How I Got Here
I am twenty years old. My daughter is six months. At the six month mark, her smiles became more frequent, as did her laughs, and her body is becoming more capable of moving. Crawling is in the near future. But along with these fantastic developments came one milestone that I wasn’t quite prepared for — separation anxiety.
My days have become a constant reminder that I no longer live for myself. There is a tiny human who relies completely on me. When I leave a room, she cries for me. When I put her down to sleep, she cries for me. When I try to leave her with Dad to have a single moment to brush my teeth before bed or let the dog out in the freezing cold to pee, she cries for me. She will never stop needing me.
With this realization came another — for the first time in my life I feel stupid. If I am to be her guardian, responsible for helping her learn and teaching her the ways of the world, I need to wake up.
Since COVID came to my state in March of 2020, I haven’t had a “normal” life. I used to work at a daycare as an infant teacher and loved it. I went to school at a community college and spent my days commuting and working and my nights sleeping over my boyfriend’s house and messing around with friends. This was what we might call the typical 18-year-old lifestyle.
Quarantine obviously put an end to this lifestyle and created for me one which I had always dreamed of when I came to the conclusion that the weekends were too short and that I would be working for the rest of my life. That is, a sedentary lifestyle. The one for homebodies and movie buffs and lazy teenagers who don’t want to face life. Since that March, I took online classes and somehow made enough money to get by. It’s ironic how much I long for my old life. The normal one which I complained so much about.
Nowadays I have to find reasons to leave the house. Grocery shopping is the most social activity I do all week. I watch too many movies and read too little books and experience close to nothing uncomfortable or challenging (aside from motherhood). The effects of this lifestyle are only now starting to show.
I am turning into a person who I never even considered I could become. I don’t take risks, I don’t push myself, and I don’t try hard enough to experience new things. I have become too comfortable with being comfortable and my brain is taking the damage.
I want to feel awake. I am in the midsts of what some call a “funk”. Maybe it’s a depression or a regression or I just let myself become plain stupid. All I know is that where I’m at now is not where I want to be. But if I learned anything from all those movies i’ve been watching, it’s that this is how a good story starts — with a problem.
So today I decided that enough was enough and I started to research: “how to keep an active brain as an adult”. Blogging was not on the list. What I did find was articles on how to maintain a healthy brain. As I was reading I took notes and I wrote my own ideas and opinions. I asked myself how these authors came to publish these articles and said in my head “why can’t I do this?”. Then I realized I can. Because we live in a world where literally anyone can say what they feel and hope that at least one other person in the world is willing to listen.
What’s different here is that I don’t care who listens. I just need to write. I need to think and learn and do something uncomfortable. There’s nothing too comfortable about being vulnerable in a world where everyone is fake. So here I am, starting a blog with no idea who will read it or where it’ll lead me. Now let’s solve this problem.