The Reluctant Healer is a book about one man’s journey toward his spiritual self. In it he discovers that his many identities travel in orb like circles around his main identity, the content of which can change at any time. Though he has a few different options: healer, father, performer, husband, and writer, the identity of writer was the one that was most central to his life at the moment he was writing the book. This made me think that being a mom doesn’t have to push out the other parts of me for good. In fact, the writer in me, the yogi in me, the person who likes to perform – all of these selves can be just waiting in the wings.
As a woman I feel like age is my prime identifier, which is why I don’t relate to Hilary or Bernie so terribly much. It’s one thing for Bernie to have been at a march in the 70’s and quite another for him to understand what it means to have dissenting ideas in today’s world. And Hilary does, as some people have indicated, seem to be out of touch. The missing piece in her recent campaign flub was the need to rely on established voices which the younger generation doesn’t do and politicians always do. Even Bernie does, since being a white male over 50 himself gives him all the credibility he needs.
It is so much better, if you are not a part of the establishment, to look for the parts of you that don’t fit and let them push against everything you thought was true about yourself to begin with. And really everyone should think of themselves as not established. It would be better for Hilary, it would be better for Bernie and it’s better for me and you. The ability to shift that inner most core from whatever self you assumed was true is the only real reason to keep living. If you know what’s inside already, than the journey is already complete.
When I was online for the bathroom at *Casa Bianca Pizza Pie last night, the woman in front of me told me about how she had one child and wanted another, but, after five years, she and her husband called it quits. I think she was talking about their relationship. Then she said she wanted to have a second with her late husband. They tried and she had a number of miscarriages because she had fibroids. This was all while my friend was peeing inside the bathroom, so about five minutes, give or take a minute or two.
So space them every too years, she advised, if you’re young enough. Well, I’m no spring chicken, I said, as I walked out, my friend walking right behind me. Oh, she said as we left, you look young! Good, I said. My friend laughed. Sometimes I don’t know what to say, I said.
How could she have known that I do want two kids? How could she have known that I wonder if having another will be possible, even after only two more years? How could she have known that I had fibroids, although they seemed to have shrunk during these past six months and no longer show up in the sonogram? She couldn’t have, and yet there she was, waiting for me in the bathroom line, to show me one version of my future.
*Recommended for any woman with a craving for mozzarella sticks and a wedge salad with anchovies and ranch dressing.
Yesterday I went to the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center for a prenatal swim class. We used these floaty devices strapped onto our bellies to keep our heavy bodies buoyant. Instead of swimming we did the equivalent of running in water which meant that we used our cupped hands to move ourselves across the pool.
As soon as I entered the pool I felt great right away. The sun was shining and the pool was just the right temperature and it felt so good to be immediately relieved of all the weight of motherhood that I wasn’t exactly ready to feel. Some of that is in my body: the belly, the expanding hips, the thighs that now touch, and some of that is in my mind: the books I haven’t written, the ones I haven’t read, the lives I haven’t lived, all much heavier than the two pounds that is my newly growing girl.
We gabbed in the pool, the other first time moms and me, mostly about sweets. How many brownies should we eat per day, if any, and how on earth are we to drink the amount of water that we need to drink to stay hydrated? The chores of feeding ourselves somewhat relieved by a husband who made a salad or a boyfriend who looked the other way as another ice cream cone went down the shoot.