RestonPosted: October 8, 2011
We’re here. In Reston, VA. In our 1980’s condo near Lake Audubon. There are lots of trails around. I love the trees and the squirrels and birds and fungi. I love that we sometimes go on family bike rides before dinner. I love some things about our house like the sunroom off the kitchen (especially in the rain). I love my job and my colleagues too. Orientation was thrilling. I felt grateful everyday to be here. Starting in my office at USGS on the other hand was at first slow and disorienting. Overall, there have been some crazy highs wherein I’m intoxicated by it all and also some deep lows.
Tonight is a low. Henry didn’t want me to put him to bed. Didn’t want me to read to him, to help him at dinner or to hug him. Wiz was tired and fell asleep with him although we had a plan to hang out after Gooby was asleep. Instead I spent a long time cleaning. Wanting the place to feel homey. But it doesn’t. I feel lonely and ineffective. All day I worried about Goobie’s school. He had a bad week there. Didn’t sleep well last night because he seemed anxious about going. He said he hit Max today. I don’t want him to have bad associations with “school”. I don’t like the “juice” that they serve which looked a lot like kool aid to me. I want to be this phenomenal person with a productive routine that includes healthy homemade meals and exercise plus quality time laughing and exploring with my boy and my husband, romance, reading, self-care, breathing, prayer, eco-friendly habits, correspondance, maintaining a blog and other creative endeavors. I want to have a cozy, quirky, organized home. I want to take fantastic local trips on the weekends with my family. I want to spend time with the new friends we’ve made out here, hosting diner parties and waffle brunches and pumpkin carving and apple picking. I want to pull off something amazing at work that will help protect ecosystems forever. I hate feeling like there are opportunities everywhere. All the ingredients. And yet so much time wasted. Drawn out FB breaks that leave me sick. Hurried mornings. Forgetting to pack a lunch. Food going bad at home while I’m buying cafeteria meals. A month going by without this house feeling like a home. My husband working hard and languishing unsupported. My boy stressed out about school.
We met another couple here. They have a small sweet house from the 20s decked out with thrift store finds, books, art, lamps, rugs, cozy slip-covered chairs. A four-year-old, a two-year-old and another on the way. She’s younger than me I’m sure. Probably by at least 5 years. Even as I’m thrilled to be here as a fellow, I also envy her and question my own decisions. Wouldn’t it be better in the long run to let your husband have the cool career so that you could have lots of kids and cook and keep and make a cozy home? Oh sigh. I want to tell my former self: “Don’t think for a minute that this won’t be hard. And don’t think that it will be hard in any way that is familiar or expected. Don’t think that you will know how you feel, what you want, what the important things are. Even if it’s never crossed your mind for a minute that those things could be ambiguous.”
Funny to read entries from the spring when this was all hypothetical and I was looking forward to a summer with the boy. I’m sad that that summer with the boy is gone forever. I’m sad that orientation is over too. And I’m grateful for both.