5.24.2008

i hate that i have expectations for myself that are ridiculous, but they are unyielding. they stick no matter what. i want to be better. i want to do it all right and get it all right and be the best me that is possible at all times and do more things and explore more things and focus and feel focused. i don't want to do the things i was doing. i want to launch a new project. i want to feel the energy of newness. and that is just absolutely stupid because i am already doing so much. growing up, i felt like i quit everything. a therapist once suggested that maybe i was just done with those things. it was nice to be given that permission. but now, i'm a grown up with grownup responsibilities and commitments to more than just myself, but also myself. and sometimes i just want to quit, refocus, do something else. it's not really reasonable though. i suppose what i really need is to rediscover my love for those things and the energy that was lost. but i come back and back and back, my whole life, to realizing that what i really really need to be doing at all times is thinking and writing and getting, dragging, a book out of me. but it doesn't come. there isn't time. it will be agonizingly slow and my greatest fear is that by the time it's happened, someone else will have already written it and maybe written it better. because it's coming, of course.

i neglect, as always, to think on or allow for the circumstances in my life that make it so the book doesn't come or couldn't come or maybe shouldn't at all even attempt a coming. this stupid phd is wearing on me. i want it over. i want to move on. i know that in a year, we'll be ready to move to a new city and a new job and new problems of finding and building community and struggling to be who i am at all times. i know that in a year, i'll have to leave behind, at least partially, the business i've started. sometimes i think that this business i've started is not what i ever really wanted to do in the first place. it was just something to occupy me, something to do. won't someone else come along and love it and feel the need to spread the word and save the world and do it for me? no. that will not happen. sometimes i am loathe to finish what i start. it's a shameful thing, fraught with regret and shaken, hanging heads, upturned palms.

and what of my children? lately i keep thinking that what i really need to do is to be satisfied wholly by being their mother and being brilliantly and creatively domestically inclined. and i've tried that before and grown bored and needing to break free from my shell. but when i watch others doing this and doing it so well and so beautifully seemingly without all the trappings of guilt, indecision, anger, and humiliating humanity encapsulated by flying into rages at home, frothing mouth spewing indecipherable streams of profanity, the children crying and scared, markers still in hand from drawing on the month-old sofa, i feel at a loss, like clearly i must be doing all of this so, so wrong. i must be too distracted by my life, by the commitments i've made to all these ridiculous and growing outside activities. i must have made a wrong turn, a wrong decision. and i must stop volunteering for things.

and yet, i feel ever so succinctly and have always believed that children need to witness parents and particularly mothers, doing things that benefit the world, that help others, and that fulfill their need for well-being. but with all these commitments and all this charming creativity and running about being busy for committees, businesses, and individuals, comes the insanity of stress and a decided lack of well-being. i am stuck in the perpetuation of activity by the activities i perform. i am stuck in the spiral of self-destructive tendencies and precisely non-beneficial choices. i force myself again and again, or not so much force as randomly desire or crave, to drink and smoke, as though forcing the relaxation i require and far, far away from my children. but couldn't i do yoga and drink water or breathe deeply like a sane, well-balanced person?

i set myself up for these expectations i cannot mentally or emotionally handle trying to meet and then fail and fail again. it is a ludicrous cycle to be stuck in and i am buried deep.

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