Do I still exist?

A couple months ago I met a woman who had just lost her daughter. She wanted me to design her new laundry room.

We’ve scheduled an appointment and went to her house to take measures. Money wasn’t an issue. Space wasn’t an issue. Her issues were deeper.

The house was quiet and clean. It had large windows that opened into a beautiful garden. It was a beautiful beach house that also felt welcoming on those cold winter days. I loved it, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

At one point, I said something about the dogs. A big rottweiller and a small Terrier. Her exact words to me were: “That dog is all I have left of my daughter”.

I wanted to cry. I wanted it to not be true. That beautiful house, that sweet lady… the emptiness and the silence in every room.

Oddly enough, one of the first things that crossed my mind, as I pretended not to fight against my tears and played with the dogs was “I’m so glad my parents wouldn’t suffer this much if I died… because they’d still have my children, and they are the best part of me.”

I know where that feeling came from. Ever since they were born, it’s like I’m a little less here. My instagram pictures are all about them. They are all I talk about. They are all I care about. For a year, I didn’t exist at all anymore. I didn’t care about me, the way I looked or had enough sleep time to care or understand what I was feeling or IF I was feeling anything at all.

I was gonna go through surgery in May and my mom asked me if I had completed the documents saying who would have custody of them if I died. I yelled at her and she said with no emotion “But this is important!”.

People take dieting and plastic surgery the wrong way. Sometimes, it’s not about finding a pattern. Sometimes, it’s about finding yourself when you’re lost deep down inside a body and your soul feels way away from the surface of that skin. You can’t understand the world around you when you’re floating somewhere in a road with no directions back home. You need to see yourself in the mirror and understand that this is reality ’cause you can see yourself standing there. Sometimes, there’s a stranger looking at you and you don’t know in which parallel universe the actual you are. I needed to find me. I miss me and I didn’t know where I was.

But I’m finding myself again. I’m sleeping again. And I have my husband… who is not a fan of this blogging thing and might never read this. But he’s the only person sometimes who still loves me and sees me inside this zumbi body I don’t recognize. He worries if I’m stressed, or quiet or have a different look in my face. To him, I still exist. The old me. With my own issues, which are not diapers what need changing or healthy dinners. Just plain old selfish me. And I love him for it.

And my best friend. My children’s Godmother and guardian angel, who’ll listen to me for hours and never lose track of the details on my stories.

Thank you, guys… for sticking with me.

I just wanna be me

Remember high school? When we had our whole lives ahead of us and we thought we could be anything we wanted? Did you ever worry about growing old back then? And also, did you ever worry that time would go by so fast that when you actually got super-old you wouldn’t be prepared to be so close to death and started panicking over that thought at the age of 5? Seriously, people. It can’t be just me.

It’s things like that that had my mom believing I was a very smart kid. She still thinks that, actually, but it’s not a compliment anymore. Meaning: “how could such a smart kit turn into such a stupid adult?”. She’ll never forgive me for not becoming a plastic surgeon. She’ll basically never forgive me for not making all of her dreams come true. I did manage to accomplish a few from her list, in fact.

So, when I was young and weird, I took all these puzzle IQ tests and I read, and I read, and I read, ’cause for some reason it was my job to be outstanding at everything I did. It was God’s gift to me. No, wait! Not to me, to my mom.

It was partially ok, because I actually believed I could be outstanding at everything I tried – we’re not talking about sports here, obviously. – But I was no genius, I was a talkative kid with a decent IQ, and now, whenever I fail at something the results aren’t pretty.

Ok, I’m ready to admit it.

I’ve failed my driving test.

A few times.

Wasn’t I the super genius my mom told me I was, who was good at everything she did, even tests she never studied for and could speak languages without ever taking a lesson? Isn’t THAT my main characteristic? Isn’t that who I am?

How could I possibly have believed my mom so blindly that now I’m lost, trying to figure out what kind of quality is left there inside me that’s real?

I’m not the super smart person who is good at everything she does. I’m a pretty stupid person, specially emotionally, who can’t control herself enough to show coordination during a simple driving exam. That’s who I am.

I had no idea. I don’t know who I am anymore. My whole life I might have just believed what people told me without taking the time to analyze myself and finding out what it is that I like, dislike, can or cannot do.

I say I like the winter, but that’s surprisingly my mom’s favorite season. I like English and watching movies. She’s an English teacher (who’s never taught be a word, let’s make that clear)… who loves movies. I don’t know if there’s a part of me who disagrees with her. I might just be the projection of the things she wanted to do with her life, but was too lazy to do it.

I’m pretty sure I like chocolate ice-cream. That came from inside me. And I like ballet. Ok, so, that’s two things. I’m 33 years old and I know 2 things about me already. I hope there’s more to it. It’s probably impossible for a human being to be that shallow. I’ll find out the rest in the morning, I suppose.

I wonder if I have a quality, though. And I wonder what is is.

Also, it’s cold today… so I took a picture of  the girls wearing their hats. I love the cold! Or DO I, now?

I better find out who I am soon enough… these girls need a centered mom with lot’s on answers and not so many questions.

God, I hope I don’t mess them up.

photo 1-4

Love,

Shelly