I'm going to start with the lamest thing someone can ever say:
I have been really busy lately.
Am I right? LAME. L-A-M-E.
Everyone is busy. If you exist, you could be busy. It just is the way people can be.
So my life is busy, in a totally different way than previously, and it has challenged me in ways I haven't been challenged before.
And that being said, I love it.
It is no secret, that I am one of those people that prefers to have their hand in many projects at once, and occasionally, I get slapped around for it. It is my own doing, and I am lucky enough to have people around me who understand my psychosis, and smile knowingly and offer their help when I brink the point of self-induced insanity. For that, I am eternally grateful.
When I was home this summer, with Lilly, I learned things about myself I didn't know. I didn't know how much I could love someone I hardly knew, I didn't know how I would handle being home, and I didn't know how I would handle my new identity. (In Consumer Psych, we call this multiple self-concepts, see Perkins! I listened!) I worried a fair amount before the baby was born about how the aftermath would affect me emotionally. I heard about baby blues and PPD, and though I don't tend to be "down" often, I do know that I have a hard time being "still." Another words, not being busy makes me feel trapped and a little crazy. Dissect THAT one when you get a chance... (Hi Mom! I'm looking at you!) And while having a newborn is a whole different level of busy, it was busy for someone else, doing things that frankly, can be repetitive and some what wrought.
I remember the first month feeling really guilty. I was incredibly in love and happy, but part of me felt like this was really, really hard. This new job, Mom, threw me for a loop. There were days I would call Andrew at 2pm at work, demanding I know the exact minute he would walk through the door, so I could hand her off for a moment and breathe. I needed a target.
God Help Him if he walked in a minute later than projected arrival time.
And Andrew would walk through the door, excited to see his girls, and I would burst into tears. Guilty tears, because I wished I didn't feel so relieved to see him. I wished I didn't feel like it was so hard. Having that back-up, that team member when raising a baby, I can't express how much Andrew is that to me. He would hold the smiling-Lilly and me, a little family hug, while I cried. It didn't happen every day, but I'm pretty sure that-type of behavior falls under the category of "baby blues."
A month after Lilly was born, to the day, I began working on a project for a company. In all my worldly wisdom, I felt it wasn't enough to have a baby this summer (it's really hard to put that on a resume in a way that seems to conform to acceptable business practices), I needed to have something "intern-ish" to be able to log on my summer activities. Frankly, I got sick of classmates and colleagues asking me, what are you doing this summer? [Hi, do you see the huge belly? I think it's pretty obvious.] Part of me is that competitive, that I felt that some how I was behind if I didn't work over the summer. My Mother tried to talk sense into me, but since when do I listen to sense?
The project I worked on was over a subject which I literally knew NOTHING about. I remember sitting in the first meeting, scribbling furiously as the men spoke, and my notes were basically a long list of acronyms I needed to google in order to understand what was going on. Kind of. I realized very quickly I was in over my head. And it made me anxious. Because I don't like not know what I'm doing, or where to begin. And worse, this was an INDEPENDENT study project. No team. So in addition to being temporarily isolated by my situation, I was isolated in my work as well, on something I knew nothing about. Ick. So progress was slow, slower than I wanted for a couple reasons:
1) Lilly doesn't sleep during the day. Napping isn't her thing really, and if she does, it's 20 minutes max. Try working under those time constraints.
2) It's hard to be motivated when you don't know where to start. And you're tired.
Did I mention being tired? Andrew felt bad, because he felt he'd pressured me into doing the project this summer, I felt bad because I was avoiding it and sucking at it. It took me a good month to get motivated and productive, and even then, it was slow going. Eventually, I talked to the right people, and felt better about my prospects. I still can't wait until I finish this project and turn it in for good (mid-October). SIONARA! (sp?)
School started the end of August and even though I was dreading it in a way, I was happy to be back. Back around people, using my noggin for something more than feeding and pumping spreadsheets (seriously, I had sleeping, eating and pumping spreadsheets. With GRAPHS. I can add analytics to ANYTHING.) And all my classes are electives now, so I actually enjoy my classes. I listen intently and like a nerd, sit in the front of class. And ask questions! And the challenge of it is refreshing to me.
I feel balanced.
I have this awesome baby, nearby, where I can visit her anytime I need a fix. She grows like a weed, I can't believe it every morning when I see her. She grows meters over night. And I have this life at school, where I am learning so much. And even the project I kind of regretted has helped me understand my classes. I guess there is a reason for everything. And I have a family, that every evening, I wind down with. We have a routine now, and it's my favorite time of day. We bathe her, and Andrew puts her in her jammies while I prep to feed her, and we turn up the "Lilliana-Sleepy Time" mix on the ipod dock in her room. We chat about our day while she drifts asleep in my arms. I actually think it helps her fall asleep to listen to us talking to each other. We are usually in bed by 10pm, which technically makes me a senior citizen, but I don't even care anymore. I'm sure it will change eventually, but for now, it's the way it is.
There are so many looming changes in our future... I need to find a job post-graduation, we need to find a house, a city, a 5 year plan to stick to. It's overwhelming at times. Most days, one of us is freaking out about it, and the other is doing the calming. And the next day we switch. I'm learning to be OK with uncertainty to an extent. The process. I guess part of it is having faith that it will work out some how. How else does one stay sane?
I can't wait to see what's next.
* The soundtrack for Summer 2009 - The Avett Brothers.