Randoms

I just have some random, unrelated things to babble about today, in no particular order.

  • First, thank you for all the amazing feedback and support in regards to my post about anxiety. I feel more empowered than before to take charge and do something about these feelings I’m having.
  • I switched my commenting system to IntenseDebate. Somewhere in the import, some comments got eaten. I don’t know why most of my comments were imported but some were not. I’m frustrated, but for now I’m sticking with I.D. because I like the system. You’ll notice that pretty much all of my posts after December have 0 comments, which depresses me because it makes me look sad and friendless but the comments are there, somewhere, in cyberspace. I re-imported and everything is fine now. Yay!
  • Have you read that Cora’s Law is in the process of being passed in Indiana? Cora’s Law would make it mandatory for newborns to be given a pulse oximetry test to screen for a potential CHD.. And it’s all thanks to Cora and her amazing mother Kristine! I am so proud of Kristine for fighting so hard and tirelessly making sure that Cora continues to save lives!
  • I’m going away for the weekend. Friday through Sunday. I’ll be off on a chorus retreat, barbershopping my butt off. So, internet silence from me. I know you’ll miss me terribly but please try and carry on with your daily lives. This is going to be the longest I’ve ever been away from Nellie. Eeeeeek.
  • My 12 in 11 project is going so well I’ve finished 2 books this month. I read The Hunger Games and on Sunday I bought Catching Fire. I finished it last night. I’m not obsessed or anything. I certainly didn’t look up mockingjay pendants on Amazon or anything like that.
  • Seeing bunches of Blissdom Tweets makes me feel geeky & spazzy and anxious for August, when I will be attending BlogHer ’11. I can’t wait!
  • I tried watching The Kids Are All Right last night with Josh. Great acting, boring as hell. I don’t get why it’s nominated for an Oscar, and I’m usually down with the Oscar Noms. It was like watching someone’s real life, except without any really great drama. I turned it off before we got to the “conflict” of the movie but I read about it on Wikipedia and I was like, meh. Whatev.
  • Abrupt end to the blog post.

For a Minute, There

For a minute there, I lost myself. I lost myself.. — Karma Police, Radiohead

When I was pregnant, I knew everything. I believe I’ve mentioned this before. One of the things that I just knew was that I wasn’t going to lose my identity when I became a mother. I’m a firm believer that a woman’s identity doesn’t lie solely within the boots she wears. Wife boots. Work boots. Mommy boots (shout out to myself! Is that lame?). Too often when a woman becomes a mother, that becomes her life. Her identity. She identifies as “Jack’s mom” or “Sophie’s mom”. While I am very much “Nellie’s mom”, that’s not all that I am.

…….. But it is kind of all I’ve become.

Most of my dialogue is about my child, because my life revolves around her. I am not saying there is anything wrong with this but it does make it difficult to relate to people who don’t have children. One of my best friends (and coworkers), R, has a baby who is two weeks – TO THE DAY – younger than Nellie. She and I talk all the time. We talk about our relationships with our respective partners, about the frustrations of trying to keep our places clean, about the funny shit our kids are doing right now. Conversation between the two of us comes very, very easily. I have noticed that when I’m around friends of mine who don’t have kids, I struggle to find something interesting to say where I used to be able to talk the ear off of anyone whether they liked it or not. Now? It’s “Nellie does this” and “Nellie is so funny when she…”

Again, nothing wrong with it but it makes me feel uncomfortable. Awkward. Like one of those parents I used to roll my eyes at. You know the ones. The ones that can’t shut up about their child. YEAH. THAT’S ME NOW.

So how do I find myself again? Where did I go? I feel like I’ve lost myself in a mixture of sippy cups and Cheerios. Of weight gain and frumpy clothes. With my new “mom exterior” (frizzy hair, no makeup, body fat) I find myself so much more self-conscious, wondering if people are talking about me and commenting that I shouldn’t be wearing my pants tucked into my boots because I’m too fat. And honestly, I probably am too fat but it’s fucking cold and the boots keep my feet warm.

Even the chorus I used to be so passionate about singing with has taken a backseat to Life. I cannot dedicate even half of the time I used to and it’s got me feeling sad. When I do make it to rehearsal, I find myself feeling detached. Like an outsider. Don’t get me wrong the ladies are wonderful and still welcome me but I’ve missed so much, I feel like I’m an imposter. Like I don’t deserve to be there because I haven’t worked hard enough. Chorus has always been my thing. My hobby. And now it’s just another pile of work on top of my already-busy life… I just can’t find the time to work on my music and it sucks.

So where do I find Natalie? Where has she gone? I know that I’ve changed. I have become less interesting, less funny, more judgmental and stressed out. Maybe it’s a little bit of residual PPD, maybe it’s just typical of being a new (ish) mom.. I really don’t know. But I feel isolated and anxious a lot. I struggle to find things to say. I feel annoying.

Maybe I’m just crazy. But for several minutes, here, I have lost myself and I’m not sure where to find me. I’m trying to be kinder to myself; washing my face twice a day so I don’t break out. Eating better. Taking a multivitamin. Stretching in the morning. Treating myself to something that’s just for me once a month.

But it’s hard. I still feel off. I still feel lost a lot of the time.

In other news

In other news, I passed my audition for the Sweet Adelines last Tuesday. Obama won the Presidency that night, as you all already know, which was extremely exciting. Last Wednesday was a very good day for me. I was in high spirits all day, partially because I passed my audition and partially because I felt so good about our new President-Elect.

Over the weekend, I attended a retreat with my new chorus sisters, and it was a really great and wonderful experience. We worked hard all day with a vocal coach, and we played hard that night. We shared a bonfire with an Episcopalian men’s chorus that were at the retreat the same time we were. Myself, and two other girls around my age Stephanie and Christina stuck together most of the evening. The three of us sang around the bonfire, in three-part harmony. I don’t think I can describe the excitement and happiness I feel now that I have friends that I can sing with. Music has always been a very big part of my life, and having girlfriends that I can share that with is amazing.

The ladies in the chorus officially voted me in on Saturday, and when I came back into the room after the voting was over, they were lined up and began singing a welcoming song to me while they took turns giving me hugs. It was a really special, and quite overwhelming experience!

Last night was the Coldplay concert. It was a really good show. Our seats were really, really terrible, and I find myself a little disappointed that I didn’t spend more money for better seats. I felt really detached from the whole experience of the concert. Even though I screamed my lungs out, and still got to see the band, I have been feeling really wistful all day, wishing I’d had better seats. I made a vow to myself that if I ever get the chance to see them again, I will splurge for better seats.

I’ve found a website that I have become a little addicted to, thanks to my friend Ryan. He’s been writing on a website called Helium for a while now. It’s a website for writers; you can find subject matters that you are passionate about, or are educated in, and write articles. From there, people vote on how helpful, relevant, or well-liked the article is, and your article is ranked. People can actually buy your article from that website; my friend just had his first article bought the other day.

I have written two articles thus far; one on the argument of going to see a movie in the theatre vs. renting one at home. There are 56 articles written on my side of the argument (that theatre is better), and yesterday my article was ranked #29. Today when I logged in, my article was ranked #4. #4!!!!!! Do you know how exciting that is? The other article I wrote was about life after a miscarriage. Yesterday it was #5 out of 5, and today, it is #1. I’m hooked on this website. The subject matters are literally everything from how to get grass stains out of a sweater, to debates on the war in Iraq. I’m really proud of my two little articles thus far, even if they aren’t the most groundbreaking pieces of work ever written.

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on lately. I’m through with the TTC heartbreak. I can’t do it anymore, I’ve been so obsessive for so long and it hasn’t yielded results, so maybe a more carefree approach will help. We’re still going to BD as much as we can around O time, but I’m through with everything else. When it’s my time to be a mommy, it will happen. I just have to take a deep breath, be patient, and let go.