I thought it was about social media. But it was about all of it. It was about being on, all the time. Being connected, and open to connections, and available, and expected to respond and expecting to get a response, and creating thousands upon thousands of tiny slivers of interactions to “connect” and “be productive” simply because I could. It’s actually worse than that. I had fallen into a very intentional trap laid by tech companies who only make money if I keep picking up my phone and putting my eyeballs on their apps.
I remember so looking forward to drinking again once I had her. I missed the release, the inclusion, the socializing, the softening. Almost immediately after she was born I went back to it, joining in at parties with my husband and baby in tow, having my girlfriends over or going to their house for wine like we had been doing for years. One time, just a couple weeks after she was born, I walked in a snowstorm to my friend’s place a few blocks away, just to try and feel like my “old” self for a few minutes. I barely drank one glass of wine before I felt so ill I had to trek home. I had mastitis.
Can we pause for one second before we crack open the Rosé and think, Where am I going with this? Closer to life or further away? Why? Is this what it means to be alive? Is there some kind of connection to this—the wine, the food, the sex, the 500th Netflix show, whatever—and the disconnection we’re seeing in the world? Maybe?
This past weekend, a friend who I hadn’t actually talked to in years sent me a message asking if we could talk. She was scared and afraid she was in trouble with her drinking and she knew it was late, but was I there? I was, and we talked, and I don’t know if it helped or if it’ll change anything for her, but I was just so damn grateful I could answer.
Do you ever/did you ever look at friends' Facebook posts, or hear good news about their lives, and be filled with a combination of jealousy and rage? Sometimes I feel that way and I am so ashamed that I can't just be happy for other people without feeling like my life in no way measures up. I have good things in my life...but not the marriage, house, and kids that everyone posts a million pictures of. And my instinctual reaction to watching other people be happy is, "Why can't I be like that?" Sometimes I just have to stop looking because otherwise, it makes me so sad.
All around me, I can see the unmistakable beauty in all the seasons that have passed, especially the really difficult ones. I can honor the one I am in. This is the season of my adult aloneness. The season of writing my first book. The season of goddess friendships and living in my body. The season of mothering and becoming an aunt. The season of my 39th year.
I’m sitting on the edge of my bed looking out at the bay, still in my work clothes. It’s Friday afternoon, Memorial Day weekend, and the sun is bouncing off all the roofs of the houses, the water, the docked boats bobbing in the bay. Even after living here for two years, the view still stuns me. The house sits on top of a steep row of houses, the highest on the street, and from this perch in my bedroom, the beauty is always so shocking I believe it washes away all that is wrong. How can a marriage break in the face of that view? How can there be any pain at all?