Monday, January 31, 2011

Fucking Happy

A couple of years ago I went through a rather rough spot where I struggled a great deal with what it meant to be a wife and mother. I suspect I was also dealing a bit with getting older and feeling rather dowdy and matronly. It was a pretty shitty time, and at the end, when it felt like everything was falling apart, I kept thinking "Why can't you just be fucking happy!?" And when it was all over, I swore I'd be joyful. And I am...

But...

I feel guilty for feeling joyful! I mean, seriously, I'm obviously a psychological mess but it bugs me that I feel this sort of feminist existential angst in my joy. When I was pregnant with R, I was so freakin' happy. It was disgusting to even me who was loving it. I loved being with child. LOVED IT. I loved being a mom. I hated going to work (even though sometimes it was fun) and I utterly enjoyed being hermited with H and the beasties for a while. This was the life, I thought, as we read books, played in parks and spiraled around my growing belly.

I suspect a normal person would be content with this sentiment and just keep living.

Things are changing around here in a good way. H has gotten a response from a PH.D program. It appears likely that he will be accepted. I, on the other hand, have heard nothing. Yes, I know, it's early yet, but I am not feeling optimistic and frankly I am really okay with my life going in the other direction. A friend commented on one of my other posts that the role of mother suited me very well. And I smiled. Later I realized that this kind of comment would have sent me into a tizzy not that long ago. But now I agree. I like this role. It does suit me.

I am not a typical mother perhaps. I still swear like a sailor. I still like vampires. I do not listen to children's music. Nor do I wear Walt Disney for adult clothes. I am known to like really loud shows. I wear blood red lipstick that goes with my sometimes blood red hair. I like to read books about theory and history. I can on occasion best H in an intellectual debate.

But H and the beasties are my world.

And damn it I should just be fucking happy about it.

But I feel this worry...like maybe I am letting the 50s happy housewife tapeworm take over my brain. Will I be submitting to my husband next? Shouldn't I feel outraged about my own participation in my oppression? But I don't feel outraged. And I don't feel like I'm wasting my time either or that I am somehow less of a person. I don't feel like I am trapped in attic with yellow wall paper. I wonder if it's because I have a choice. I used to scoff a bit at women who told me that feminism was about making choices even if those choices meant staying home. Now I wonder if perhaps there isn't some truth to this idea.

And maybe that I should just say it "I'm fucking happy. I don't have time to be outraged by this life." Cause I don't have time. I'm too busy being outraged by world hunger, women who still don't choices, the poor, the oppressed. Those are the things that strike me as needing some outrage directed at them.

5 comments:

Aimee said...

"I suspect I was also dealing a bit with getting older and feeling rather dowdy and matronly."

I think this is where I am right now. It doesn't help that I feel like I look about ten years older than I did two years ago. I also ADORED being pregnant, but I feel a lot like you mentioned above now.

Ginger As in Green Tea... said...

((((Aimee))) It is a rough transition. And it's made rougher when you're tired and have no time. It does get more sane. For what it's worthy, I think you're pretty damn fab. and young! God, I feel like an old lady in our group at times!

Aimee said...

I'm not that much younger than you! LOL! I feel old in our group a lot of times too.

John B-R said...

Ginger, everyone is conflicted about everything. Including happiness. Including aging. Including love. Including everything. Why not go meta and try to enjoy the inner conflict? Of course, then you could be conflicted about that ...

Ginger As in Green Tea... said...

LOL. I could John and I bet I would come up with some great psychological reasons to be conflicted about conflict....