I've been waking up lately with a sore jaw. (Don't let your imagination get ahead of us, Turbo.) I grind my teeth in the night, and because I'm too frugal to bite the bullet - forgive a pun - I wear a cheap-o CVS nightguard to prevent damage from my unconscious chomping. It's been worse lately, and I told Chiropractor about my woe, and suddenly I was being told to breathe through the pain of a major jaw probing. Roof!
I'm internalizing everything that I can expect to come in the next year and I am excited about all of it. And. Completely. Paralyzed. At the ways that my life is going to change. To be perfectly histrionic.
Within the next six months, I will leave my job, at least temporarily, and will not be able to return full-time. I will lose my paycheck and my health insurance. I will be not be able to pay our house payment as I have for the last 2 years. I will lose control over responsibilities which may cause some people burden, but which give me a satisfying sense of contributing to our household. I will also become someone's mother, and, for the first time ever, will have a taste of what my parents felt, to be in charge of a small life dependent, to be at the helm of the ship of parenting, steering through the murky, mercurial waters of the unknown.
Lovey Loverpants assures me that I need to have faith. Everything will be okay, because God has a plan.
Still, I am scared. I try to take one day at a time, but my thoughts are all mired in part-time work? Part-time childcare? Childcare by whom? Childcare in finest ghetto or finest suburb? When to start thesis? What if thesis is rejected? Where to intern? Will internship pay? WHERE IN THE NAME OF ALL THINGS BUDGET ARE MY DUNKIN DONUTS COUPONS?!?!?
One of the churchies told me that my baby is going to be strong, since I've been working and "doing so many other things" while pregnant. Granted, she is not an American woman and does not have Gloria Steinem whispering sweet feminist notions in her ear, but I was just slightly insulted in a way that I never thought I would have been by a compliment all wrapped up in praise. It felt as though she was saying that I was putting my unborn child through the wringer of my own agenda already. That perhaps she was suggesting it was time to put away my Ann Taylor blazers and exchange them for a bathrobe for the remaining months of gestation.
But if I am so sensitive about what was probably, in her eyes, a compliment, then perhaps I am subconsciously upset at myself?
One thing that has helped me to examine the future and keep the onset of paralysis at bay is the question of Who Am I? Rather than Where Am I? and Where Am I Going? The latter questions are just noise. The former question is my compass. Am I the person who can let strangers care for her child, even part-time? Am I the person that can live with herself if grad school takes more than another year? Am I the person who is trying to handle this on her own? Am I becoming my mother or my father or both?
I have a lot to chomp on right now. If you're up for coffee, let me know. I've got coupons.