I was in the privileged position of being invited to the bestie’s wedding a couple of weeks ago. It was a really beautiful day, the bride was radiant, and I did thoroughly enjoy myself which made me feel all positive and glowy, as weddings (and alcohol) tend to do. It was a child free event so I found myself having a childfree weekend to myself in Manchester! When does this ever happen?! My mind was a maelstrom of thinking of all the things I could do, how to get to these places, the people I would see, the money I would spend (!), but most importantly, the amount of sleep I was going to catch up on in that lovely big bed all alone in my very peaceful hotel room. All mixed up with the by now all too familiar feeling of guilt and worries for leaving my child. It’s such a conflicting feeling. The weirdness of it in itself actually gives me a massive anxiety. Being conflicted is hard work I think.
The actual wedding itself I am happy to report I did enjoy obviously. I’m not incapable of feeling happiness and joy completely as I had once thought. In fact that’s a completely misleading thought to have had and definitely born out of being depressed in the first place. I’ve shut myself off too much. I’ve forgotten what it is to socialise and have friendships in real life. I mean I have friends of course, but not many I see a lot. So the connecting with friends, the general happiness and bonhomie that is ever present at weddings, and also the ability to have a drink and let my hair down and throw a few Mum dancing shapes on the dance floor later on at the reception made me feel a lot more like me again. So that was nice.
It did get me thinking though, (uh oh) about all the guests in suits/best wedding attire, some I’ve known from school, are married, own property, have children/are expecting children, are very high flyers in their jobs (with or without kids). The natural progression of life in all it’s spectacular glory, not to mention the two people beginning their journey into married life. Ok so it’s getting a bit Lion King here but I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this circle of life/my how we’ve grown crap.
You see then there’s me. Fair enough I’ve seen some things, done some stuff but adulting is definitely not something that’s come naturally to me. Yes adulting for me has been somewhat of a different experience. I’ll tell you now I’ve made some very dodgy decisions in my time. I’ve never done very well in the career department. I’ve been to a few universities in my time (yes you’ve read that right, I think it was 5 at the last count), and I do have a couple of degrees, but in terms of career, well let’s just say that hasn’t progressed so well. I don’t own my own property either and the prospect of that is looking more and more remote as the years pass by. I’m also not married. I’m back with OH after a tumultuous couple of years but I can’t see a beautiful wedding such as the one I’ve just been to on the cards really. These aren’t really tales that you want to regale people you haven’t seen in years, or indeed those that you just don’t even know with. Here comes anxiety girl being washed to shore by a tidal wave of inadequacy.
Anxiety girl therefore likes to keep quiet, just pretend like everything is OK. She probably comes across as very stand offish. Perhaps rude even. Anxiety girl likes to keep everything quiet because it’s really embarrassing to be this much of a failure at this time of life. Anxiety girl was already stressed about finding her way around a place she doesn’t really know, even just travelling there on a train that’s always packed out, and leaving her young son and family who she’s trying to mend things with. She was also feeling silly because her shoes were too big and she couldn’t walk in them. She also was getting very annoyed with her magnetic eyelashes that eventually lost their stick to the magnetic eyeliner that she had forgotten to pack in her bag (also annoying). She was getting a headache from not being used to drinking in the day, and she was sweating in the heat, and her silly decision to wear tights on such a warm day.
Then anxiety girl pulled off her eyelashes, took off her silly shoes, (not the tights though because chub rub) and realised something. Her biggest achievement to date, the person that makes all those insecurities about being unsuccessful, not owning bricks and mortar, the state of her relationship, even the way she looks, pale into insignificance. That little person. His face comes into view in her mind. How proud she is to be his mum! How much she loves him, not even knowing it was possible to love someone that much. How far she’d come in the nearly 3 years of his life, while his life so young in comparison, felt like a lifetime of change and love already. How she couldn’t wait to see him on her return home.
Sure Anxiety girl had some low times at some points during that weekend. She’d also had the best times, and the best person to think about when she felt insecure and crap. How the breathing space was actually much needed and would make her a better mum, even a better person determined to make life better for herself and all the family. Anxiety girl was returning home as a renewed force to be reckoned with. With the hope that everything is going to get better. That sounds like progress to me. Keep it up anxiety girl. I think you’re going to be OK.