I tried so hard to find a video clip from Edward Scissorhands for this post, but I am not very video clip savvy. It’s the scene in which Peg goes into the mansion and tells him he doesn’t have to be afraid of her – she is his local Avon rep, after all.
Edward: “I’m not finished.”
Do you ever feel like one day you’re on top of the world and can’t be brought down, and just the next day you feel like you’re barely at the surface – gasping for air- and at the verge of sinking down and drowning? And then it switches back.
I’m not talking extreme mood swings and I’m not talking about any kind of depression, because I am well-versed in what both of those things comprise, and I don’t personally suffer from either of them. Sometimes there’s this inner pressure. It’s so big. I do have situational anxiety, and sometimes, life is just one situation – or one series of situations. It’s life. It changes by the minute, but also certain hidden triggers could pop up without warning at any point. Or circumstances could change – in or beyond your control. It’s just life and it is a situation to me. It’s a series of situations I’m not always, or ever, prepared for.
For a long time after spring came, and with it – new business, new flowers, new joys – I was at a new high. It was an all-time high of my new normal. My new normal is of talking about and coping with anxiety concerning my kids growing up, and about myself aging. Scarlet has surpassed the age I was when my father passed away, and she’s also past the age I was when my life changed dramatically with a new family, home and school. Des is not there yet but it feels different with him, somehow.
Maybe he’s more like me. Maybe he’s less like me. Maybe he’s more like him, or less like him. Maybe I’m more like him in some ways, and less like him in health ways (I hope) because I am getting closer to the age my father was when he died.
No one is ever finished – not in their 30’s and not at age 100, but if I’ve learned anything in over three decades, it’s that there’s always a higher. There’s always a lower. You can always learn more about yourself, and sometimes that means admitting that you don’t know a thing about the world. Or yourself. But you’re learning. You’re trying. What else can you do?
Sometimes that inner pressure is bound to implode or explode. I’ve worked really hard during the last year to be a better mother for my kids, a better wife for my husband, and a better me for myself. I think that last one slips the most. The other two are beautifully unfinished and will be always, but it’s nice to see them with some polish and sparkle. It’s nice to believe that we can all keep our heads above water, whether finished or not. It’s not about the finish, really. It never was.
There will never be a perfect world and there will never be pure safety, but boy do I remember feeling that it could be so. The difference is in me. The world turns and it burns and it sighs and it delights, and we all think it’s going to end, and we all worry that we’re going to end, but we’ve all been through worse before, and we will be through worse again.
For that, I’m not finished. I will never be finished, but at least I know there’s always a higher rung to climb towards, swaying and teetering all the while, but higher just the same. Every now and then I have to get off the ladder and stretch, so I can keep growing. I will never be finished, but at least I know there’s always a lower rung to fall down to – all to know that it’s ok to keep spinning and swimming, and rising and falling, and it’s ok to know you’re not ending, but beginning, over again.