Last week was amazing. Last week was depressing. That’s life I guess, isn’t it?
The week started out amazing. I went to a concert at this large, outdoor venue Monday night. I was really excited to go because I had never been to a concert there (it’s where a lot of the major concerts are held near where I live), and had heard great things about it. I was also extremely anxious because I was going by myself. I had no idea what traffic would be like, didn’t want to get caught in it because that, in and of itself, would spike my anxiety, wasn’t sure what time to leave. This little thought crept into my brain that maybe I just shouldn’t go, despite the fact that I’d spent way too much money on the ticket. But I fought the thought, and the fear, got in my car and drove.
The closer I got to the concert, the more anxious I became. I felt so alone, with no one there to help or support me, not even anyone to just let loose and have a good time with. However, I made it to the concert without any problems. I got there early enough that there was no traffic to deal with and no crowds to contend with. And wow. Wow! The concert was absolutely amazing! The Cult, Bush and Stone Temple Pilots—bands from my youth, groups I listened to in junior high and high school. I had so much fun! So. Much. Fun! Even being by myself. I went home exhilarated and proud of myself for pushing through my anxiety. I will definitely be going to more concerts there—with or without friends.
The feeling from that night stayed with me until Wednesday. My kids started school that day. My daughter is in her last year of elementary and my son—my baby—is in his first year of being at school all day (kindergarten here is only half-day). While I was able to get them ready for the day and take pictures of them before they left, I didn’t get to actually take them to school like I have every other year because I had to be to work. See, I got a new job (a second one). I was okay while at work, but as soon as I left I started crying. All I could think about was how this was not the way I envisioned my life. This was not how it was supposed to be. I wasn’t supposed to be a single mom working two jobs that wouldn’t allow me to drop my kids off on the first day of school. I was supposed to still be a stay-at-home mom volunteering in my daughter’s class her last year of elementary, helping at all her class parties and going on field trips.
Now, I knew I shouldn’t be feeling so bad or complaining. I knew I should be grateful, but sometimes it’s so hard realizing how far your life has strayed from the path you expected it to be on, from the destination you knew you were going to end up on. I was a stay-at-home mom for ten years, and it’s what I was good at. It’s what I knew I was supposed to do. Transitioning from that to being a single mom working two jobs in the last week was a rough transition. I definitely had some good moments and some good friends who helped encourage me and lift me up, but it was an exhausting week. I feel like I’ll never get enough sleep to not feel tired again.
I wish I could say that I know what my life will look like in ten more years. In one year. Even in a month. But I don’t want to fool myself into thinking it will turn out the way I expect it to when it hasn’t already. I guess, sometimes, you just have to live one day at a time and hope that one day turns out. Hope that when you look back you can be happy for what you’ve done, accomplished and become even if it wasn’t what you expected, even if you end up a million miles from the road you once knew you would be on.
At least I had the concert—to remind me that sometimes I can push through my fears and my anxiety. To remind me that there is fun to be had along the way, and I really do believe that that is incredibly important!