the peak has come and gone.
it was not quite what i expected. not that i actually thought some arbitrary early 20's assertion/ fantasy would manifest itself in reality. but somehow, still, it seemed like it might. like that amount of intention might create an actual apex of being, of utter excellence.
the 32 peak was more like standing exhausted at the top of a mountain, the wind whipping my sweat-soaked hair into my mouth and eyes, the sun scalding my already ruddied skin.
it wasn't bad. it was just weird and intermittently traumatic and really, really lumpy.
things i wouldn't consider park of a peak life experience that happened in the last year:
1. car accident number one.
2. face explosion/ emergency root canal.
3. horrific allergic reaction to medicine taken after said root canal.
4. allergic reaction to medicine taken for allergic reaction.
5. way more traumatic car accident number two, totaling my beloved car.
6. beginning therapy after a ten year reprieve and the emotional shit storm it dug up.
7. pregnancy (though planned) and the emotional shit storm it dug up.
looking at those events in sequence, i guess there's a theme.
i guess the theme is breakdown. eruption. purging.
i've stored a lot of bullshit for a very long time. and this year, for my peak, it started to seep out of me. it came out in clumsiness and physical pain and and fiery bumps across every inch of my skin. oh. and lots and lots of tears. it started to bubble up to the surface and began the proverbial cleaning out of the closet, in which, in order to make sense of the mess, you have to pull everything out and make even more of a mess to start with.
it's junk weekend in our neighborhood. people's lawns are littered with the most senseless piles of garbage, awaiting pick up. broken chairs, mangled art, shredded tires. piles and piles of long-empty paint cans, crusted closed in their hollowness. and so many boxes. misshapen, molding cardboard boxes, filled with even smaller bits of nonsense, of things broken, of what once was, of nothing. i wonder how people allow themselves to collect so much. why do we continue to save what we clearly no longer need? but we do. we save it for so long. it takes up space in our homes and hearts, until we finally, finally decide to place it on the curb for removal.
32 has been a year-long junk weekend of the soul.
it really needed to happen. but mercy, it made a mess.
i'm still in it. i think i wish i would wake up one morning and everything would just be clear. i wouldn't revert to tears or rigidity when i feel threatened. i wouldn't take everything so damn personally. i wouldn't try to control everyone and everything around me. i wouldn't criticize myself so fiercely. i wish i would wake up and someone would have just whisked away the boxes of so many broken bits.
but i'm still sorting through them.
just yesterday, i realized i'm not upset about it. i was talking to my therapist and then, willingly, unsolicited, the most perfect words came out of my mouth. she asked something to the effect of, what else? as in, what else did i need to talk about? what else needed sorting out? what else felt like it needed attention?
and i said,
for the first time in a long time, i don't actually feel like i need anything else at all. i'm doing the work and it's just in process. i have everything i need.
for so long, i've had this feeling of scarcity. there's not enough time, not enough space, not enough money, not enough energy, not enough love. i think it fed into that hoarding mentality, that holding onto old boxes.
yesterday, without even realizing it, my mouth informed my brain that we were done with that.
i have everything i need.
i really believed it.
it was a small, clear moment of grace for myself. not a push for perfection, not a race to the finish, just an acknowledgement that i'm exactly where i should be. in fact, i've said it a lot lately.
on the cusp of 33, i have a crystalline feeling that everything has happened as it should, when it should. it arises mostly in my feeling that i am really, really grateful to be cooking up this baby, with this exact partner, in this place, only at this exact moment and not any earlier. i feel like every single thing that happened leading up to right now was essential in my being ready to be the best mom possible.
which doesn't mean perfection. my therapist said, assuring some unspoken part of me she knew was asking the question, you don't have to be perfect to raise a child. you just have to be aware.
and lord, i'm aware. i know what i'm doing right and what i'm still working on. i know when i'm not being truthful with myself. i know what my triggers are, what's hard for me, what i shy away from confronting. i'm in the work. and then there's a whole piece of it, i won't even know until i have the baby. i was questioning that, questioning if there were things i should have done, emotionally, before baby was here. if it had come too soon. i was worrying to my very best friend, mother of her own sweet little one. and she said, i wish i'd gotten all my shit together before i had babies, but i couldn't see what it was i needed to do before they came along.
which is all to say, i've done some important things to make me ready. and some important things won't happen until i'm in the moment.
so i'm ready.
i'm ready to be a mom.
i am going to be baby m's mother. i am going to be the eyes through which she sees the world. i will be the voice she hears every day, the language and intonation and gestures through which she comes to understand communication. the songs i sing will be her songs. the way i move will be the rhythm that lives in her skin. i will feed her with my own body. we will be in and of each other's worlds. we will be each other's worlds.
i can imagine no greater, more spectacular and terrifying task.
and i'm ready. i am ready in not being ready. i'm ready in my understanding that i will be constantly figuring it out.
i am ready, not in spite of, but because of every weird bump and crash and breakdown that happened this past year and all the years before that, all the pulling out of boxes, all the sorting through. i am ready, because when you think you're going to peak, life insists that you unload so much of the crap that made it heavy to get to the top, in order to make the rest of the wandering a little bit lighter. i am ready, because i'm totally imperfect and i am just beginning to be okay with that.
i am ready to be a mama.
tomorrow, i am 33. at 33, i will become a mother.
i don't have anything figured out. but i've started taking out the trash.
and i have everything i need.
a soft, quiet part of me really understands that. i have everything i need. how it all fits together, i will figure out as i go.
i won't be a good mama, because i'm perfect. i won't be a good mama, because i always have the answer. i will be a damn good mama, because i am deeply loving and wise and perhaps even more deeply flawed, and because i am learning to accept those things not as at odds with each other, but as informing each other along the way.
i am ready. i am nearly 33, and i'm ready.
happy birthday to me.