Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hard Knocks

This fall has been full of transition for me. Out with a lot of old, in with a lot of new. The big ones* were: I moved to a new house, I broke off a long-term relationship on bad terms, I switched jobs four and a half times. To boot, I've developed a healthy case of insomnia, which has probably changed my ability to deal with the constant flow of transitions ("In short, I'm TIRED!").

I'd say that the relationship bit threw everything else rather wildly out of control, especially after finding some particularly hurtful information, which put me solidly out for two full days. It probably triggered, or contributed to the insomnia, which in turn affected everything else. What might have been a fall of re-adjustment became a rather tumultuous exploration of what it means to be a grown-up.

Around the time when I wrote the Nonna/Nanny post, I also wrote two letters, one to each of my grandmothers, thanking them for being themselves, and expressing my admiration for them. My father's mother called me and asked about the break up**, and asked how I was. I said (as I've been saying, with relative noncommitment to the now tired subject) "The break up was hard. It's been a hard fall."

She told me that she thought all her grandchildren were "too pampered" and that we needed some good "hard knocks" once in a while to keep us in check. Typical Nonna mentality. Nonetheless, I felt I should respond with relative honesty. I told her I didn't think it was bad for kids to be pampered, and that sometimes hard knocks can make us "grow" and "learn," but we shouldn't go on encouraging them. She actually agreed, but still asserted that I'd be ok and that a hard knock still wasn't bad once in a while.

I've said this before and I'll say it again--this isn't the first or the last time I'll be feeling this way, dealing with all sorts of things like this. There have been two other times in my life that I can already remember feeling like everything was shifting below me, and that all I could do was kind of hold on and try to get through it. One was in the middle of high school. One was when I began my relationship with this recent ex-boyfriend. And one is now.

And while I already feel like a different person, I'm more aware of myself, and I'm acting with increasing resolve. That said, I still wish there were an easier way to get from point A to point Q.

*In between there's been a bunch of stuff, but it ain't worth getting into right now.
**Nonna it should be said, is fascinated with break ups. She can't hear enough about my friends' parents' divorces...She still wears her wedding band, though she's been divorced for forty years or so. More on that later.


Elizabeth said...

Oh honey.... as if there were anyone anywhere on Earth whose life didn't have more than enough hard knocks. Short of living life fully medicated on massive doses of valium (tempting...), ain't no way to avoid them knocks.

L said...

Quite a phrase, right? Mr. Muddle could use a hard knock.

a thousand shades of twilight said...

Sorry to hear about your insomnia - ugh. If things aren't bad enough already, insomnia just makes everything worse.

I would never begrudge someone whose life was knock-free. But I am yet to meet such a person, so I'm not sure how I'd react to them! Maybe I'd want to punch them. Or at least wave my ineffectual little wrist in their general direction.

Your nonna sounds good - she sounds like a straight shooter. Give me that over the elaborate web of passive aggressiveness any day.

It's hard to watch you go through these things, but we also know that you're going to triumph. And the sooner the knocks are out of the way, the sooner you can move on. Yes, there might be more, but you'll be better equipped to deal with them. Build up your armoury!


L said...

S: yes, it's true, even though this whole "personal growth" process will ultimately do me good, make me stronger, blah blah, I wish I could just put on the new me like a change of clothes. Sigh, if there is no other way, then so be it.

And, yes, Nonna is a real straight shooter, that's for sure. I like her a whole lot, despite her far-right politics and her non-touchy-feely nature. She's had some very hard knocks in her day, and I feel like, in some remote and very small way, I can identify with her a little bit more now after this speed bump.

But, yes, the insomnia is pretty annoying. But I'm also somewhat fascinated by the phenomenon. It's just bizarre. At this point, it's the routine. I know that, no matter when I go to bed, between 3 and 3:30 am my eyes will open and sometime after that I may or may not drift in and out of sleep. No problem getting to sleep, at all. Strange, no?

It is easier to handle now that I've cut a big part out of my schedule--errr employment?!

Anyway. Thanks for the good wishes--and happy new year!!!