My legs need shaving. My egg sandwich tastes bland. The coffee has gone cold, again. I can feel the lump in my throat, which prevents me from eating much these days. I can also feel the tears, on the verge, ready to spring forth at the next catastrophe. Outside, I tell myself, someday, someday it will be better, it will get easier, I will miss the chaos, the struggle; someday I will look back and laugh. But inside, inside is a growing worry doll that is holding every fear, every ‘what if’, every possible disaster and remembering every single mistake.
Perhaps I have anxiety, perhaps I am just a worrier. I hear and read more every day of mothers’ struggles to juggle it all. I hear about how to ‘let it go’, ‘live in the moment’ and balance it all. Being a well educated college graduate, from a small (expensive) liberal arts school, I know that balance is important. I also know that drive, ambition, and fortitude (along with good conections) is how to make things happen. Realistically, externally, I know these things. And I have those positive images of ‘I have survivied so far’ and ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’ and of course Nike’s ‘just do it’. But most of these don’t sink deep enough into my very sub-sub conscious mind.
There is a deep struggle I fight every day. It is the struggle of positive and negative. The struggle of am I really good enough and will I really make it through today. The end result comes out as bubbling positivity most days, though not always. I maintain the external cheerful, busy, bubbly personality trying to spread good and positive feelings to everyone. (There are certainly down days, for sure, but mostly the positive good does win over the ‘evil’ in my internal struggle.)
Is the positive image I keep holding due to finally letting these known good vibes settle deep enough to REALLY hear them? Perhaps a little. But the real reason I keep fighting is ten years old. The real reason has dark brown eyes, a gentle wave to her hair and a wonderful smile. The real reason is I don’t want to pass more of the anxiety, worry, self doubt and struggle down to my middle daughter. Although she is strong, she is building fences that I too built, fences that hold her back from enjoying every moment.
I will fight everyday to show her how to cope with worrying that the house will be engulfed in flames upon our daily return. I will give her the tools I have lived 39 years to find. I will show her the good, the happy, the calm spots in life to take a deep breath and feel the gentle good karma pulsing through the earth. I will show her how to deconstruct those fences, let in the light and run free to explore all the wonders the world has to offer. I will help her to see nobody cares if you have hairy legs, ice coffee can be delicious, and how to let the tears flow to make room for new experiences that are beyond our wildest imaginings.