They say to write what you know. But what happens when you feel like you know nothing? I had a baby. She is made of moonshadows and stardust, and these things are completely unknown to me.
I’m sitting in a filthy living room, covered in cat hair and baby toys. I’m pretty sure if you shined a black light on any random part of the couch, you’d find milk. Digested, partially, not at all – milk everywhere. And on the middle of the floor in front of me, splayed on her belly like a starfish, lies my daughter. Sleeping happily on her tummy, which makes me a terrible mom, yes I know. Every once in a while she picks her head up, sighs and squeaks, and then faceplants back down on the floor. I count to five, and if she hasn’t moved her head to one side or the other, I go try and coax her to get some breathing room. Sometimes I’ll even pull the cat hair out of her mouth.
I wonder these days about work (should I go back) and passions (should I try to do them more) and her father (how much I love him so). I sometimes wonder about her (was this a mistake) and her future (she is so amazing).
She’s 11 weeks old. We count in weeks, us new parents. Don’t judge. 11 weeks and everything I’ve ever known about life and what I want, like, have, know, about anything, has disappeared. She is a tiny overlord, and I am a chicken with its head cut off, trying desperately to make the crying stop. (Everyone has tears always.) Slowly though, I’m learning. She is teaching me.
She recently learned to clasp her hands together. She wrings them in front of her chest like a little old lady nervous about the oncoming rain. Developmentally this is apparently a huge step. Visually, it’s cute as hell. I am more proud of this small thing than I was the day I graduated college. I never wanted to be a mom.
And there’s the bell, there’s the thing. I am not mother material. But I’ve been watching a lot of Gilmore Girls (judge all you want) and the main character (the mother) said something that has been rattling around in my brain for days. Weeks. She said “I’m great at doing the things I need to do. I’m terrible at doing things I want to do.” And this is me. This is me in every single way. At work I cannot even begin to describe my job, because I get everything I need to get done, done. Whether it’s my job or not. And that, my friends, makes me the multi-hat-wearer of the universe, the renaissance woman of the workplace, and prettymuch un-employable for most companies. Who wants to see a resume with 20 different technical skills on it and no real job title? Luckily my current employer uses my rainbow flowerpot of skills, and knows how much I kick ass. (Own it.)
But what about what I WANT to do? I’m talking about writing. I suck at this. I suck at getting pen to paper or key to finger and actually sitting down and doing it. Because I want it so badly that I am afraid to fail. So do I go back to my job with the TERRIBLE commute but that actually is fun some days? Or do I rock the mother thing for a while and try my hand at another version of life? One that involves writing and spending time at the park and watching my daughter wring her hands and smack her lips, tut-tutting the wild winds.
Whatever I decide, will I do it, and do it well? I’d like to think so. Because people, I get shit done. And sometimes I might even write about it.