On Being a Petty Pregnant Jealous Unrecognizable Ambition Monster
You know when you’re in that kind of asshole mindset where every good thing that happens to someone else makes you wonder why it didn’t happen to you and are you invisible and when will you get yours and is your life falling apart and are you a fraud and a failure and an impostor? Please say yes. I’d hate to think I’m the only one.
This is how I’ve been feeling lately. Genuinely happy for other people except absolutely not because all their good news, no matter how slight and how small, sends me into a tailspin.
Why didn’t they call me? Why didn’t they think of me? Why wasn’t I cast in that thing I didn’t audition for? Why didn’t I write that book you wrote? Why wasn’t I included in that roundup of people I’m nothing like?
The voraciousness of the feeling is overwhelming and the feeling is that of having a constant temper tantrum: Look at me! Choose me! Pick me! (Wait, is that from Bridget Jones? Why wasn’t I considered for the role of Bridget Jones?)
I feel invisible and irrelevant and like I’m experiencing a kind of slow death by attention starvation which is ridiculous and incredibly unattractive and in reality, completely false. I receive a surplus of attention. Both from the people in my life and from the listeners of my podcast all of whom are amazing and supportive and wonderful.
So why am I suddenly looking at the world through the eyes of a petty, miserable asshole? A petty, miserable asshole I’d want steer clear of if I were to meet them because they’re petty and miserable and also super negative and needy and their energy is just bad, man?
I am pregnant, which is something I’ve wanted for a long time and which was no small feat (I’ve chronicled my struggles with infertility and IVF on my podcast). I am embarking on probably, for me, the biggest and most monumental life changing event outside of having Mindy Cohn on my show. I am preparing for something huge and working towards this huge thing in perceptible and imperceptible ways every day.
So why do I feel as if I’m doing nothing and the nothing is compounding and expanding and taking over the otherwise good momentum my career once had and replacing it with a never ending stretch of invisibility, failure and nothingness? And not only obliterating the future but oozing back in time too and deleting all my prior accomplishments until I basically regard myself as a big fat nothing?
“I think you should give yourself a break and just take a year off,” my dad suggested when I went whining to him. To be clear: my podcast is how I make my living and no part of me wants to slow that down, nor is that what he was suggesting. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to make a good living doing something I love from the comfort of my home and I’m already grateful for the convenience this will afford when the baby comes. But I have a million ambitions outside of the podcast that involve meetings and confidence and cute outfits, none of which I feel I can properly pull off right now, waddling around in this newly rotund body.
Also, yesterday I couldn’t stop coughing and with every cough a new gush of urine spilled into the brand new maternity jeans I finally decided wear because wearing sweatpants every single other day of this pregnancy was beginning to feel limiting. This happened in the kitchen and my dog was sitting in the doorway and I was trying to waddle to the bathroom and she wouldn’t move despite my saying, “Excuse me!” repeatedly because apparently with urine spilling down my legs I forget that dogs don’t speak English. And then getting the brand new wet jeans off my body was no small feat because I was wearing ankle boots that zip and bending down to unzip the boots caused further spillage and the jeans are pretty tight in the leg and I fell down the stairs the other day and skinned my knee and it was impossible to remove the pants without disturbing the knee scab and urine was getting everywhere and it all just added insult—but also pain—to injury.
Is this the root of all my distress? Being trapped in a body that’s changing in a rapid fashion that feels out of control? Is it the loss of things I took for granted (balance and continence)? Also, I’m so fucking tired of not being able to sleep and not being able to drink diet soda and not being able to take anything that works for a headache. Also, I hate that I can’t ride a roller coaster even though I have no desire to ride a roller coaster. I just hate that I can’t.
I should make a gratitude list! I should look at pictures of my dog! I should exercise or clean my desk or watch a movie or read a book or go on a walk or do any of the myriad things I could do to alter my mood. I know this, I am adult with agency and yet I spend so much of my days these days feeling like a toddler with a dirty diaper just trying to make enough noise that someone will come along and change me.
Also, I know hormones are a huge part of this and in an hour I’ll probably feel something different (or sneeze three times and piss myself) but I’m just curious if people relate to these feelings and especially if other pregnant women went through a similar identity crisis? To be clear: everything in my life is fine. It’s better than fine. Things are great and my career is actually going quite well. It just suddenly feels like not enough, and suddenly I’ve turned into this cranky, jealous, wet, unrecognizable ambition monster.