The longer I live, the more introverted I become. I just want to crawl inside an oyster and create my own little pearl. Today Oliver built a fort around me as I lay on the floor.  He kept yelling in through a crack, “Everting otay in dere, Mama?” It was.

I’ve had high anxiety lately.  My hair started falling out like the post baby shed.  I went to the doctor to have my blood work done. Vitamin D, thyroid, iron.

As I sat there in the room waiting to talk with the Physician’s assistant, I became enamored with a picture of an elderly black woman on the wall.  She looked so genuinely beautiful.  Not bells and whistles and gold that doesn’t glitter…an inner peace and contentment.  Someone who knows life.  Who won’t take anyone’s crap, but will be ready to let you drink deep their well of kindness and wisdom.  All from one picture! (Pretty sure my dad took the picture…I’ll have to let him know.) Perhaps I was putting my own desires for who I want to be on her, but it happened all the same. She made me crave depth.

When I was talking with the PA I started crying.  She asked me, “Are you feeling anxious right now?” I said no, but I was.  I said I get enough sleep but I don’t.  I said I am not too busy, but I am. Book, art, kids, friends, family, house. Beau and I have been working through my desire to do everything and really well.  What ends up happening is everything and very poorly. After Christmas I sat on the couch for two days while Beau did everything around me.  Everything felt broken.  Relationships, our house, my parenting, my hormones. I couldn’t escape it and I felt like there was really something wrong with me.

So I was surprised to find nothing in my bloodwork was off.  Everything was normal.

So now there is no excuse for me to not try to settle my flutter heart down.

I have to make some hard decisions about how I spend my time. I can’t allow my attention to be drawn by drama.  My children and my husband and I need my attention, and crying about the latest whirlwind of emotions is not productive.  This includes teaching myself to just NOT CARE about the things that really don’t matter.

I have to be realistic about my aspirations while my children are still little.

I don’t have time for perfection, only progress. As my friend Juliana says to her depressed clients: one step at a time.  Make a plan for tomorrow.  An easy one you can accomplish. Like, take a shower and go on a walk (Which is actually really hard with kids, haha!) and accomplish it. I am so hard on myself with goals.  I get flustered by the weight of them and can’t accomplish anything. I need to calm down and learn to relax.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the new year.  The new year doesn’t usually tick in my brain until my birthday, the 10th.

I am turning 30.

Maybe that’s where all this anxiety is coming from.

But it shouldn’t be.

I want this to be the end of me chasing after physical youth and beauty and the beginning of something deep and pure.  That’s exciting. The chaff is about to be blown away, and the treasures stored inside will brighten. I want to be like a geode full of sparkling gems, like an oyster with a hidden pearl.  I can’t hold on to the golden light of youth, but I intend to be a prism as it passes me by.

I’m not saying I’m going to stop wearing tinted moisturizer and glitter lip gloss…I’m saying I want this general sense of wanting to be the cats meow to stop.  Is that just me?  In our early years isn’t there this pressure to thin out and look cool and be popular?  To some extent? In whatever circle we run in? Well it’s dumb.  I want off this ride.

I want to be healthy, happy, warm hearted, and adventurous. To be TRUE. And to be BRAVE enough to say no to what takes any of that away from me.

Here inside I am protecting my heart.  Last year was all about opening it, and this year is about creating a sieve that catches all the bad juju.  A dream catcher, if you will. Here inside I am raw and young and beautiful. Like the BFG’s cave full of glowing good dreams.

Screen shot 2013-01-05 at 12.00.49 AM Screen shot 2013-01-05 at 12.02.40 AM Screen shot 2013-01-05 at 12.02.50 AMWeirdest analogy I’ve ever come up with.

Happy New year.


9 thoughts on “inside.

  1. Oh, how I can relate! But I think you are on the right track. I didn’t make any New Year’s goals this year for the very same reasons. My only goal is to start cutting myself some slack and being okay with my in-perfections. I am so tired of feeling like a failure when my goals are not met and for feeling so much guilt and pressure all the time. It’s no good! Thanks for sharing your heart. :-)

  2. I’m sorry you’re going through a rough time. I have to say, just meeting you once, I could sense an inner beauty in you. I don’t if that helps. I just like you :)

  3. Bridget—you glow inside and out. Thank you for sharing yourself and your beauty, pain, and wisdom. It is a gift and a blessing. XO.

  4. Thank you Bridget for sharing so much of yourself both in your art and your writing. Through those mediums I have come to know and love you. Life will always have its ups and its down. The beauty of life is in all its wonderful perfections and imperfections. Yes, impefections, as those are sometimes even more beautiful than the most perfect flower, painting, adult or child. In the end it is only the love that we give and the love we receive that seves as a measure of our success. You are indeed a success.

  5. Oh, honey! I have so been there. One reason I love your blog so much is I have three little boys (6, 3, 2) and am a writer, so, as stalkerish as it sounds since we’ve never met, I feel kinship with you. I had a similar doctor’s appointment last year where I did cry right there in the room when the doctor said: well, you do have a lot of stress considering three little ones. For some reason it just felt like such permission to acknowledge how much is actually going on and how too much it is some days and how overwhelming the responsibility can feel. No real answers here – many days are still a struggle for courage and joy but just wanted to say that you do have good reason to feel stress and anxiety and to cheer you on in figuring out how to make space for solitude and restoration. (balanced diet and regular exercise – as humdrum as it sounds – go a long way for me. That and acknowledging the hormone rollercoaster – especially if you’re still nursing or going through weaning – and telling myself that feelings are indicators of what’s going on and listening to them instead of fighting them off)…hang in there!

  6. Oh, dear one. Love this–Love that you want a seive, love that you want off the ride, love that you crave freedom, depth, realness… kingdom stuff. And @marissaburt, love your response as well. Praying for the full reclamation of your heart from weariness and the alleviation of burdens–especially the ones you don’t have to bear. All my love.

  7. My first thought was that Harry had just started walking, and that has such an impact on a mom’s ability to keep track of all the kids and get anything else done. I sure noticed the impact on my sanity when walking started. And I only have 1 kid!

    As an artist and writer, you’re a dreamer, and naturally full of aspirations. This is normal. Not meeting all of them is normal too. That being said, you are one of the most productive, creative mamas I know (who doesn’t rely on full time daycare to hone her craft either!)

    I also know that my hormones went crazytown when I resumed my monthly cycle and also when I stopped breastfeeding. Not sure if that’s a factor for you, but for good measure let me also mention: northwest weather.

    This is an older post of yours and no doubt you’ve bounced back by now. Just wanted to let you know that I care, and greatly value your authentic self you share so freely. It’s beautiful. And so are you.

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