Truthiness Day 24: My Saturn Return Playlist

Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)

Dear 2008,

You were a year of change.  I was 27 and the term “Saturn Return” fit this year perfectly.  I finally began taking care of myself – attended a Managing Depression class, started taking Prozac again and going to therapy, separated from Joe, moved out on my own for the first time in my life, and fell in love with David.  It was a hard year with so many ups and downs, and yet one of the most important of my life.  I mourned losses, faced bitterness, found hope, and discovered love again in all kinds of unexpected ways.  This playlist will always remind me of you – it runs the gamut of endings, beginnings, and everything between.

  1. We’re Going to be Friends – The White Stripes
  2. O Valencia! – The Decemberists
  3. (If You’re Wondering if I Want You To) I Want You To – Weezer
  4. Young Folks – Pete Bjorn & John
  5. Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love – Pink Martini
  6. Hey Pretty – POE
  7. A Stroke of Luck – Garbage
  8. The Kill (Bury Me) – 30 Seconds to Mars
  9. Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple
  10. Struggle – Ringside
  11. Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis
  12. Nothing Better – The Postal Service
  13. Calling it Quits – Aimee Mann
  14. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
  15. Communication – The Cardigans
  16. Island – Heather Nova
  17. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson
  18. It’s Amazing – Jem
  19. Maybe Tomorrow – Stereophonics
  20. Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to be a Long Long Time) – Elton John
  21. Hanging on Too Long – Duffy

From crying in the bathroom at work to finding my safe space in my own little apartment to gaining an understanding of my capacity to live and love, it was an amazing year.  Thanks for the memories.

Sincerely,
Crystal

Truthiness Day 7: Mister Sunshine

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.  (sorry, bad grammar)

This one is so easy.  It’s Jack, of course.

Before Jack came along, I didn’t much care about proper living.  I’ve had Depression for as long as I can remember and I was never very motivated to take care of it – I didn’t care enough about myself to get the treatment I really needed.  I took anti-depressants on and off but those didn’t take care of my issues 100%.

When Jack came along, though, I HAD to take care of myself.  I didn’t want him to have a ghost of a mother.  I didn’t want him to learn my unhealthy thought patterns or be hurt by behaviors that I didn’t even notice I had.  I didn’t want him to grow up without a mother, either, and although I hate to say it, that was a possibility if I didn’t get treatment.

So right before he turned 2, I got serious and put myself back on antidepressants, enrolled in a Managing Your Depression course with Kaiser, started attending regular therapy, attended a 9 month long intensive outpatient therapy program, and have been maintaining my mental health ever since with weekly appointments with my therapist.  I’ve learned how to stay ahead of my depression for the most part.  When I do get depressed, I don’t beat myself up nearly as much as I used to, and I try to ride it out.  I know which parts of me are ME and which parts are the illness I’ve fought all my life.  Knowing those things has made a huge difference.

I love my life.  I love living.  Before Jack, I could not have said that.  Before Jack, the work wasn’t worth the return.

Image above by Sarahndipitea

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Truthiness: Our Lady of Perpetual Boredom

I have seen the 30 Days of Truth around the blogosphere lately and it’s giving me some pretty awesome insight about the authors.  I am loving reading it and I thought I would offer some truthiness myself in an ode to their honesty.  I can’t promise I will reveal the #1 truth for each prompt, but I will be thoroughly honest in my responses.

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.

Gosh, there are quite a few things that I hate about myself – my ever-present acne, lack of real eyebrows, and frequent migraines since childhood are all on my Hit List.

I really hate my propensity for boredom, though.

  • I start projects that I don’t finish because I lose interest – i.e. knitting, jewelry making, quilting, scrapbooking, college…
  • I don’t like being by myself because HOLY CRAP AM I BORING.  At least I am to me.
  • I hate feeling bored, hate it when things sound uninteresting.  I will do busywork (because doing something is better than doing nothing) like picking up around the house or playing repetitive “games” on Facebook and curse every second because it’s so boring.
  • I won’t watch reruns or eat leftovers or drink the same Big Name coffee drink every day for months on end…boooooriiiiiing.

I want variety and excitement and newness and FUN.  Almost constantly.  No matter how exhausting, expensive, or difficult to achieve it is.

I can’t believe I used to…

…watch soap operas

…make only $4.25 per hour

…walk around barefoot exclusively – even outside and in the winter

…play after school sports

…pay only $0.99 per gallon for gas

…wear white leather knee-high boots and bright pink lipstick

…attend a high school where a girl was murdered by the janitor

…support two people on one income of $11 per hour

…wear my cousin’s “Porn Star” shirt

…have a social event scheduled for every night of the week

…attend church and Bible Study and Youth Group

…date a guy who is now in jail

…eat Campbell’s “Cream Of …” soups with water

…write poetry

…think I wouldn’t like living in the city

…sleep in until noon on Saturdays and Sundays

…dislike wine

…think that Jack wasn’t a lot like me

…believe that there is no such thing as soul mates

This post was inspired by Jenny, Julia, and Sarah.

New Parent Transition

I remember being a new parent.  I remember how it feels to worry that any little decision will irrevocably harm the precious new life you are now fully in charge of.  I remember the frenzy Jack’s cry created in me, the overwhelming urge to OMGFIXITNOW.  I recall hovering nearby whenever anyone else held Jack in case he needed me.  It all felt like a weird dream and the role change was so jarring that I could hardly remember what I did prior to having Jack.

Ewokmama and newborn Jackonaut

I visited a co-worker and her newborn baby Sunday.  She and her baby are trying to figure out breastfeeding and she didn’t feel comfortable going to her midwife with her questions.  I gave her some tips but mostly I just tried to be reassuring.  I think one of the most important things to hear as a new parent is that you are doing everything as you should be!  At one point she asked me incredulously if I really wanted to go through all of it again.  I laughed and said it’s taken me three and a half years to be ready to do it again (and I’m not even quite ready now).  I do recall being in her place and wondering why in the hell anyone had a second child.  I doubt there is anything so humbling as becoming a parent and realizing that all of the things you filled your life with pre-baby are now completely unimportant and alien.

I liked sitting on the other side of the fence and realizing how much has changed in my outlook since Jack was born.  There are so many things that being a new parent taught me, and I really think things will be a little less overwhelming that second time around because:

  • When I have that second child, I will already be a mom.  I will have to stretch my identity a bit to “mom of two” but the much larger non-mom–>mom shift has already happened.
  • I now know that babies cry, as opposed to I am screwing something up and making my baby cry.
  • I know that when you’re in the trenches it seems like you’ll never get out, but that things will change in an hour, a day, or a week.  Change is constant and with each change, you learn to handle things with a little bit more grace.
  • I am quite aware that things always seem worse when hormones are involved and things get better once the hormones calm down.
  • I am confident that the baby knows even less than I do!

I have a lot of parents reading my blog who are removed enough from that newborn period to have figured a lot of this out, as well.  Some of you have second (or more) children and may have some things to add – please comment and let me know what conclusions you have come to about your journey into parenthood! I can’t think of a day that has gone by since Jack came into my life that I didn’t think about what becoming a parent is all about.