Maybe it’s the autumnal air, the trees beginning to turn their brilliant colors, the sky deepening it’s hue before a long winter’s sleep. Something has affixed itself to me; something that has no name but boards alongside restlessness and boredom. Let me interject and state that this has nothing to do with Lucille. On the Motherhood front, I feel a sense of gratifying fulfillment. Motherhood has simultaneously shattered and healed me. By day’s end I am exhausted, but even in a collapsed state on the big brown couch, every evening, my heart swells when I turn the monitor on and see my daughter’s rumpled body in the corner of her crib, her doughy hand clutching her lovey.
This thing, this some other, has more to do with the rest of my life. I’m 36. Am I too young to be facing a mid-life crisis? Is that what this is? I have been teaching for nearly eleven years, a decade split between two schools I love. For the majority of my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to teach exactly what I want and how I want, and I have been relatively successful at it. But lately the claws of a greener pasture seem to have fastened themselves to the hours of my days. Daydreaming has turned into thoughts of a full-fledged photography business, or transforming into a married with a kid version of Carrie Bradshaw. My usual state of acceptance and general happiness has been stained with a narrative of I want more.
Can we really have it all?
My god, can we have it all and more?
My immediate response to this nebulous fog is to organize. The need for a clean slate, for shirts hanging in the closet to be filed side-by-side according to color and sleeve length, makes me happy. Begin a cleanse and whole body makeover. And I know why. It’s because I can control these. I can make changes, I can reorganize my desk drawers, I can clean out the pantry – I can be in complete control of the outcome. I’m not grasping at gossamer trails of smoke in the air that don’t exist. Shirts on a hanger are concrete items that can be manipulated. The daydreaming, the fettered state of metacognition – it’s all so elusive.
The reality, though, of this more, is not really real. At least it appears to be temporary; it comes in waves. While I was feeling as previously described for several days, I then sank my teeth into planning one of my new courses, and guess what? I felt revived. The color came back into my cheeks, and the wan sense of boredom retreated. Clearly this just bolsters the case for not making a rash decision. Good thing I didn’t resign and go spend umpteen-thousand dollars on lenses and a new camera body. Good thing my family still has health insurance.