Mental preparation, emotional upheaval and new life

It’s been quite a new year so far.  New friends, new babies, new job, new personal growth.  It is also an emotionally taxing time.

Holding a tiny new baby, welcoming a new personality into the world – wow, I had forgotten how soft their skin is;  how perfect the tiny fingers and fingernails; the rosebud shape of the mouth.  And the sounds and scents of ‘baby’.  Good thing I can’t have anymore, otherwise every time I held one I’d want to have another!  My daughter made amazing and good choices for this birth and she looked beautiful post-birth.  I am so happy that she had a better birth experience this time.  I hope it will strengthen her and grow her as a person, this new accomplishment.

Returning to the farm is going to be oh so bittersweet.  I know that beauty awaits me there, beauty that made my heart sing when I first saw the property a few years ago.  Wildness with a touch of domestication (hmm, message there?)  Stability from the old buildings and infusion of newness from my own perspectives coming to rest there.   It is a place of hope, and of melancholy.  A place where I learned new things about myself and conquered some very old fears.  It is also the place of my failure and a reminder of the truth of the adage “Look before you leap.”  But what else is life, but learning from each new experience? If you never try, you never know.

I am happy to be going there alone, despite the heavier work load I will bear.  I need to be alone to absorb the emotions, to process them, and then to release them.  I also need the space away from my family.  I love my family so much, but man, how did I become the burden bearer for them all?  The problem solver, the answer provider?   Do I put myself in that role, or is it their choice?  This is the newest thing I am struggling to determine about me.  Between the new demands at work, the intensified relationships with my children now that we’re in the same space daily, my mother’s unhappiness – some days I simply feel spent.

And I’m not even including the new…experience (?) I’m having with a new person in my life.  I hesitate to call it a relationship because, well, I’m not sure it fits that definition yet.   Exploration? Discovery?  Being the annoyingly analytical person that I am, all things seem to require quantifying for me. This dichotomy of being a feeling thinker irritates me at times.   Things must bear a definition in my mind – but what if there is no definition for this stage of learning someone?  My daughter just passed from one stage to another and announced it to me, with joy.  How was it defined for her?  She met his family, which also happens to be the family that owns the company she, her sister and I are employed by.  But she’s a smart young woman and will not let it impact her work life, this I know.  I am so happy to see her so happy! And he’s a great guy, older, more settled, more appreciative of her astounding intellect and quirky personality.  So it’s a girl thing I think, this definition stuff.  I think it only requires a definition though, when it reaches significance in the psyche – when you suddenly know “Hey, this is important to me.”   I have been unable to join in with the hook-up generation thing, even though I am open minded about other people who do it. They and they alone have to deal with those choices.  Since my morality is based on Torah, I have no restrictions laid out for my behavior that others labor under, so my restraint comes from within me.  I thought for a long time that it was an age thing, a widow thing, an introvert thing – some thing other than what finally dawned on me this week.   Because I require emotional intimacy prior to physical intimacy, I’ve been dancing around the emotional intimacy part.  Most of that for three years or so was due to my widowhood.  I needed to heal from that loss so that someone new didn’t come into a space they would have to share with a memory.  I needed closure on that relationship, a release to move forward as an individual, no longer part of a couple.  But there’s more to it also.  Safety.  As long as I am not emotionally invested in anyone, I am safe.   The moment I begin to show who I am to someone, I am at risk.  Compatibility is such a toss-up anyway with all of the varying personalities around, then lifestyle desires, religious beliefs, eating habits, and on and on it goes.  It’s like reductionist theory – breaking compatibility down to the simplest components after starting a the top of this monster pyramid of choices.   Or rather like trying to choose a loaf of bread these days – ever notice the mind-numbing plethora of choice for BREAD?  Good grief.  But the most humorous part of all of this was that after trying to get out and meet people, and a smidge of Internet dating, I announced to everyone significant to me – “I just don’t think I’m ready for a relationship.”  I pulled my profiles from the dating sites and really was content, happy, oh yeah, and safe 🙂   None of that mucking around in emotionalism for moi – even though I now know pretty much who I am and what I want, although I keep learning more and more.  And then, when I absolutely was not looking for anything or anyone…yep, you know it.  Now all of the hard work I have done on myself is moving from theory mode to application mode.  It’s not unlike the momentary “Ack, what am I doing?” thing that happens when one moves from reading the driver’s manual to the actual driving experience.  It’s bumpy.  It’s exhilarating.  It feels amazing.  And it’s scary.  Just instead of motoring around surrounded by tons of metal that may or may not protect you should you encounter a road hazard, now there’s this very soft, terribly vulnerable part of you out and about lacking protection in case you encounter an emotional hazard.  If I could relate a mental image of myself right now in this thing, it would be akin to one of those nature series documentaries.  You know the ones, where the soft-bodied whatever extends, extends and then whoosh , back to it’s cave/shell/protection at the first indication of danger.   Then it starts all over again.  That’s how I feel.    Or maybe like  this clip when Dory is attempting to speak whale, it works and then they get sucked in…lol!

But the whole summation is that I am giving a lot of myself right now.  And I am heading into a very emotional space back at the farm.  So if I freak out, everyone else just stay calm, and I will too 🙂

In a world where there is so much sadness and so much to be afraid of, good things do happen to people. Romance is still something we can find even if we’re not consciously looking for it.
-Kathleen Quinlan

Choose to be happy.  Let go of safety.  Embrace risk.


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