Before starting this blog, I promised myself that I would not write anything in the heat of the moment. I would allow time and hindsight to help shape my thoughts and put words to my feelings.
So far, that has worked well, but one thing I have noticed is that hindsight for each of these experiences has a certain rose-colored hue. In other words, the feelings in the moment hurt so much worse than they do after the fact.
While I’m still not fully settled in this new place, I feel that I owe it to my past self (and any future person who might be going through something similar in their lives) to throw a small temper tantrum. Because sometimes, life sucks.
I miss my friends. I miss being able to text someone to hang out on a Saturday casually and not feel like I’m bearing my heart just by reaching out. I miss thrifting with a person there to giggle at bizarre sweater styles and fall in love with the sequined blouse that is only $2.
I miss my job. I miss waking up every morning feeling excited to see my co-workers. I miss chatting about the kids in our classes who make us laugh or drive us crazy. I miss looking through costumes for the perfect thing to transform a nine-year-old into a strange old wizard. It still hurts to think of the place that I left and to know that I won’t be back for at least three years, maybe longer. I miss being on stage, and behind the scenes, and I miss being surrounded by creativity.
I miss familiar places. I miss the grocery store just down the street with a massive selection of canned Polish goods (which I never bought, but had a great time looking at!). I miss knowing intuitively which way is “north.”
I miss coming home to an apartment full of light and warmth, that already feels like home. I miss knowing where everything in the kitchen belongs.
I miss feeling in control of my life. Before law school, I had a purpose. I felt fulfilled. I thought that would be life for a while. I miss feeling certain of the next five years.
I’ve talked about this with some close friends on a weekend visit a week or so ago. I apologized for throwing a tantrum. They reassured me, “it’s ok, these feelings are understandable.” Sure.
It’s ok that things suck. It’s ok that I’m sad. It’s ok that I’m angry. It’s ok. I’ll live. None of this is fatal. It just sucks.
I feel like a two year old. Like my emotions are too big for my body, and I feel them so strongly I just want to throw myself on the ground and scream and cry and kick.
I was listening to a podcast about temper tantrums recently. One section was about a girl who was in agony over not being able to sit at the head of a round table. The recording followed her cries as she wallowed in her anger and frustration. Her screams rose to an agonized shriek followed by the solid thump of something thrown against the wall.
“This is the beginning of the end,” the doctor explained, “it takes a lot of energy to throw a tantrum, and you can hear she is starting to get tired and wind down.”
I can relate to that little girl. It has been exhausting to miss my old life. I am ready to stop comparing everything from then to everything now. After two months, I am starting to feel like maybe, just maybe, I’m at the beginning of the end of my temper tantrum.
Another thing that the doctor said in regards to temper tantrums has also stuck with me: “the best thing you can do is to ignore it.” He didn’t mean “ignore your problems.” This was in reference to a child screaming because broccoli isn’t yellow, or because they really want to cover themselves in peanut butter and they aren’t allowed to. Ignore the tantrums.
I try. I try to focus on the things that I am learning. I try to think about the new places I love. I take walks early in the morning to watch the sun rise over the lake.
I still miss our old apartment, but new people live there now. It isn’t our apartment any more. Even if we had stayed in the same city, we probably would have moved to a new apartment.
I still miss my friends, but I have a phone and my phone even has a camera. I can call the people I love. I can hear their voices. I can even schedule weekend trips to go and see them.
Even if we had stayed in the same city, my friends and I were busy. We didn’t see each other every day, and sometimes I called them to catch up.
I still miss my job. I don’t have a rational around this one yet. This is a tantrum I work really hard to ignore. To not think about.
All the inspirational quotes and TEDtalks say “find your passion” and “follow your dreams.” But what if you found your passion, and then you had to let your dream go?
What do you do after that?
I don’t know. I can’t look at the “after that” through rose colored-glasses. I can’t even think about it without my eyes tearing up.
I don’t want to cry.
I don’t want to be sad.
I don’t want to be angry.
I don’t want to miss things.
I don’t want to feel all of this.
It’s hard being a grown up.
I’m sorry for throwing a temper tantrum.
You can ignore it if you want to.