moment in the day that I”m not working or raising 3 kids that seem to do anything and everything to make my day a bit longer and tiring.
It seems like everyone I talk to is on this intentional plan to somewhere. Plans for careers and jobs and houses and decorating and events and parties and shopping and the list goes on.
Perhaps because the people who I seem to spend the most time with are living their version of the perfect suburban life with a house and a husband and 2.5 children eating organic foods and drinking organic green juice.
Everyone busy doing something important loving their lives and the wonderful impact they have on their worlds.
And then there is me.
So grossly overwhelmed with everything that I have hit a point where I can’t do anything.
So the piles of work grow taller because 8pm comes along and the kids are finally in bed and I’m too damn tired to care.
And apathetic because all this doesn’t seem to add up to much.
It doesn’t open doors.
It doesn’t pay the bills.
It doesn’t make me feel good about how I spent the day or who I spent it with.
It’s life going through the motions.
Maybe it’s post-doctorate depression. One psychologist once told me that after every major life event you go through a phase of “post-partum depression” and in some cases it is more severe than others.
Maybe that’s my problem.
I’ve spent nearly the last three years surviving…working toward this elusive goal of Ph.D. Overcoming a debilitating divorce and raising three kids all at the same time.
It was hard.
It was my handrail to life.
And I don’t have it anymore.
And I’m clearly not doing so well without it to hang on to.
Today was a rough day.
I spent all day trying to file the rough edges of life into a smooth, soft, and approachable reality.
The world was against me.
And I fought on to a point of exhaustion.
By the time I put my kids to bed I turned into “ugly mommy” and wanted to disappear.
But, here I am.
Looking for a bit of calm that seems to reside in the spaces between the endless ramble of words I fill the pages with.
And maybe it helped.
Tomorrow is another day.
Another chance to find another handrail.
Another opportunity to be better.
Today wasn’t my day.
Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be.
I keep knocking on the door of tomorrow, but for now, there is nothing but dead silence on the other end.