Saturday, December 6, 2008

I want to bottle this feeling.

On Thursday night, I took Roy to a local place that does fetal ultrasounds. Even though our big ultrasound (where we find out the sex) is in about two weeks, I was so anxious and excited to see Bunlet. It had been four weeks since I'd had an ultrasound, and I was missing my kiddo. (I anticipate us paying for several more ultrasounds during the last half of my pregnancy. Patience is not a virtue of mine.)

Our baby is an active one. He/she didn't stop moving the entire time. We got to see fingers and toes (and feet and hands, obviously), some long legs (or so they appeared to me), the spine, the heart, and a marvelously adorable baby butt. We saw the face, too, but it's still looking rather skeletal.

At the end of it all, we got to pick the picture we wanted, and we decided to go with the one of Bunlet yawning.

(I think that picture title needs a few more exclamation points, kind of like this: !!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!.)

I have to say that I am amazed, just amazed, by what is happening with my body and with the little person that's growing inside me. The ultrasound left me feeling absolutely giddy and teary. Roy and I went to Target afterwards, and we perused the baby section. We haven't done this much in the time I've been pregnant, and I'm not really sure why. We topped it off with a visit to the Christmas section, where we bought a new tree and some new ornaments. The whole time I just couldn't stop thinking about my life. It's just so good. It's not perfect, but damn, it's good.

On our way home, we were at a stoplight, and I looked over at Roy, his face bathed in soft red light, and I realized, in a way that I've never realized it before, that I am happy.

Thursday was also the day when I saw my therapist for the last time. I had been seeing her for close to four years. I began seeing her after my last ex and I split up, because I was convinced that it all was my fault and somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew there was something wrong with that. (That feeling has been a trend in many of my interpersonal dealings throughout my life.)

For the first few months, my therapist gave me assignments, which I worked on in my therapy notebook. After awhile, we did away with the assignments and just relied on talking through my feelings. I never had any big explosions of emotion, where I broke down in tears and sobbed on her couch, resulting in a giant breakthrough that somehow made me more enlightened. There were a few times when I cried a little bit, tears slipping slowly down my face as I talked about something that I didn't even realize was bothering me.

The changes came slowly, so slowly that I didn't even realize what was occurring. In time, I had transformed from a girl who felt completely defective and unworthy of love to a girl who recognizes her flaws and tries to do her best in spite of them. In many ways, I am still the girl who walked into her office for the first time, but I am now a stronger version of her.

It takes courage to look at the dark parts of oneself and try to figure out what to do with them. In my case, I have managed to integrate these dark parts with the rest of my character. They do not define me, but they are undeniably part of me. I have better things to do than be a martyr and remain a slave to the hurtful parts of my past. I choose now to respect that past and let it rest. I'm sure I will revisit it as necessary, as I have done in recent years, but there is no longer this overwhelming sense of sadness when I think about the hard things.

There is so much that I want to do with my life, so many things that I want to experience. Today I feel that all things are possible. For the moment, I have this beautiful, illuminating sense of clarity.

I feel whole.

Earlier this week, a very influential ex-boyfriend found me on myspace. I met J when I was 18 years old, mere months before I slipped into my Great Depression. (He was not the cause of the Great Depression, by the way, but he was there to witness some of it.) We had a long-distance relationship that was characterized by a frenzy of letter-writing. I still have all of his letters, and you can definitely trace how things unfolded between us. It was all very romantic.

He was one of the first people I'd met that dared to break the mold of boring convention, and being the curious person I've always been, he was very intriguing to me. Ultimately he opened my mind to a great many new things, which I have always been grateful for.

I was so in awe of J that I don't think I really knew how to be myself, my whole self, around him. He was so tough and so experienced and so sure of what he wanted that it was very intimidating to me. I think he sensed this about me and thus encouraged me to unlock my inner warrioress. I didn't figure out how to do this until years later. And I realized this week that she's here, she's unlocked, she's always with me.

That person I always wanted to be? Without knowing how it happened, I've become her.

There are people in my life who are going through some hard times and have been for awhile. I want to say to them that life sucks sometimes, and it does so without any consideration for who you are. Sometimes it's unfair to have this much shit piled on us, but it happens anyway, without any regard to what's fair.

The good news? Things do get better. Things will start to change. One day you'll wake up and realize that you're happy, that your inner voice is calm, and that you've made it. This hard time that you're going through may act as my Great Depression does for me and serve as the thing against which you measure all bad things. You may begin to see that if you can make it through this, then you can make it through anything.

And you can. Rest assured, things are going to change for the better.

In the meantime, hang in there. It will be worth it, I promise.

The holiday season is upon us, and I'm looking forward to the holidays with a great sense of anticipation and excitement. I have always loved Christmas, but still, this year feels different. There's a different kind of electricity in the air, a strange feeling of wonder.

Maybe the holiday season hasn't changed at all. Maybe it's just me. Things in me are shifting (and not just my internal organs due to pregnancy, either!). I feel alive and conscious and absolutely electric.

This feeling I'm having? I want to bottle it. Because life is so good right now, and it won't always be this good. Because I want to remember this time in great detail, but the older I get, the less room my brain has. Because it is, quite frankly, a beautiful state in which to be.

Today, and maybe today only, the world is a beautiful, welcoming place - and life is something to be treasured.

Thanks for being there as I muck my way through it all.


JennB said...

You're such a sap! <3

Anonymous said...

I appreciate this post very much.

WeezerMonkey said...

Amazing post, Leslie.

jake said...

That excitement for this Christmas feeling...I knew it! You are proof of my December 4th post.
Yes, another awesome post. Savor the flavor (of life), man...savor the flavor.

kim said...

Baby Yawning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


inflammatory writ said...

This is what I needed to read today. The stuff you said about not being a slave to your past? Well, there's something I need to let go of too (obviously), and you put it into words better than I could have.

Bunlet is lucky to have you.

tootie said...

I'm so happy for you!

I can see the excitement in your words when you talk about your baby. You are going to be a great mom!

phairhead said...

Thanks for making me feel like I'm not alone

Angie Eats Peace said...

I can not even say enough how proud I am of you. Thanks for sharing the journey.

Erika said...


This post is amazing!! have successfully expressed what i have been thinking for quite some time.

Thank you!

Wade said...

Great post, Leslie. Thank you.

amber said...

you more than deserve this happiness after the up and down year you've had. <3