I want to runaway in the worst way. I feel so stuck In a life I had not planned for. Yesterday was our last day of ABA and I cant help but feel like a bit of a lost puppy. In the last ten years I had got married, had three kids, Autism entered my life and now I have two children diagnosed with hearing loss and in hearing aides. This is not at all what I had pictured when I first set foot on my college campus. Its kind of strange having my youngest in school now I’m not really sure how to spend the time. I could work, sure, the money would be nice but ya know It’s kinda nice to close that door after getting them on the bus and just listen to the silence. Theres no yelling, no autism, no kids fighting over ipads no therapists working with my kid and taking notes of my every move.
This morning after my husband left I walked back up to bed and layed there for an hour thinking about how I wanted to spend my day. At first I thought about going to the rink to skate but then I talked myself out of it reason: its too cold. (It is fall in Michigan after all) Then, I thought about going to the community center to work out but eh not feeling like any physical exertion today so I layed stagnate until I decided to just take a shower and take it from there. As I stood in the shower just letting the water hit my back I couldn’t help but feel relief that I was able to take an uninterrupted shower and even had time to go a bit extra and shave my legs without missing any spots. (that’s huge to me) and as I was washing the conditioner out of my hair I began to think about home. Not the home like the place where I was raised but home where my dreams used to be attainable.
I thought about how much I had missed “home”. I thought about all the promise that place held for me. It was the only time in my life that I actually felt alive. Passing through classes and college parties. And after two minutes I knew my plan. I was going home. I got dressed, put on my makeup (YES MAKEUP I FINALLY WAS GOING OUT!) packed my backpack with my laptop, my iPhone, all my chargers and my binder full of my favorite writings I have done. I loaded up my minivan and hit the highway. I couldn’t wait to get back to ME. I couldn’t wait to get back to the place that held all my dreams I have had to give up.
There it was U of M Yost ice arena. I took a deep breath and remembered the barber shop down the street that will sharpen your skates while you get your hair cut (if you are a man of course but the concept is amazing). I saw all the houses with poorly kept lawns and old cars parked on gravel driveways that were designed to be front yards and I couldn’t help but smile. This is the me I know. Simple. Inspired. Im not sure how I ended up where I am and I know there’s a reason God has placed me here but there are also so many days that I feel lost. Empty. Out of place. Its hard to stand at the sink doing dishes day after day when you are staring at your degree hanging on a wall. Its tough looking at the four walls of your home on the daily when you are a wanderer. Its tough knowing there is so much potential inside and a wealth of knowledge that remains untapped and buried under loads of laundry.
I feel at times like I am standing in the center of a hurricane. due to the diagnosis of my son and my husband being farther in his education I thought it appropriate that I set down my aspirations for a masters degree to allow him to carry on further. I stayed home and worked at the local hospitals inpatient psychiatric unit and took care of the children as he finished his masters in architecture and finished the liscencing testing that involved seven tests. I changed diapers, a lot of diapers, I fought insurance companies, crying babies, meltdowns, potty training, schooling, busses for ten years before I got today. I turned myself into almost a robot for ten years to survive the monotony of what it means to be a housewife and special needs mom. and now, here I sit back to my roots and I wonder just who am I now. And I cant help but say for the first time in ten years I am me.
I thought I was okay letting the masters go but it keeps bubbling up inside of me. I tried to convince me that the kids would be enough and trust me guys they are beautiful they are my everything but I have a dream to chase. I just want to be a real legit writer. This dream is becoming some sort of an obsession. BUT, I don’t know how. Sure, I published one article in a magazine which was a huge feat for me but I never submitted another one for publication. I want bigger. I want my name in print with a cover and an ISBN. But there is some sort of fear inside of me that keeps stopping me.
Maybe, its that now, when I go into public I feel so disconnected. Maybe, its that in the past ten years of being in the home technology has advanced to the point of putting kiosks in fast food restaurants and I cant understand why anyone would use one of those things when there is a person right in front of you that can punch your order in for you.
Today, as I stood in the group of college students waiting for my coffee at starbucks I couldn’t believe how quiet it was with so many people in one place until I stopped and looked around. there were probably thirty people standing there all holding phones scrolling. I felt sad. When I lived here it wasn’t like that. we would play with eachother and tease the baristas as they made our drinks. Its strange now, the way the world is, its like we are creating our own four walls with our phones. Even as I write this I am surrounded by a plethora of people and yet I’m staring at this computer screen with my headphones in and on at a volume where I cant here anything going on around me. I cant help but wonder and feel sad at what we are missing because of technology.
One of the great things about Ann Arbor is that they still have book shops. yeah, BOOKSHOPS! Remember those? there’s one right down the street from here that I used to frequent its a quaint little used bookshop and its cool because you never know what will be in that shop from day to day. I used to spend hours here just carousing and laughing at the inappropriate self help books. ya know, like that kama sutra and junk I know I was immature but hey we were smiling.
Ann Arbor was where I got my start. It was where I had my first tinge of independence. I worked full time at a local pet shop and lived in an apartment with three other girls (yea 4 girls in a two bedroom apartment… just imagine the drama) my roommate worked at the coffee shop next door and we had an agreement I would get her cat food if she supplied me with soup and that was the best agreement ever. I miss those simplistic days of scrounging under my car seats to find $1.06 so I could get some mcdonlds off the dollar menu. Everyday was a challenge and adventure. It was simple but to me it was so fulfilling. I never did need much.
I don’t know. Maybe its the responsibility that’s getting me. Maybe its that big house that I have to keep clean, maybe its the autism but I cant help but think that its something more. Maybe I’m meant for more. I want to write. I want to get back to dreaming. I want to do it all DESPITE the autism. Or maybe, I’m meant to do it BECAUSE of the autism. I gatta make a change. There’s so much more in my head than what I have been doing and I cant hold it down much longer. Its time to chase that dream. Time to write that book. But how? I don’t even know how to start. Do I even have the talent? Lord knows I have the passion. I need direction and yet I have no idea who to ask or where to go from here.