I have, like, six weeks left in this project, and today I feel like quitting. I feel like people are judging me, or like I’m doing something wrong and not making myself understood properly. I feel like it was a mistake to let anyone read it, but the whole point of it was for people to read it. Maybe nine months was too long to keep it up. I’ve lost my audience, or at least their sympathy. Who fucking knows.
After I posted yesterday about how, despite some evidence to the contrary, I am not miraculously healed from the trauma of my miscarriage and still hurt when I hear about other people’s pregnancies, I got an anonymous comment basically telling me that an important part of the healing process is to learn to suck it up and deal with it. Which was not on the list of things that had made me dread writing the post in the first place, but certainly should have been.
Then this morning, I was chatting with an old friend, who told me that I only seem to focus on wanting a baby, and have done nothing to actually prepare my life for one. She told me that my desire to stay in my current job, rather than finding a higher-paying, temp-to-hire office job, in which I would undoubtedly be miserable, is “selfish.” She told me that just because there are all kinds of “unprepared” (read: lower income, non-home-owning) people having babies, doesn’t mean that I need to model myself after those people.* She told me that the plan for me to stay at the grocery store part-time, so I can focus more of my energy on raising our kids, while Doug finds a way to make more money to support us (when it becomes necessary – because for now, just for us two, we’re fine), is “unfair to Doug.”
“It’s not selfish,” I told her. “It just is.”
And then I spent the whole day miserable.
Because I have no desire to start another flame war or get anymore “advice” from anonymous assholes, let me assure you that my friend’s intentions on this one are pure. She has a very strong set of beliefs about what a life should be – she always has: when we were eight, she tried to tell me that “writer” wasn’t a practical career choice, and that I should find a back-up plan, like “doctor” or “lawyer” – and she wants to see me achieve that life. So she’s trying to help, trying to get me to think about what I need to do next to achieve her goals. Am I mad? Fuck yes, I am. But I’ll get over it, just like I got over it 20 years ago.
Here’s what worries me though, with regards to the blog: yesterday, I was given the impression that I’ve made myself sound too well-adjusted. And today, I’ve been told that I am too focused on having a baby and seem to want nothing else out of life, ever. I never intended either of these interpretations of my project, and so I’m starting to think I’m doing it wrong.
Yes – I’ve come a long way, baby. But I’m not completely over what happened to me. In fact, I’ve been told, by a professional, that I never will be. And yes, I dwell on the baby thing a lot here, because that was the whole point of this blog at its outset. But there are other aspects to my life, and there are days where I feel like I’m stretching to tie it all back to the original point. (Tuesday was one of them – remember that nice, happy-with-my-life post? It was just three days ago.) If I wanted a baby that badly, right now, I would fucking have a baby right now. What’s stopping me, really, besides myself?
So for the first time in seven months, I feel like my project is working against me. It’s not facilitating my healing; it’s not making me feel sane. And if this is going to be the trend from here on out, then I don’t want to do this anymore.
*I’m not fooling myself into thinking that I’ll raise my kids in a rich suburb, like my parents did. However, I don’t think my kids are going to starve, either. And when I called my parents tonight, and cried, my dad told me that one day he’ll die and then I’ll be rich (this is not reassuring), and my mom told me that she will babysit my kids for free (in the rich suburb, no less!), and they both told me that I can have whatever the fuck kind of job I want. And I can’t help but think that it’s this kind of support – not, in fact, a fat paycheck – that great parents are made of.