good muddy

i’ve been writing a lot lately. mercury is in retrograde, but that isn’t why. i’m determined to get all of my thoughts out here instead of keeping them so far down inside. for so many years, this blog was a tool for my brain. i became ashamed of myself and my thoughts. my true self. i couldn’t write about who i was. my relationships with others dictated my thoughts about myself, and i retreated. not that everyone should have a blog, but this is so much a part of me and my journey. 

the best part about the past three years was being able to stay at home with vayda. i got to work from home and go to work a few days a week. being a stay at home mom was my dream, and spending those moments with vayda was precious. it’s a little daunting and lonely, too, being the kind of person who enjoys work and people. also, i wasn’t very organized. we sat in our pajamas a lot, played, and watched tv. i didn’t make baby food.

but now that i work full time and only get to see a picture of vayda on my desk, i wish i had spent less time wishing when i was with her. i wish i had gotten down on the floor and played with her more. i wish i had spent less time on my phone concerned with work and other people who weren’t concerned with me. it’s an ache in my heart. i wish i could have photographic memories of her tiny little face every day that i spent with her. all the plump and the wrinkles that melted and grew tall. all the muscles that used to rest against me now barely have a chance to squeeze a hug for me.

i look at her every day, and my heart is mud. mud like i am just a kid myself, how can i be responsible for this beautiful being? mud like i am proud this little person is grown up and talking and smart and thriving. mud like i want to take back time i’ve wasted on anything or anyone else since she’s been alive. mud like shouldn’t this little person still be a tiny thing in my arms? how can the moments she was in my belly be agonizingly long, but these days speed by with no remorse? mud because i got to carry you everywhere for so long, but now i have to miss you for so many hours of the day. having Vayda made my heart muddy. good muddy. 

my mom keeps vayda while i work. it’s a huge blessing. my grandmother helps her everyday. it’s a good feeling to know vayda is with the people who raised me while i’m working on my career. it puts my heart at ease. if i am going to be missing out, i want my mom there to be enjoying her. it’s a hard feeling to resolve. but i have to appreciate the three years i enjoyed, which is why i made the decisions i did in my life.

being a career-minded woman, my job was always the center of my life. since i was 16, i have kept a job or three at a time. i simply love working. i found at my first job that i was driven to work more and go for promotions at any chance. i get super focused and enthusiastic. i just love it, almost to a downfall. when i had vayda, work became less important to me, but i still struggled to balance it in my life. my new position is really the structure i need to focus on all areas on my life. i am feeling a great deal of peace and ability to focus on myself and vayda in ways i wouldn’t be able to in other situations. 

i guess i feel a little inferior, whining after three great years at home with my daughter when many moms only get weeks. leaving a job i knew for nearly five years to step into the unknown was also difficult. moving into a new place in a new county…i have turned my life upside down. but i feel stronger. i’m independent. i’m thriving. the only thing i could want for more of is more time with my child, and i think that is healthy. the rest feels light, and that leaves me blessed.

today is the greatest

everyone should have a blog post with a smashing pumpkin title. today may not really be the greatest. i sat at work for eleven hours yesterday, forced myself to talk to my best friends instead of hiding like i normally do when i’m down, i wrote a lot, and i slept for twelve and a half hours. that’s right, i went to work and still slept over half the day. i consider it a record. this morning i woke up after that coma with knots in my stomach again. i gagged a few times as i was getting ready, and then i looked at myself in the mirror.

i’ve been alive for 23.5 years, and for most of those years i’ve worked hard to make a positive impact on the world around me. i want to encourage people when i see they’re down. i want to share my mistakes to help others not have the pains i have. i’d drop everything to help a person in need. i’ve been  loyal to my best friends, some who have stuck around for 12 years or more–anna, casey, lindsey, kristin. i haven’t been a perfect friend, but i’ve been loyal. i listen, i care,  i make them laugh. i take their pains on me when they’re hurting. i may say and do dumb stuff occassionally like every imperfect person, but i’m humble enough to apologize and take they’re forgiveness as an opportunity to be better to them in the future.

i needed to look at myself in the mirror this morning and feel positive.

i’ve been down, because i’ve done everything i can to gain forgiveness from someone i care about and it just hasn’t happened yet. then something wild happened to me yesterday.  i wrote a blog post last week attempting to be funny, and it really hurt a couple of friends of mine who thought they were my target. i got defensive about it, but it’s been bothering me really badly. i hated the idea that something i had said in jest had hurt the core of someone. i may be sarcastic, but i have a really sensitive heart. hurting someone really hurts me. after a week, i talked things out with the friend i unintentionally hurt yesterday. i asked for her forgiveness and she gave it to me–and we both felt better.

and then i realized that it isn’t just a trite old sunday school saying. forgiveness isn’t just for the person who gives it. it’s also for the person who asks for it. searching my heart for honest repentance and having the courage to put my pride aside to give a humble apology, i’ve grown as a person. i may not ever receive true forgiveness from people i’ve asked in my past. things would be easier if i could, but it’s not always possible.

for me, accepting that idea is almost as hard as finding the means to apologize when i’m wrong. i hate hurting people. i hate being unable to resolve it. it tears up my life knowing i’ve affected someone negatively, especially when i didn’t mean to. but i must give up my impatience and give things time. after a week of not knowing how to approach the whole blog ordeal, it approached me, and i now feel free of something that was burdening me inside.

that freedom is inspiring. i know the Lord wants what’s best for me. i know what he wants me to do with my life, and i know i’ve been complacent this year and blamed it on my job and other circumstances mentioned in previous blog posts. i’m glad i’m not wallowing in self-pity today. i’ve been doing it for a year now over different people and different situations, and it’s a tired act.

there’s nothing to be sad about. yesterday cannot be relived, and taking anxiety medicine to avoid feeling what today has to offer is just stealing time. the Lord forgives me, i’ve asked for the forgiveness of people i’ve affected, and i am forgiving myself. there’s nothing else needed but to keep going in that direction.

if i make it to being old, i know i’ll look back on a full life. i just want it to be a life full of good, not bad. i’d like to see the world, but if i rarely make it out of albany, i’d be ok. i want to have watched my family grow and my parents smile. i want to make them proud by the life i live, the job i have, the wife i become, the mother i long to be. i want to know the Lord more each day and share Him with others by how i act, not confuse them like i have with my behavior lately. and i hope as old lady erin looks back at the choices i made this year, i might not remember how dark some spots were because so much good will have occurred to overshadow them. or maybe i’ll remember today and the last few days and feel satisfied that something so seemingly trivial changed my direction in the best of ways.

something bad may happen tomorrow to shake up my world. something good may happen tomorrow to resolve a hurt. i can’t predict how the Lord will shape my life, but i can rest knowing that if i listen and follow that He has a plan for me that is beyond the dreams i described in the paragraph above. so today might not be the greatest in some respects, but today can be great because for the first time in over twenty months i don’t feel so aimless as an individual anymore. and for that i can be joyful today.

“it’s only over when you quit, and you ain’t no quitter, honey.” (thanks, brian.)