Monday, October 18, 2010

Hello, me?

So lately this whole "finding myself" thingie has been on my mind.

No, not in the "leave everything and head overseas" kind of way, nor the "find a Grecian lover" (rawr) sort of way, nor the "write lots of poetry or paint or sculpt" sort of way, just in the... lonely sort of way.

In some ways I want to find "my people," should that make any sense.

And in a way, it really doesn't.

I have friends.

I have family.

I have a wide network through both my church and local mom to mom group.

Just about everywhere I go I find someone to talk to, and oh Lordy do I enjoy talking!

And yet...

I suppose the problem with finding out exactly where I fit in is to find out exactly who I am.

And before I go further with this thought, let me just outright admit that not only did I willingly choose the role of SAHM, I actually really love it. I love being with my boys, I love watching them grow, I love cooking and sometimes I even love cleaning. I perform necessary jobs and often I end up with a lot of bonuses, like spending time talking with other awesome moms and watching my children have a great time, laughing and playing. In many ways, being as stay at home mom is all I've ever wanted and I really think I'm doing a good job at it, even if I do lack a bit in cleaning/de-cluttering skills.

That being said... so 95% of me is happy in my "job," in my daily grind.

But that other 5%....

Sometimes it's happy and satisfied when I read a good book, or play an immersive video game, or even when I write or sew. Sometimes it's happy when I take a long walk or see a good movie.

Sometimes it's happy when I'm just outside my life for a bit.

And I'm thinking... I'm thinking there's something I'm missing.

Sometimes I see a pair of girls in anime shirts with cat ears walking down the street and giggling and, oh, the longing!

When we went to Animazement or stepped in to a Geek forum and I saw all the cosplay and heard the pretentious nerdy speech... the nostalgia!

And when I stare at steampunk inspired jewelry or artwork... aaaah! Mama waaaaants!!!

See, there's a part of me that's been left unsatisfied.

I'm like the sports fan who catches a glimpse of a game on a tv through a store window here and there, and feels that pull to go in, but no, the kids are pulling on my hands and I have to keep going, keep focusing on them and my job and my life.

Nik and I met in an anime club. We went to Animazement together. Watching him play video games has always brought me such great joy.

And.... I am a geek! Total geek!

And I miss my geekiness!

And I really miss fellow geeks, though not the annoying ones, just the cool ones :-P

I miss being part of a group. I miss the old anime club. I miss sitting in a room late at night playing video games, sometimes with several people all invested in the games outcome.

And I suppose in many ways it's not that I miss the geek culture, but that I miss my youth, my freedom, my irresponsibility.

Everything was much simpler then. Have job, get money, buy Chinese food and video games, play till real late, wake up early for job, repeat with lots of coffee thrown in.

And I suppose when it comes right down to it, I miss fitting into a group as well as I used to. No, I never totally "fit in" there, and even when I did it wasn't for very long, but everyone and everything was so less complicated then. We could talk and have a conversation about a favorite anime with several in jokes thrown in and you know? That was it. No innuendo, no jokes about kids, no hidden jealousy, nothing.

Maybe that's just the rose tinted lenses of nostalgia speaking, because there was certainly drama and hostility.

But yet... at this point in groups I don't blend in as much. And often that's because I open my big fat mouth and mention adoption or lactation (I'm kinda used to being asked questions so I like to get these things out of the way).

I am rambling. I should stop.

My point is: There was a very brief time in my life where I felt, if only for a second, that I totally fit in, that I was an indisputable part of a group. At that time our common interest was geekery.

And at this time my common interest with just about everyone I know is motherhood. Motherhood is so broad, though, that we make distinctions amongst ourselves: adoption is the biggest distinction in my life. No matter which group I'm in, there comes a moment here or there where I feel I don't fit in. Sometimes it's when I'm at a nursing group or a baby wearer's meeting and people start discussing birth stories or issues with pregnancy. Sometimes it's in the adoption crowd where people discuss formula or disposable diapers or strollers.

Even recently two of the big forums I frequent, one for more hippie minded parents and one as a gathering place for those affected by infertility, both had vastly differing views on the same subject, for a second time. Reading the comments it was clear that I didn't really fit into A or B, but again in the subset C where I could very well be the only one (though admittedly I lean more toward A).

I guess my sudden realization that I don't 100% feel like I fit into a group, any recent group, concerning motherhood has brought me back to square 1: I want to find a group outside of motherhood that I can belong to.

And yet every time I think I've found "the group," like returning to the anime club or visiting a steampunk ball or going to a convention or star trek club meeting or anything... I get scared.

Motherhood is my forte! I'm not good at non-mommy related stuff!

And thus the frustation.

I WANT to be good at something outside of motherhood.

Not because I'm a feminist or because I want to be "liberated" from my family, but because I do need an environment not completely focused on children. Perhaps one where I don't even mention my kids once in an evening. Could you imagine? That would be so hard....

So I guess that's where I'm at. I want to get back to doing something without children, to meeting friends outside of the realm of motherhood. And yet I'm so stinkin' petrified of it...

Perhaps I'll start with a knitting class.

Knitting is geeky right?

(Goes to see if there's a pattern for a TriForce online...)


Christy Tucker said...

If there are people who create knitting patterns for Doctor Who creatures, then certainly there's an intersection of geek + knitting.

Natalie (whose blog I linked to above) is a former coworker of mine. Loves knitting, love scifi. You'd like her :)

Wanting to do something non-kid related makes total sense to me, even if you love being a SAHM. Being a SAHM is a huge part of your identity, but you're not a one-dimensional person. You should have something else just for yourself. (And yes, I know--advice from someone who doesn't have kids...but consider this as advice from someone who lost herself in her first marriage and had to reclaim that identity).

I wonder if you'd have better luck connecting with people online than in person. If you're looking for a more specific combination (like adoptive moms who are also babywearers or whatever), maybe you can find that online. I often feel closer to the people I know virtually than those I know face-to-face.

Michelle said...

You are growing such a wonderful family, Megan. Your role as mom is so, so important, and I totally get wanting to have an identity beyond that. I also get the "outsider" thing. You are not alone in that feeling, and I'd bet there are many more people than we realize who feel exactly the same thing. Like you, I have lots of friends, know tons of people, realize that some people even see me as a hub of sorts, and still I've known that feeling that I'm standing on the outskirts of any given group.

You wrote that you want to "find yourself," and I'm wondering whether a starting point might be for you to look inside yourself for fulfillment and meaning, rather than (or in addition to) turning to activities outside yourself. Meditation, yoga, prayer -- any kind of contemplative practice that will allow you to get to know yourself better in a powerful way.

I'm working on this now, and I'm noticing changes as I deepen my connection to myself.

Michelle (ICLW #15)