04 October 2008

Mood swings

I won't even pretend that my emotions haven't been all over the place lately.  

I DO NOT recommend (or wish upon my very worst enemy) the experience of being in your final year of law school with more work to do than hours in the day, looking for a job in a miserable economy...and then simultaneously losing your boyfriend of four and a half years and your perfect, wise, irreplaceable grandmother.  It's flat-out miserable.  

Now, I realize how very lucky I am.  In 8 months, I will possess a law degree.  I still have both my of parents, with whom I am very, very close, and the best sister on earth.  My dog is practically perfect in every way.  I've got great, funny, and clever friends. I have a (very nice) roof over my head, a car, a computer, etc. etc.  I am super healthy.  Heck, my football team is even doing great this year (Go 'Dores!).  While I generally despise this term, there is no denying that I have a very blessed life.  I am one lucky girl. 

But I can't seem to stop myself from bursting into tears in the baking aisle at the grocery.  Or staring into space instead of listening in class.  Or seeing a disheveled-looking couple getting breakfast at Panera on Sunday morning, and thinking, "that used to be us."  And then I feel guilty for being sad because I have so many good things in my life.  I have never been allowed to feel sorry for myself, and now is not the time to start.  

My grief over the loss of my grandmother is understandable to me.  It's ok to cry over the fact that I never learned how to can apple butter.  That seems normal, right?  I know I have the right to be sad about her passing, and I know it will take time to get used to missing her.  But it's the sadness over the break-up that's really getting under my skin.  Why do I get so sad about those couples at Panera when I have zero desire to hop back on the relationship bandwagon?  Why is it so painfully obvious that (literally) all my friends a getting married?  And why do I care so much that the only people who hit on me are 16 year-olds and scary old men???

I would be lying if I said I didn't have a fear of being that old women with too many cats (err, bassets) and an over-sized garden, who spends Christmas at the soup kitchen because she's got nowhere else to go.  So perhaps I'm just freaked out by the possibility of perpetual singledom.  Or maybe I'm slightly jealous when my friends throw around terms like "We're going to..." or "I get so mad at insert-significant-other's-name-here when he forgets to..."  I mean, who doesn't want someone else around to take out the trash and tell you that it's ok when you screw up at work?  Not to mention the benefits of having a built-in date to the inevitable glut of weddings/parties/alumni events which require attendance. 

However, someone recently pointed out to me that perhaps I'm having a overload of loss lately.  I will never be a student again, I will forever call the Ex "my ex," and I am slowly learning to say "My grandmother was" instead of "my grandmother is."  A loss of one thing tends to magnify the loss of another thing, and the only way to get over those losses are to embrace them, acknowledge them, and then find a way to push through and move on. 

I get out of bed every morning and go through the motions of my day.  I go to work and enjoy my job.  Every once and awhile, I hear something interesting in class.  I go to the gym and feel elated after a good workout.  I even laugh.  I am not unhappy in a general sense.  Amazingly, I feel like I've got my shit together more than I ever have.  I know that I'm going to be ok.  And even if I am that woman with the 20 dogs and a dusty old house, I'll be happy.  I know that.  

I just have to get through this hard time of grief and loss.  I have to push through it and remember how lucky I am.  I have to find some way to remember the things I once had, to know that I am a better person for having them, and to remember that I am still whole even without them.  I have to find a way to get up in the morning and feel okay again.

And you know where I think I'll start?  By canning some apple butter.  By myself.  



cdp said...

Wow. I SO relate to this post. Ditto the last year of law school, ditto the job market in the toilet.

I lost my grandmother two years ago and the grief sent me into such a tailspin that I ended up so lost I took an entire year off of school. Somehow civil procedure just didn't seem to matter in the least after that loss.

I also went through a divorce, moving out of my house (with my two little ones in tow) four days before our second semester started.

Your words really resonate with me. You'll never be a student again, and your ex will always be your ex, but you have sweet memories of your grandmother.

And I just have to believe that we are both on the cusp of something wonderful.

Lauren said...

I relate, my friend, regarding the loss of a student identity, and worrying about perpetual singledom in the aftermath of a breakup.

I'm so sorry for you losses. I'm sending you happy thoughts.

Katie said...
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The Odd Duck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Odd Duck said...

*hugs her*

I know it's dated but I need to reply. This post actually made me cry and all these memories of my Nana came flooding back. I don't wear her clothes but I do have her rosary as well as most of her cookbooks.

When I came home from school that summer, I think I spent almost 10 hours straight in the garden we had spent my entire life taking care of. I can't speak Spanish without thinking of her. I can't look at flowers without thinking of her. I can't make paella without thinking of her. It'll always hurt but you will get to the point where you can smile through the tears.

I know what's it like to call your ex your ex, and I'm getting close to the point of never being a student again. I'm hoping that as a teacher I will be able to avoid the job market crunch (fingers crossed on that one).

Keep your head up.

- Kendall