Star Light, Star Bright

Originally posted at

I want so many things, big and small. Selfish things. Giving things. There are days I feel consumed by the wanting. The wishing that tomorrow could come today and I wouldn’t have to do right now any more. The wishing that the feeling I’m having at this very moment could be miraculously replaced by something that doesn’t feel so much like its choking me.

Wishing doesn’t fix a damn thing.

The only way to get there is step by excruciating step, and I hate that. I hate that feeling of backing up more steps than I feel I’ve come.

In the mothering of two children with some extremely difficult issues, I’ve so many times forced myself to enjoy the progresses, knowing full well they’ll be followed by disappointing setbacks. Its usually not until months later than I can recognize a pattern, that the setbacks are fewer and father between. And we make progress, until the next issue presents itself, and we start over again.

So I suppose it is in life. I don’t get there by imagining myself there already; I get there by taking the baby steps. I remember the year of waiting for a promotion that I knew I should have had, waiting for the people who make the decisions to catch up to me. It was a really difficult year, many times over I questioned what I was doing and why. I wasn’t patient very much, and there were so many days, especially in the beginning that I had to force myself to go to work and go through the motions. Eventually the bad days were outnumbered by the better ones, and then one magical day arrived: I got my promotion. Except it came at someone else’s expense, so that didn’t feel so great. Be careful what you wish for.

I didn’t get to the end of the first year after separating by any means other than small steps, either. Every day I felt like my skin was on fire, my brain and emotions constantly pinging back and forth, endlessly in conflict. One day at a time.

If I couldn’t imagine the next day, then at least I tried to imagine the next five minutes. Or the next thirty seconds, whatever worked. Mostly it worked. Some days were really shitty, though. Some days still are. Sometimes I feel like I’m fighting a shadow version of myself, the bad me. The one who spews negativity to combat any positive feelings I have. The one who whispers You won’t make it through the next five minutes. You’ll explode first. I have a hard time making her be quiet, that other me. I have difficulty finding the right ways to get her to shut her lying mouth. Because those things are lies, all of them.

Growing is hard. Changing hurts, sometimes. Becoming is no process for the faint of heart. Redefine who I am, look at where I’ve come, check where I’m going. Am I going someplace I really want to be? What path am I taking to get there? Is it the path that ensures I’ll be ready to be there when I arrive, or the path that seems easiest but results in me arriving there well before I’m fully prepared? Who is it I expect myself to be when I get there? Will there be chocolate? What if I never arrive?

I can’t answer all of these questions. But I’m trying to.

Wishes are tricky things. Wishing for something tells me what I want in life; living as if the manifestation of the wish is the most important thing at all robs me of the joy of witnessing the reality of my today. Somewhere in the middle of the wish and the now is the answer. I’m trying very hard to find that answer, and its not something anyone else can tell me. Its something I have to find myself.

One day at a time, I’ll keep trying.

Mary a/k/a BarnMaven blogs at about single parenting, living with ADHD, too many animals to count and dealing with ADHD/Bipolar kids.

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