Hello again. It’s been a while.
But that’s just what happens when your life is turned upside down and inside out, everything you took for granted and all you thought you knew was thrown out the window. I am now a mother. I still find it surreal to attribute that word to myself, it feels older and wiser than I will ever be. And yet, I am one. I now (have to) put someone else’s needs before my own – always – and wake each day in the early morning hours, often before the sun has even started thinking of peeking up over the horizon. When our little one wakes me up screaming I am there with a smile on my face (forced or not), speaking calmly and gently stroking her head when inside all I want to do is scream and bang my fists into something hard, yet I don’t. The patience I have never had has suddenly materialised, of which I am entirely grateful. Being a mother is hard and, despite what TV shows and some friends will tell you, there are days/weeks/months (take your pick) of non gratification. A small terror in the shape of a baby has completely swallowed our lives, not to mention my energy and will to ‘create’.
Then last night something happened. After being woken by a wail, struggling through the darkness, lifting up our child and holding her close, my mind started working. Why it chose that nocturnal hour to start functioning again, as if leaving a four month long hibernation, I don’t know, but it did. Thoughts of writing again started flowing and it was almost as if all those ideas I should have had over the last few blurry months came all at once, tripping over each other like a herd of wildebeest at migration. Like a slumbering crocodile I was caught unawares, but still tried to catch and hold on to at least one or two of them. The finer details and the exquisite sentences I formed at 3am have gone wandering (most likely never to return, or perhaps they will pop up during another nightly session) but the blueprints are still there. What I remembered this morning after finally falling back asleep after three hours of exhausting thinking is that you always read about people telling other people to stop looking back and start looking forward. As if the past is always something to be discarded, like a worn out sock. I think that’s wrong. Without looking back we cannot move forward.
So this is me looking back!