I recently had lunch with a close friend of mine that I worked with very closely up until I was about 6 months pregnant, I then moved over to another department, and now we are once again working closely together on a temporary project.
We sat down to lunch after a very hectic morning and while we were chatting away, she looked at me and said, “You are so…Zen. Somehow, becoming a single mom made you…well…” and I finished the statement for her, “Less neurotic? I know. It’s so weird.”
Or maybe it isn’t.
Back in the day, when I went to parties and dated boys, I met a guy one night. When I saw him from across the room it was almost as if there was an audible click. So cheesy, I know, forgive me – sometimes I can’t help myself. And stop pretending please, you know the type of click I am talking about…the one where you feel like you fit together with someone…where you only see them in the room and nothing else…that one.
Well…with Ellie, I feel like that times ten million. And although I’ve always hesitated to say that one person could complete another, I am really starting to wonder if, perhaps, Ellie completes me.
My friend called me out on something I have been feeling for a little while now, but haven’t really been able to tell if it was in my head, or if I, am in fact, more Zen. It all seems counterintuitive because never before in my life have I had more stresses, more logistical problems that need solving with less money, less time, and less sleep, along with more stains on my shirts, more pounds on my ass, and more things on the to-do list. And yes, those superficial issues really get to me from time to time, but deep down, in my core, I have had this bizarre sense of peace for a while, and the only thing I can attribute it to is Ellie. Don’t get me wrong…it did not set in immediately…I had some housekeeping to tend to before I settled in to where I am at right now.
I clearly remember my life before Ellie came on board, and there are certain things I miss from it, mainly being able to sleep past 6am on the weekends, but what I don’t miss is just feeling antsy all the time. Always worrying that I was missing out on something, afraid that I wouldn’t achieve the level of success that I wanted in my career, or panicked that I would never meet the right guy…there was always a lot of noise in my head. Constant interference, and somehow Ellie has silenced about 90% of it.
I know she made me a better listener, I’m definitely much more patient with everyone around me (remember friends, it’s all relative…I did not say that I am not a patient person – not even close), and I feel emotions (my own and others) on a level I never thought was possible. Ellie forced me to be brave when I was scared out of my mind…nothing like being alone in Manhattan with a 6-week old all day and all night to force someone to confront their fears and grow up. Nothing.
Because of Ellie, I embrace the term single mom instead of being embarrassed by it. Neither one of us did anything wrong, and I don’t want any of that negative energy around her. Since her arrival, every single decision I have made, I have made with two things in mind:
1. How will this impact Ellie now?
2. How will she feel when I explain all of this to her later?
Ellie made me accountable in a way that only a child can. At least in my case. So maybe that’s it….
Or maybe Ellie doesn’t complete me, maybe she just helped me get out of my own way.