Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Introducing the New to the Old

Out of the is a random post from me to you:

We went to Los Angeles last week and stayed the night. We stayed only a few blocks from our old house. We've been gone six months now and I was shaken by that brush with the Old Me. Before we moved to San Diego, I was still straddling two worlds. I was reeling from the shift to mommyhood and the introduction of this entirely new being into our world. BUT I was prepared to go back to work and try to integrate. Instead, we up and moved and I completely left the Old Me behind. When we drove into LA, I didn't expect to miss her so much.

The Old Me worked hard - 60+ hours a week - and loved it. She was a Psychologist. That was first and foremost in her identity. Followed closely by Wife. She lived mostly for herself, then husband, then family, then friends. That order. She was "put together." Each morning she would slide into her Range Rover, check her makeup, hair and outfit in the mirror, throw her expensive bag on the (clean!) seat beside her, flip on NPR, sip her coffee and take off for her hour commute to work. Once arrived at work, she would slide into her "Doctor" role and feel happy with where she was in life. On the evenings and weekends she would enjoy good wine and expensive restaurants. Peppered vacations and gorgeous hotels. But oh my god, it was a lot of work. Literally. Work, work, work, GASP for air, more work. FUN, fun, fun and then more work. I felt like I was waiting. I was always dreaming about what Life Would Be in the future. Planning and dreaming about something else.

I didn't expect to miss some of this. But I did. I missed feeling pretty and put together. I missed being a therapist/teacher/mentor/doctor. I miss helping my clients and their families. I missed long dinners and enjoying bottles of wine. Or hours spent talking with friends. I guess, to be honest, I missed life being about Me.

I also missed the excitement. The hoping and waiting and planning. I remember when we lived at our house in Venice that I spent most of the time there either being excited about my job or being excited about getting pregnant or being excited about Baby coming. Always living in the possibilities of the future. Planning my career. Planning how to become a mother. Planning the nursery. Planning, dreaming, waiting... It was exciting!

But now? The New Me is (obviously) different. The New Me lives for Baby, Husband, Me, family, and sometimes friends. The New Me slides into the same Range Rover that is covered now in a layer of dirt from the dusty roads we live on. I drop my new bag (anniversary gift) that is a slightly less expensive purse/diaper bag onto a seat littered with diapers, puffs, and old coffee lids. I am usually heading to a playdate, grocery store, or park. I have nowhere specific to be. I don't check myself in the mirror because...why would I? I am not a doctor/teacher/mentor to students, but I am a mommy/teacher/guide to my son. I have finally figured out how to wear this role with no awkwardness, resentment, or frustration. My sidekick comes with me in life and he keeps me grounded in the Now.

I don't plan anymore. I am living my dreams. Literally. We bought a house. A beautiful, Spanish-style home with dark floors, white walls, and Mexican tile touches. We have two acres of land, fencing for horses in my future, beautiful oak trees, a wonderful neighborhood and a beautiful pool surrounded by palm trees. We have our cat, a new German Shepherd Puppy, and another puppy on the way. We take our family for walks in the evening when the heat melts into warmth and I don't worry or stress. I just live this moment.

So yes. I am happy. I am settled. I am content. I am no longer living in a desperate race to work hard and get ahead and get to the next step. But that doesn't mean I don't miss it sometimes. That doesn't mean I don't miss having my hair styled and my eyebrows waxed and my toenails painted and....well, the Old Me. But I know that the Old Me was really just rushing to meet New Me. So, Hello New Me. Introduce yourself to the world.

And how do I know she's around to stay? Well because, as Owen approaches one year (Ahhh!), I am working to integrate in small bits of the Old Me that I miss. I have started horseback riding again and now know that I will own my own horses when the time is right. I have found a business partner, rented a space in a medical complex, and am going to open my own small therapy and assessment practice part time. They say that we shouldn't rush the return from postpartum. With all the pressure to "bounce back in six weeks," I think we forget that this is not just about a physical recovery or even an adjustment to motherhood. I believe it will take me a year to completely figure out who I want to be now. Who I can be within the realm of this new life. And also, it has taken me almost a year and a bit of retrospection to appreciate all that the New Me has to offer. I guess sometimes you need a brush with the Old just to say Hello.

And that's my update. Hope you all are well!


  1. Wow, Owen is such a cute kid, and so big! This resonates so much over here too. I want to write an articulate and eloquent comment but all I do is nod.

    It sounds like you are really happy and fulfilled. It is true for me as well, the happiness, the slower pace, the focus on the important things, seeing everything through their little, curious, eyes that want to learn and experience it all. Writing about it may seem so trivial , how do you write about the face they made and how they laughed when they discovered a balloon? And how that makes your heart explode? It is difficult to describe, to properly put in words.

    I feel like I finally have my place in the world, it can be hard at moments (oh nap time, making me act like a crazy person every other day) but it is also so magical, so rich. Also, so glad to hear from you!

  2. Thanks for the good to "hear" from you. Owen is SO cute :) I love hearing how happy you are!

  3. Yay, so happy to see an update from you! I can't believe how big Owen is now -- although, of course, M is so much bigger now, too (aren't they, like, three days apart?). I'm glad you've found your groove and are getting ready to branch (back) out to other stuff, too. I almost can't remember how limited I was in non-baby activities during the early months. As M gets older and more independent, I can actually DO stuff. (And I'm not sleep deprived now, which helps!)

  4. Owen is just beautiful!

    I loved this entire post. But this sentence...this sentence I adore. "I don't plan anymore. I am living my dreams." So very happy for you and wonderful to hear from you, too!

  5. You are so right that this is a process of integrating that 'old' with the 'new', taking the parts you loved from before and somehow making them work in the now. That emotional and social journey is so much more than the physical one! But it is wonderful to read you are in such a positive place and savouring all that your current life offers. Owen is getting so big!! He's adorable.

  6. New puppy and Owen- they are both adorable!! So glad that everything is going well!

  7. That is so great you are going to open your own practice! So glad everything has fallen into place for you (though I am a bit bummed you moved away from LA right as I met you). Sounds like you are finding a nice balance between your old and new lives.

  8. I can't form coherent thoughts right now but wanted to say how glad I am to hear from you!!

  9. Lovely lovely post. All I can say is, AMEN!

    And Owen is beyond adorable.


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