Spilling It.

by Leonie Dawson on October 8, 2010

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah.

There is so much transformation in my life right now.

SO MUCH.

And I don’t know how to write about it easily. It’s not so much physical changes in my outside world. It’s like my inner world is being shaken and rearranged.

I kinda hate when people talk about change, but don’t really say what the change is though. It always makes me try to guess just what the dinger is going on.

So I’ll try my bestest to explain with specifics, yus?

I don’t know where this will go, but lets miander.

Let’s pretend we are the oldest and dearest of friends off on a walk together, through old parks and paddocks, stopping at cafes.

Last week, I became utterly convinced that I needed to cut all my hair off – ALL of it. Less than an inch long. And I nearly booked the haircut in, but something inside me said:

Just wait. Just for a moment.

And I did.

On Monday morning I did my new weekly “must-do-something-for-myself” ritual, and had an hour-long Pellowah healing session. In the six months since Ostara was born, it was the longest I had been away from her. I orchestrated it like the Grand Event it was. I fed her to sleep before I left, then installed Chris to lay beside her. Then I ran across our backyard, through the parking lot, down a tiny space between two buildings, across the street to Akiah‘s shop. It really is handy living on the same block as EVERYTHING in our small town.

And I promptly fell asleep on the healing table, and woke up an hour later feeling changed and shifted.

Running back home, fervently praying that Ostara wasn’t crying {she wasn’t}, I suddenly knew that I wouldn’t cut my hair off.

It feels like the energies are flying all around the place. Changes are coming thick and fast. In each moment, a yes can become a no, a no can become a yes.

I’ve become kind of over the top excitable about starting Christmas celebrating NOW. And buying a 2011 diary and calendar NOW. I think I really just want some time of celebration and decadence and ease. I want to watch silly movies in the afternoon and cook ridiculous things and decorate our little home until every inch of it is covered in glam and glitter. And if I’m really, really tenderly honest and vulnerable, I’m really looking forward to the promise of a new year. I just want it to be easier than 2010 has been.

And I totally judge myself for saying that. For not being super superheroine-ish. For finding this pace and stage of my life not so easy.

But then I remember:

Umm… Leonie? Do you remember what’s happened in the last year? You’ve managed to tick off nearly all the boxes of the Major Life Stressors.

We’ve bought a second house. Evicted tenants from hell. Grieved the loss of a grandmother and a dear friend. Left both of our jobs. Sold our home. Moved across the countryside. Oh, and given birth and had a first child and been a stay at home mum by myself in a city without a car or family or friends while Chris worked full-time. I look back on the last year, and I kind of shudder. It’s been really, really hard.

And oh gawd, I feel guilty when I say that. Why is it that we, as mothers, have to write rings of explanation before we get to the truth? That we feel compelled to say: I really really love my children, and I never want to give them away... before we can just come out and say: Oh god it is hard.

Coz yup, it’s hard. This mamahood thing really does kick my ass a lot.

Things are a whole lot better now I have my love at home with me.

But I feel like the last six months of new mamahood is catching up to me. I’ve been as brave and strong as I could be.

And now I don’t have to be. After pushing so hard to keep it all together and sell a house and move, I finally have a bit of space to breathe. To step into my feelings. To set down the big weight I feel like I’ve been carrying around.

It feels like a big black doctor’s bag – you know the kind. Before, it was just labelled: New Mama Emotions. But now I’ve been slowly prising it open to see what is inside. There are shadows in there. And grief and sadness.

I’ve put down the cheerleader dance of YAH! I’M A NEW MUM AND I’M DOING GREAT! THIS IS SO FUN! I CAN DO EVERYTHING! I’M TOTALLY COOL WITH MY LIFE CHANGING SO RADICALLY! WEEE!

Coz yeah, there might be elements of that. But I’m one multi-faceted gem of a mama. And I really need to honour the parts of that gem that doesn’t glint and shine. The parts where the light doesn’t hint.

The truth is, I’m finally and utterly grieving my life before I became a mama. I miss being an artist. I miss filling my days with all the things I want to do. I miss writing and creating and running my business full time. I miss having my body as my own. I miss having time. Oh god, time, I miss you so very very much. I miss the time when I wasn’t on call 24/7. When I solely lived by my own whims, guidance, needs, intuition.

Farrrrk, I really miss it.

I feel like I’m swinging at the end of my emotional rope. I’m still hanging on, but there ain’t much give in that rope. There’s not much space to go. So I’ve been going to see a counsellor. My counsellor, who I like to call The Dude, says that before you have a child, your pie is filled with all the different things you do. You get Love Time and Me Time and Work Time and Creativity Time and Food Time. And then you have a baby, and that whole pie gets wiped clean and taken up with Baby Time. And life after that is a slow, slow reconstruction of the pie again to a new kind of normal.

I think about that pie a lot.

I always thought I’d have a bazillion kids. Or four. I grew up as one of five, and loved it. Every time I’d tell Chris {an only child} of my Great Big Plans for a bazillion kids, he’d say: Let’s just start with one and we’ll see how we go.

And right now? I’m crying to Chris that I may just want one.

And it might just be Helllooooo… you’ve only just had one! And your life is only just starting to have tiny bits of pie time integrated back into it! Give it time, dearest heart!

Or it might just be my soul’s truth: to be a mama of one.

I don’t know. I really don’t know. And I find myself really yearning to be peaceful with that not knowing. To be accepting and honouring of it. What’s true for me right now might change.

But right now? I need space. I need time. I need healing.

I’ve been running so hard that now I’ve stopped, I’m trying to catch my breath and remember who I am and how on earth I can craft my life again into something that sings.

So there I am, dear friend.

I don’t know if I’ve explained it at all well, but there it is. The best I can do right now. And as I’m learning, the best I can do right now is plenty good enough.

Life is an emotional washing machine. And as much as there is dirt and soap and lint, I have hope too. The swilling will stop. This time of transformation – when I feel I’ve outgrown my own skin – will ease. And I’ll find myself again. I’ll be cleansed clean and marked open.

For right now though, the fumble. The learning to be okay with vulnerability. The fossicking through my dusty doctor’s bag for a gem called the truth. Holding it up to the light to see it from every angle. Every now and then I catch a glimpse of my reflection in it. I see the way mamahood appears in my face – across my forehead, in my eyes.

And I just want to whisper… to that maiden-mama self of mine crouched in the earth, peering into a crystal:

I love you, my darling. I love you.

Aho!