Sunday, 6 February 2011

A Saturday Monologue

I definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed last Saturday morning. I have no idea why; I had a lovely evening with my husband the night before and went to bed in a great mood knowing that I could sleep in the next day, waking up to the longed-for gift of 2 full days off. So why did I wake up at 9.03am with a sick feeling in my stomach?

Do you ever have those mornings where there's something nagging at you, but you can't put your finger on what it is? It confuses me to no end, and quite frankly frustrates me sometimes to the point of tears. I'm 27-years old, this is what I did when I was 14 and my hormones were all over the place. They should be pretty much sorted by now, no?

When I was single, those mornings were annoying, but I was able to slip under the radar for a bit, walking from my Hells Kitchen apartment in Manhattan to Starbucks for my morning coffee, over to the East side, always parallel to Central Park so I could take in its natural beauty, past the vendors selling their art on 5th Avenue, finally reaching either the Met or Neue Gallery to pay a visit to my favorite artists. And so by the time I finished studying Klimt's Adele Bloch-Bauer I, I was pretty much over my bizarre mood and ready to re-join the world.

Now that I'm married, I don't really have those single girl "privileges" anymore. However I feel in the morning is immediately carried over to my husband. Obviously when I'm in a good mood, he's in a good mood. But when I'm in this kind of a "I feel this way but I don't know why I feel this way but maybe you could help me because you're supposed to know me better than I know myself" mood, he's just plain confused.

The easy answer would be to tell him I need the morning "off" and to figure myself out. However, when you're as madly in love with someone as I am my husband, and you both start looking forward to the weekend together on Monday morning, the thought of not spending as much time with him as feasibly possible is really not an option.

So I spent most of the morning answering his friendly, unassuming question of "What do you want to do today?" with "I don't know!?" ("!"= frustrated grunt "?"= quivering lip, fighting a tear because I just don't know why I STILL feel this way?!) as I stared at the word "GOOGLE" on my computer screen, forgetting what I was searching for in the first place.

My one savior in this mess I made for 2 people rather than 1 is that I am running the London Marathon and, therefore, need to train. Saturday's are my "long run" days. So, with 12 miles ahead of me, I eventually got the motivation to put my kit on and get moving. As I was running through Hyde Park, Green Park, St. James' Park and Hyde Park one more time, I took the time to have a serious chat with myself. "What is wrong with you???," being the centre of my monologue, to which, as always, there was nothing but white noise in response.

I then went through the course of the morning in my head: my waking, my feeling, my attitude. I reminded myself that I really needed this run as I'd eaten way to much chocolate that week, and just because it's dark chocolate doesn't mean I can justify eating 3 large bars of it in 2 days. "Can't you feel the fat building up on your thighs?" I asked/scolded myself. These thoughts take up about 60% of my thinking on a normal run. If there's one thing I can rely on, it's that there is always something for me to criticize myself about. From eating too much chocolate to picking that pimple which made a lovely red mark in the middle of my forehead to my chubby cheeks (why can't I have beautiful, chiseled cheek bones rather than these stupid dimples?) to the fact that training for this marathon has caused my boobs to shrink a cup size (along with causing my body to shrink a dress size...but I'd never dare compliment myself about that). It goes on and on.

Then I finally came back to why I was feeling this way again. Still no answer. Then my mind went back to the single girl I was, and how in control I felt all of the time, to how out of control I now feel most of the time. Isn't life supposed to work itself out as you get older? And why was mine faced, almost on a daily basis, with so many uncertainties? Do most people feel this way? I'm sure they don't - everyone I pass in daily life looks like they have it all together.

My thoughts then digress to most mornings when I go into work. I tend to leave our flat or the gym feeling pretty ok, then as soon as I step outside something falls out of my pocket and as I go to pick it up the entire contents of my bag fall out because, clearly, I wouldn't put it down before kneeling to pick up whatever single item fell out of it in the first place, or the wind is blowing so hard that my hair flies everywhere I specifically placed it not to go, or then I trip over something (or nothing) in the street, which brings with it a silent verbal tirade and probably an actual shake of my head (so if I hadn't looked crazy before I most certainly do now) "Why am I like this??" "What am I doing?" are usually the questions that follow. Then, "Honestly, how do I have the job I do? Am I joking myself? Is this all a joke and sooner or later my boss will figure out that I actually don't know what I'm doing with work, let alone, with life itself?"

The monologue goes on and on. The self criticism never ends. As much as I've tried to stop it, or at least go easier on myself, it always seems to creep back in. I've sat in a program for 36 hours over 3 days, called Landmark, which brings you back to the first time you remembered feeling insecure and makes you ask yourself why you felt that way. Then, it brings you through the course of your life, highlighting those moments you used to reinforce that insecurity. It talks about those "voices" in your head that make you doubt yourself, and gives you tools to silence that voice. As much as this intensive program opened my eyes to some things, I continue to be my own worst critic.

So my run continues. However now, I begin to notice more things along my path- like the green of the grass, the boys playing football on the pitch to my left, the couple strolling hand-in-hand and the man in the wheelchair racing up that hill I always struggle with. I am filled with an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness. Who am I to be complaining about anything? I'm blessed to wake up with two strong, working legs. I get to spend my life with my best friend and man of my dreams. I'm not terrible looking. I'm so lucky that my family is healthy and happy and I can't wait to see them when they visit in April. I can't wait to hug my mom at the finish line of the marathon- having ran it in honor of her recovering from an emergency triple bypass back in August. I can't wait to get back home, take a shower and have a long, lazy lunch with my husband. I'm so fortunate to live in such a cultural and creative part of London, where I feel safe and secure. Wow- what a wonderful life I have.

Why does it take such a low-low to find such a high-high? I am constantly working with or against these two ends of the spectrum. Will it ever end? Will I ever be "normal?"

Who knows. I probably never will. But I'm getting to be ok with that. I guess it makes me who I am. And that's not so bad.

Till next time x

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