Finding myself in the Middle East

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Don't Talk to Me, I'll Just Know That it means that You Hate Me

It's really incredible, how thin our skins are.

By "our skin," I mean, "my skin." (Just trying to make it sound all general-like and more of a universal "if you prick us, do we not bleed, yada yada yada," rather than, "everyone is so MEAN to me! Wah! Hold me!" )


So coming to certain decisions about who I am now, where I am now, what is important now, can be sort of like performing open-heart surgery. On yourself. Because it's painful and exposes some inner organs which are not beautiful to our way of judging beauty. And it's full of blood and sometimes doctors leave razor blades INSIDE the patient when they sew them up, and then the patient can win millions in a lawsuit. (Um. I think i just bit off a little more that I can chew over here. Ignore the last part. )

My life was going to take a completely different direction before we moved here. Doctorlawyermerchant living in a house with a two-car garage. Children? Yes, of course, but also a psychologist. How? Well, maybe by the time the kids came around, they would invent 36-hour days or something. Then I could be with the kids for 24 and have my career for the other 24.

So, maybe not so well thought-out. But still, a dream for a very long time. And when you sit down and say to yourself, self, I have two children who call me (and no one else) Ima. Doesn't that make everything else sort of fade away? Doesn't that make you want to take a job that you can do with them home?

It did. It also made me cry a lot.

So, where was I going with the thin skin, you might ask? And if you do, I might tell you.

I will assume that you asked.

Someone whom I love very much and I know respects me and actually feels strongly about me staying home with the kids (ok, it's my husband. Outdoorsman he shall be called. But he didn't mean it. Which is what I mean by THIN SKINNED.) said, "wow! It's incredible how much money you are making at an (wait for it) unskilled job!"

I think that all the color drained from my face and formed a little pool around my feet, because he said "I didn't mean it like that! You know that I didn't mean it like that!"

He didn't. I know he didn't. It's me. It's my THIN SKIN. But it's more than being sensitive, I think. It's being insecure about decisions you make. Especially in this world we now live in, where a woman is somehow supposed to live in 36-hour days. She is supposed to be a full time mother and have a full time career. I know that this gripe is nothing new and is almost cliche, (horrors!) but now it hit me. Like, you can be a full time mother--if you also gave up a glorious career to do so. Then everyone says, wow. What a mother. But to give it up before it even starts--that's a whole different thing. My grandmother says I am wasting my life. My mother says I should finish--just in case. my mother-in-law wants me to have already done it before I had kids. (Which involved time travel, which gives me a headache.) Outdoorsman wants me to do whatever will make me happy.

And my kids?

Princess says, "can we bake cookies? And then read 4,000 books and can I take apart a puzzle for you to put back together so that I can say that I did it? You are not my friend! You never listen to me! I love you, Ima. Can you sleep on my bed with me for one teeny little minute?"

Coco-pop says," Dis! Dat! ba ba ba!"

So the jury is still out on those two. I know what is right, I think--until someone exposes the fact that maybe I don't really feel what I think all the time.

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