I’m having an experience that is entirely out of body. I see myself watching tears flow from the large group of people and I am caught up in the hugging of this group, which feels strangely like a mosh pit of dancing and emotion. Hug this person, turn and hug that person, hug the next person, all while other people’s tears are drenching my shoulders of my t-shirt that I’ve worn since 3:00am that morning. I am lifting my arms, reciprocating hugs, smiling amid the chorus of we did it and I can’t believe it’s over and can you imagine! I feel my face smiling and words are coming out of my mouth. Yes, I can hardly believe it. Yes, we did it. Yes, I am overwhelmed and delighted and happy. Robot me can return these affectionate gestures and words but not the tears.
I feel nothing.
We sit at a table in the darkness of almost midnight and eat a meal – first real meal of the day that isn’t an energy bar, a snack or a renegade piece of fruit stolen from the athlete tent – and I grind the food with my teeth and struggle to keep my head from falling to the table. Woozy with fatigue and experiencing the frightening feeling of knowing that falling asleep while sitting is a real possibility. Sometime in the early hours of the morning we leave and on the drive home I rest my head against the passenger side door and try to remember a time I felt like this.
Back at the small house on Hansen street I’ve called home for weeks, inside a small city in BC I’ve been living in for most of the summer, after 24 hours of being awake and moving and working and talking and scheduling and organizing and checking things off my list I fall into a deep sleep and I wake up later on in October and look at the calendar and I feel the deep well of emotion I have refused to examine or experience for months. It’s like I have stepped back on land after months at sea, riding waves and shielding myself from turbulent storms. When I step on land my legs are weak, shaky and I suffer from disorientation. I am emerging from being a work hermit to embracing my life outside work, wondering a little where to begin.
Six months earlier I sat on the ground in YVR and wrote my last blog. I didn’t know it at the time but I was pregnant. The way my life was about to change didn’t even occur to me as I sat impatiently on the cement waiting for the flight that would take me back home. What followed in the six months is difficult to describe but in short: an incredibly physically intense period of physical sickness (and other somewhat unsavory pregnancy issues) couples with some of the most difficult, intense, demanding career months of my life. As a small team and I prepared to launch an event that had never before been done, and the expectations mounted, I often jotted down my thoughts in my journal, intending to write a blog but never getting to it. Upon rereading and reflection of them, most of those sentences are incoherent babble.
I was so, so tired.
On the other side of this year is a vast expanse of the great unknown. I wind down my clients and projects as I prepare for the arrival of a new family member, sometime before Christmas. I organize for a life event that I feel grossly underprepared for and somewhat bewildered by, often wondering if anyone feels truly ready for the arrival of a child. I am organizing Adesso so that I can take a break, but not knowing how long that break will be, when I can return, or how life on the other side of parenthood looks like.
The mystery continues.
I’m doing the life things now I’ve neglected to do for a long time. I’m phoning people I haven’t spoken to in a while. I’m replying to emails that are months old. I’m sleeping in more. I’m moving things out of our house as baby stuff moves in. I’m cuddling my dog and making plans with friends and trying to get back to being on land. It takes time, something I suddenly have an abundance of. It takes patience, something I keep working on.