24 December, 2014
Update from Denver, Colorado
We’ve been in Denver nearly a month now and I’m continually surprised at how much I enjoy this city.
Denver, were I to stereotype it, is filled with liquor stores, churches, reptile pet stores and creepy pay-by-the-scoop Chinese restaurants (ranging from $1.25 to $1.39 per scoop of god knows what).
My affinity for Denver lies in none of the aforementioned qualities. I am finding I enjoy the mild, yet sunny winter ranging from the 30’s all the way up to 60 on a nice day. We’ve had dustings of snow, but nothing that sticks around too long and makes a nuisance of itself. Denver has grown more metropolitan since NomPa lived here – we have been blessed with multiple Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and many other perks appreciated by spoiled West Coast yuppies. Now that Squish has tested out the kids club at the gym I am able to go several times a week – and unlike WA and OR, Denver has an abundance of locations to choose from. Just as the church serves as penance for too much time at the corner liquor store, the abundance of 24 Hour Fitness locations serves as penance for too many scoops of Chinese Füd.
Squish has spent the last month getting to know his paternal grandfather, aunt and cousins. His dance style has evolved into more complicated hand gestures and I swear to you he would have pirouetted the other day if he had the coordination to do so. His grandfather loves to dance and the two often have morning boogie sessions to a wide variety of tunes. Every week he steps more and more deeply into toddlerhood and we have been delighted to see him engage in the world so enthusiastically.
As for me, I’ve hit a bit of a creative slump in the kitchen and haven’t done much new and different outside of making holiday gifts of sugar scrubs and salves. My ‘mojo’ continues to be more elusive and I suspect I am going to spend much of the first half of 2015 shedding even more of who I was before baby so I can uncover who remains and learn what it is that excites her. Much of what I have loved all my life is no longer filling my cup. At first I thought it was due to sleep deprivation, then I thought it was my slightly wacked out thyroid, but having addressed all those things I have no other scapegoat to blame for my flaccid joie de vie. A fundamental shift is happening, not unlike the shift from teen to adult. I know who I am but have no idea what I want to do with my life. I never went through this phase in adolescence when it was “socially acceptable” to be confused as F*** about everything. So here I am, in my mid 30s and rather cranky about all of it.
I’m cranky about a lot – about the industry I came from and it’s incessant marketing, hype, and overblown claims. My last few years in business were one of rapid and aggressive growth and I came to really enjoy the psychology of marketing but now I see it EVERYWHERE and it’s too much, too often, and too strong. I’m agitated by all the shameless self-promoting, excessive hashtags and never ending selfies in social media and have pulled way, way back from interacting in the last four months or so. I crave real conversation over a cup of coffee, genuine connection and an old fashioned phone call. I know much of my general agitation is due to these social needs being unmet and solo reflective time being relatively nonexistent with a Squish. I’m curious about the subconscious agitation to social media and industry marketing and what it is about myself I see or fear in that that has me all riled up. It’s triggering something and I’m veiled from what it is. And this is winter. It’s a time when human beings tend to have lowered physical and emotional energy to deal with the demands of a caffeinated Type-A culture. I feel spiritually weary even though my physical body is inching back to a more balanced state. Likely all of this is coming to a pressured pustule head in preparation for a release come spring.
I’ve been giving some thought about what gives my life meaning. This is something that each of us decides for ourself (consciously or not). Up until now, I have had great joy and reward in my work; facilitating the success of others. I have loved being the supporter, cheerleader, inspiration, wise friend. It’s a role that came to me before I finished grade school and one that has been good to me. While I don’t see myself turning my back on that aspect, I don’t feel so inclined to highlight it and showcase it. Here’s the catch – I don’t know what else gives my life purpose and meaning. There’s a silent cultural expectation that motherhood is it; the creation and rearing of a human being is the greatest of life’s accomplishments. I know that to be the truth for some women, but I am pretty convinced I need something additional to this. I never envisioned parenthood being my pinnacle of life but rather a profound and meaningful piece of a profound and meaningful pie. That’s something I’m still not comfortable admitting aloud. (so instead I’ll type in on the web for anyone to find!)
It’s a quietly tumultuous time.