Yep, I’m still alive. The blog lives.
And yep, I just said ya’ll. Because I guess I’m a southern girl now and that’s what they do.
Life has been nothing short of overwhelming as I battle all the feels that come with post-partum depression, missing your friends and family, and being forced to live somewhere you don’t want to live. It’s been a rough year so far. Beautiful and joy-filled, but rough. Lots of giggles, kisses, snuggles, and hugs, while simultaneously lots of anxiety and tears. A whooooooole lotta tears.
But, I’m done with it! Over it. Over it all. Over feeling like shit. Over saying how much I hate living here. Over feeling like my life is out of my control. I have everything I’ve ever wanted – a gorgeous, supportive, amazing husband, a sweet little man, two boys who adore me, a beautiful home… I even got a kitty!! (Dustin’s terribly allergic, so I didn’t think we’d ever get a kitty, but he loves us a whole, whole lot, so we got one.) But still – life feels….bleh. That’s what anxiety and depression can do to you. They suck away all your good energy and replace it with frustrations and blah-ness.
When we moved here a little over five years ago, I was ready for something fresh. My family life had kind of fallen apart, and I’ll admit that I was ready to run away for a while. My world was turned upside down, and I needed some time to separate myself and figure my shit out. So when we were temporarily down in Louisiana, and the boys’ mama decided to accept a job in Asheville and move her and the boys out there, we didn’t make much of a fuss. We were about to move back to Indiana (because moving away from our kids was a bad, bad decision, even if it was only supposed to be temporarily), so we figured, what the heck – let’s go to this awesome little hippie haven in the mountains and start our new life. We didn’t argue. We missed our kids, and we just wanted to be with them again. So we went!
Now, don’t get me wrong – my time here in Asheville has been priceless, and I’ve had so many opportunities and experiences here that I never would have had back home in Indiana. I’ve grown so much spiritually, and I really don’t think I would have been able to break through the barriers I have if I never experienced the challenges I’ve faced here. Our time here also brought some amazing people into my life, some who I know will be lifelong friends.
But… It’s really hard living here. It’s expensive. It’s crowded. It’s the worst traffic I’ve ever had to drive in. I don’t get out of the house much other than to run errands or go to work. Very rarely do I get any time to myself (what parent does though, right?). I can’t enjoy many things about this beautiful city I live in because the stress of the tourists and traffic get to me. Even though we’ve met great people, I still don’t feel like I have much of a community around me. (I know that’s partly my fault because I’m terrible at asking for help and leaning on people.) I miss my Indiana friends and family like crazy. CRAZY!
When Cohen was born, that’s when it all really started to get to me. Not only did we start to lose the little bit of social life we had, because that’s what babies do to you, but it started to sink in that my baby was going to grow up with no grandparents around. None. He’ll see them 2-3 times a year probably. 4-5 if it’s a good year and we can travel a lot. I’ll never know a life of sending kids to the grandparents’ on Friday night so mama and papa can have a date night, or even the simple pleasure of getting to spend each and every holiday with your family. Cohen will barely know his aunts, uncles, and cousins. I see my best friends from high school and their babies, and I just think that we should all be together, raising our babies together. All of that combined with pretty major postpartum depression/anxiety, and I have not been the happiest Kim for the past two years.
I know a lot of this is “woe is me” sort of stuff. These issues all pale in comparison to the real tragedies going on in the world. But still – it’s my heartache, and I’m allowed to claim it.
So, after some really, really unhappy times, we decided to maybe put some feelers out there about moving out of the mountains. Maybe down to Florida to be closer to Dustin’s parents, or, my dream, back to Indiana (Bloomington preferably). But, our life isn’t that simple. There are six parents and seven children involved in our co-parenting family. That’s a lot of opinions and desires. We’re not in the business of splitting apart families or taking kids from parents, so it would have to be a mutual decision. But how in the world can 6 adults all agree on one thing? It won’t happen, lol. During some moments of weakness while we were visiting Dustin’s parents in Florida, I started researching all the colleges down there, and found one that I really, really fell in love with. And they were hiring about six positions that I qualified for. I figured, what the heck, submit some apps and see what happens. Well, one called me for an interview. So shit got real really quickly. Looooong story short, after some family discussions, it was decided that moving to Florida was in no way in the picture, and moving out of Asheville probably wasn’t really either. Our two boys and their two step-sisters were all accepted into an awesome charter school here in town, and the consensus was that we need to all settle down and give these kids the stability and routine they so desperately need and deserve.
I do feel an energy building within me. I think that once I’m able to let go of my anger and bitterness about living here and heal that part of me, my life will flourish with abundance and joy. It already does, really. My mind just isn’t where it’s supposed to be right now. But it’s slowly moving back. I’m starting to feel more like myself again, and I have a lot of good things going for me right now. I’m teaching again! I’ve been going to yoga every week! I’ve recently met some really amazing people (fellow charter school parents to boot)!! I’m extremely grateful and excited to see this tribe develop. I need to learn to open myself up to those around me. Ask for help when needed. Initiate contact and connection. Take people up on their offers to hang. These are the things that are important to me and that I need to make an effort to do more.
So here we go again! Trusting the universe that all is well, and focusing on the beautiful abundance already around us. Dustin and I both have a lot of exciting new ventures ahead. Soul-fulfilling ventures. We need it. We’re ready for it. Let’s do this!!
Breathe, remember your small gratitudes, and focus on building the life that you want. <3
Whew! … Feels good to get that out.
Have a good week, ya’ll!