Lil Lemon Drop

Lil Lemon Drop
Happy Clothes for Happy Kids

Autumn and Shame

Sunday, September 27, 2020


Autumn. Oh God. It's here. Slowly, slowly the leaves are turning. I haven't done any decorating. I just haven't felt like digging out the boxes. And I spend so much time just trying to keep the house in order with three little boys. Why add more clutter to the mess?

What is Autumn? Am I in the autumn of my life yet? Sometimes I pass by a mirror and just for a second, I think, "Whoa! Who is that old mom?" I watch as the lines etched into my face ever-deepen and the freckles on my arms and hands no longer fade in winter. Breasts and chins slowly give into gravity and we won't even discuss what six children can do to a body. And yet, I feel just like the quiet girl rushing through her schoolwork so she can get lost in a book and dream of the wonderful life which waits just out of reach.

This fiction reading is killing me. I feel more like myself than I have in years, and yet, the gnawing ache grows as I realize life will never be that way. I feel like I am grasping at something that doesn't exist. Part of me wants to believe so badly. I can have adventures! I can fall deeply into a never-ending love! I can be high lady of the fairies and sit at tables making important decisions! It takes me back to being in high school and so desperately desiring to go back in time. One New Year's Eve, I dressed Craig and I up (my mom had gone out), and I sat waiting, halfway believing that if I truly, truly believed, we would go back in time. Of course, we didn't, and I wonder at my grasp on reality a bit, but I think it is just the INFPishness. I wonder what I was searching for? Some imagined life where I fit in and find romance and adventure? On a group I was on, there was a some meme of INFP's leaving reality to daydream. I was initially offended, I am not a stupid person, but at the same time, had to acknowledge that I was only reading the meme because I had snuck off to lie in bed and dream about a fictional character. That's my kind of funny.  I suppose that is why I usually stick to nonfiction. Nonfiction can be inspiring and push you to get up and make changes, but as long as you don't drift too far into abundance theory, you aren't likely to be left holding a handful of nothing as your dreams dissipate in the wind.

I guess that is why people get into role playing games. There is this undercurrent that we should be having adventures! We should be physically fighting the bad guys or using our brains in extraordinary ways. And bonus points if romance is wrapped up in it, too (does that exist?-I need that). 

I find I am writing these posts, sharing excitedly, and then with low readership and no likes, slinking in ashamedly and deleting or unpublishing. I get so excited to share these thoughts, and then I realize noone cares. I don't mean that in a pitiful, poor me way. I just mean it in a why would anyone care about my ordinary thoughts? Why must I put it out there and have it ignored? Isn't it better just to keep it in, if it isn't important enough to elicit a response. People respond to pain and sorrow. Karl said it is because I usually put a positive twist on my pain, but...I wish my other moods were worth sharing, too. I don't want to have to tear my heart in my hands to get attention. And the shame builds, and the years pass, and the shame at being decidedly average grows and grows and grows. And I think of Brene Brown and I think, Hey, that's okay. I am in the arena. I am putting it out there. So many people, just lie and hide, and are never truly known. " But at what point are you being brave and sharing something of value, and what point does it become like...forcing guests to eat beets or something, because you think it would be good for them? What if all I am putting out there is a plateful of beets. And I am over here grinning like a fool, thinking I am offering something special, something meaningful?

We went out for the first time since March yesterday. We ate out on a patio and enjoyed the perfect air. I drank in  the sparkling night lights in the sky, but the lack of a crowd was difficult. I know it is safer without a crowd. But I wanted to drink wine until the moon spun around the sky and drink in all the beautiful people and come home and carry those good feelings into the early morning. But it was so quiet, and I had beer, which just makes me numb (I didn't want wine-stained teeth-and I don't like sweet white wine much), and I came home and ate too many salt and pepper chips (when I really wanted salt and vinegar, but was trying to be nice). And unsatisfied, I dragged my bloated beer bubble filled self to the sofa to relish being alone if nothing else. And awoke to my book and the deep fear that Rhysand, whom I dearly love now, is going to die. And frustration, that I had no adventure, no inner circle, no political plans, just housework, and a book of dreams. 

Twenty-six years ago, I placed Tierney in a swing and danced to August and Everything After, dreaming of being taken away by someone, in a Maryland apartment alone, so alone, with a wall full of glass as the maples changed magnificently outside the window. The sun has gone down now, and I sit here unaccomplished. Degrees which aren't my calling, no story in me to tell, no skill set to tell it with. And I grapple with the absolute ordinariness of being me and living this life. How does one crave adventure and intentionally  tie oneself with children? How does one reconcile being so very desperately ordinary with the need to see a life well-lived? 

I guess I am still working on that.

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