Saturday, September 29, 2007

When one's past comes back to haunt

Lots of things banging the sides of my head tonight.
And only one of them is a headache. I've had one every night the past week. Confounded genes.
I trekked out with some neighbors to the General Relief Society Broadcast tonight. It was marvelous to be given some instruction besides "you are great" and "be nicer to yourself". Concrete goals and criteria, I already like this new General Relief Society Presidency immensely. (not that I didn't like the old one...)
While I was there, I notice someone that had caught my eye before because she looked terribly familiar. I agonized for at least 20 minutes over whether I should find out WHY....or rather whether she was who I thought she was. Well, it turns out that a good friend (and astounding pianist) from jr. high and high school has just moved to Philly! Pretty amazing. But the really amazing thing is that she is living in Philly (with her husband) and commuting to Utah (every week for a semester) to complete a masters in piano performance. I knew that East Coast schools were expensive, but when flying across the country every week is a cheaper option!? Wow. Plus a little pang of jealousy, you know my persistent pine-for-academia-ness.
Then as I arrived home (after listening to incredible stories about my neighbor's mother's humanitarian-aid trip to Afghanistan) I found randomly waiting in my bloglines some beautiful bridals, which happen to be of a girl I did study-abroad with in London. (And who has since had an amazing career in L.A.)

How many different spheres of thought and existence and importance can possibly fit into one evening of my life?

Suddenly many of the parts of my life seem either frivolous or embarrasingly inadequate. Or a jumbled mess of both.

So this is the part where you cheer me up. Because apparently I did need some of that "you are great" and "be nicer to yourself"-ness after all.


Deena said...

Em, you seem to be reading my thoughts lately. I've been having a really hard time motivating myself to be better and try harder. The days that have been the hardest for me have often matched up with one of your "I need to find balance" posts. I'm totally feeling you.

I love my baby and wouldn't change my current career (SAHM) for anything, but I miss learning new things. I miss feeling smart. I miss interacting with other educated individuals. I was pining over this the other day, complaining that I'm not doing anything important right now, and my incredible husband said, "What could be more important than creating/raising a person?"

You are a wonderful mom. We can all tell it by how happy and healthy your extremely handsome son is. You are a wonderful wife because you're dealing with a student husband and letting him live his dream. I wish you were my neighbor because I'm pretty sure that you would also be a great friend.

So DO be nice to yourself--because you deserve it.

Martha said...

Dearest Emily, it was so great to see you tonight. I think every woman, especially in the church, has thoughts of inadequacy and worthlessness. I think it comes with the territory. You are part of the greatest work, and by being a mother, you are doing the hardest thing you could ever do. You are sacrificing all your time and putting your dreams on hold so you can help raise a generation worthy to meet the Savior! What a noble calling. The only problem is, everyday living is not as glamorous as we grew up thinking. Motherhood is hard, tiring, and mundane, but it is the most rewarding, exciting, thrilling time of your life!

Hold on to those quiet, tender moments with your husband and your child. Wake up in the morning with the thought that today is going to be a great day. As Pres. Hinckley said, "It's not as bad as you think it is. It will all work out." I believe this will all my heart, and through my own pass experiences, I know that someday, somehow, your dreams will all come true in ways you could never have imagined. As Pres. Faust said, Do not live in the past. Live today and prepare for tomorrow (totally paraphrased!).

It's been so long since we've had a good chat. I could tell tonight, that you were struggling and I hope that by some miracle you will see that beauty and wonder in your own life. You are smart and can still study, even now. Open a few good books on tables, chairs, or countertops and read a little here and there as you go about your day. Also, make special "alone" time with your husband. I know he's in school (so is mine), but weekly "alone" time is cheaper than counseling (which you'll need if you don't have time with your husband now!!!) If you need ideas, or a babysitter on the weekends, let me know!

Just remember, you are a daughter of our Heavenly Father, who loves you. He is completely aware of your feelings, struggles, desires, hopes, and dreams. He loves you and wants you to succeed and BE HAPPY! I promise you, that one day your dreams will all come true! So, keep living each day the very best you can, and allow our Savior to pick up the slack. He will. And please do call me, anytime. Actually, if you get this message in time, my husband and I would love to have you over Sunday (tomorrow) night for dinner or at least the evening, if you are available. We have a small apartment near City Ave and I-76. My husband loves little children and we would love to have you over. Let me know if you're available. We have church from 12-3pm, so call when you can.

I hope to see you soon. Keep the faith and look for moments to smile! Luvs, Martha

hairyshoefairy said...

1. Wow. Those bridal photos are absolutely gorgeous.

2. I REALLY love our new RS presidency.

3. I'm blessed to be at the peak of one of the hills on this life roller coaster right now. However, speaking as someone who's recently been in one of the valleys I can understand. Especially when I talk to people who are pursuing dreams of performing or schooling or doing something else that's incredible and I feel like I'm not fulfilling my potential. It's frustrating and I cry and wonder what in the world I'm doing with my life. I try remember that what I'm doing IS valuable. Like Pres. Beck talked about tonight. We should be the best at families. I think in order to be the best at that we need to focus on it. And you, my dear, seem to be doing some great focusing. Sir O and Mr. Renn are so blessed to have you as their mommy and wife. That is definitely valuable in my book. And I think in HF's, too.


Vanessa and Rebecca said...

You went to London?! How cool is that?! One of the reasons why I love coming to visit you is because of your amazingness. Here you are a wonderful mother to your darling boy but you always seem to be upbeat and cheerful. You have the fortitude to do things that I only wish I could do (sight seeing in abundance is something I can only dream about). You have some amazing talents that I wish I could develop. You are completely amazing, and I only know you via the internet. I'm afaid to meet you in person for fear of total intimidation.
I completely understand the feeing like I'm not doing anythign worthwhile in the world's sense of the word. I feel like I'm wasting precious time and energy when I could be "doing" something very very cool only to feel like I'm "wasting" talents singing kid songs, teaching them how to use scissors and generally being a mom.
Last year someone said something that hit home to me though. It's not that we aren't doing something worthwhile, we are, we still can do all those other things that seem cool and interesting. Just not right now. There are times and seasons to our lives. Now is just not the season to do that stuff. we will get the opportunity later in life though to accomplish the things we want to. Motherhood sometimes is the biggest sacrafice on the part of women because of the forgoing of the things we want to do right now. Right now the things keeping me going is the thought that as soon as we are actully earning an income and as soon as the kids go to school I am so going to start back to school and learning the things I can't via the library. Sis. Kimball took a class every semester of her life. I look to her for inspiration because she was obviously a very good mother too. But she found time to learn and excell as well. Just at the appropriate season (It's hard but just keep thinking, school will be over soon, school will be over soon and then more doors will open up for me to do more intellectual things)

tracy m said...

I could just echo what everyone else has alread said...

You are marvelous. And you do need to be nicer to yourself. Once, someone asked me if I would talk to a friend the way I talk to myself. If the answer was no, then I needed to reevaluate my inner monologue.

You are where you are right now. I know and can empathize with yearning for academia, or more mental stimulation- and yet... it's just for now that you are home with a tiny boy.

I remember feeling most isolated when I just had Jeffrey and he was Sir O's age. For some reason, it was hardest then. With the addition of more children, I became so busy that I didn't have time to feel alone.

You are amazingly creative and generous and kind and I marvel at the photos you post and the things you do.

Do be kind to yourself. You are loved by many.

sgt. pepper said...

Can I say you are a wonderful person and have blessed my life immensely. I sincerely hope that someday you go back to school "just because" and take classes because you want to learn something, not just to take classes to be something. You have so many talents, many of which lie dormant due to financial and family pressures. But I am confident that you will, at some time, let those talents grow and be shared once again. I really "Em" lucky. Thanks again for choosing me.
I love you.

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