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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Letting the Self Rest

Today, I wish I could hang a sign above my head that says, "Not myself today. Please don't take any first impressions."

It's been a whirlwind month. We moved, we went camping, we started work and school, my lovely mother came to visit, and I was actively involved in an artisan retreat. All this to say that I've expected not to be myself one day. I've been waiting on all the hype and excitement to die away and leave me feeling a little deflated, and finally after a couple weeks, that day has arrived.

It's a long day because Dwayne is at work and in class from 9 am until 10 pm. So it's just Noelle and me non-stop from morning 'til evening. Also, Noelle's top teeth sprung out last night, making their debut this morning. Cute, yes, but it's causing lots of strife. She is clingy, whiney, and easily frustrated, requiring more attention than usual.

To help us get through the day she and I decided to go visit Dwayne for lunch. She came out in all of her sunshine at the sight of new faces. Truly her father's daughter! But I couldn't muster the same brightness. My spirit was dragging and a pall was cast over my general area.

I felt it especially while talking to one of Dwayne's friendly supervisors. She was so nice. We discussed similar acquaintances, and shared a bit about our lives. For most of the conversation I couldn't help but feel drab and uninteresting. I felt as captivating as a rock, and this bothered me because I genuinely enjoyed talking to this woman. I wanted her to know how much I was appreciating her warmth and generosity of spirit, but I couldn't seem to get it together.

The blues have followed me home, and I'm left feeling a strange sense of loneliness. The sort of lonliness that comes from a spirit trying to recuperate from so much exertion and change. For me, I've realized that this is the cycle of my emotional life. In one hand, it feels good to be at my age and able to understand the ebb and flow of my emotions. I remember when they used to sweep me off my feet and carry me far out to sea, gasping and gulping to stay afloat. On the other hand, knowing myself a bit better doesn't make living through the weariness any more enjoyable.

I'm reminded of one Saturday afternoon during the summer before I got pregnant. My sister and I went body boarding at Manhattan Beach. I had been playing in the ocean alot that summer and so was pretty confident and easy in the water.

Annie and I pushed out a few yards into the lip of the Pacific, then coasted back to the beach on our boards. We did this a handful of times until unexpectedly I wiped out. The water grabbed me and turned me over in that laundry fashion that pushes water up your nose and leaves your sinuses stinging. I popped up gasping. I hadn't expected to wipe out because the wave wasn't that big.

I had played in waves much larger than the ones at Manhattan, but suddenly I found myself caught in a current. No matter how hard I tried to get back to shore, I couldn't do it. The board flipped again. So I decided to walk, but each wave, no higher than my waste, nearly capsized me and kept me from moving more than a few inches at a time.

I remember being exasperated by the whole thing. It wasn't like I was battling these mighty white caps to get home. But the more I pushed forward the more exhausted I got and the further away the beach looked. Either the waves were stronger than I realized, or I was more tired than I realized.

Finally, I stopped fighting the waves. Instead of battling my way through them, I stopped and ducked beneath the surface, letting them roll over my head in silence. Once they past, I popped up and began inching my way toward the beach at a diagonal. Walking nearly parrallel to the sand. In this way, I made my way back.

In this way, I hope to make my way back to a happier self. I'm trying to let the waves of weariness wash over me. Rather than fighting them off with relationships, fun, or activity, which might only exhaust me further. For now, I think the best thing is just to keep the beach in sight and let my soul float silently just beneath the surface. I think soon, I'll be able to start walking in.


Blogger Leah said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing that Christin. I'm feeling pretty lonely the last couple of weeks, so it was refreshing to hear your perspective.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I love reading your blog. You have an amazing way of putting things that I often can relate to.
Thanks for sharing!
Esther(a friend of Dwayne's)

12:12 PM  
Blogger Aaron Perry said...

Hey Christin,

Congrats on the move, etc. Just dropping by to get caught up on all things Taylor. :)

(Btw, my pastor used to quote a Native saying that sometimes we need to rest so that our souls catch up with our bodies. You know it's time to move when your soul is spurring your body, but time to rest when your body is outpacing your soul. If that's not abstract enough for you, then I'm not doing my job as a pastor! But I think there's a note in it that resonates in me.)

7:13 AM  
Blogger Christin said...

Aaron, that's a fabulous way of putting it. Yes, that rings true for me too. I'll remember it in the future.

1:59 PM  

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