floating

June 6, 2012 |  Category:   life me rambling

It’s true what they say, when women claim they become surprisingly emotional as soon as they become mothers. Or often even sooner, as soon as they become pregnant. I’ve certainly cried during enough sappy commercials during the heightened hormonal time of pregnancy. What took me by surprise is that this emotional vulnerability never really leaves. It’s been what, more than five years since I’ve had my last baby? But I can still get teary over looking up at a sunset trying to break through the clouds? Or stranger yet, over seemingly nothing? Who is this person? Certainly not the same person from 10 years ago.

 

I find that I’m often moving through life these days, half in the grounded reality of dealing with life’s everyday challenges and half in like some sort of dream state observing things around me, but from some kind of outside perspective like you’re floating above everything. I know that age and reflecting back on 20 years might have something to do with it. How did we get here. To this home. This stuff. These kids. This moment in time. And where are we going?
 
I’m far too good at holding on to the past. It’s not that I’m afraid of the future, but sometimes it’s hard to process that I’m already here. So I focus on the things most important in my life that help me stay grounded. Family. Music. Friends. Hope.

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  • Uncle Beefy June 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Now you’ve got me going, Jenna! I get emotional over the simplest or strangest things – and I’m not even pregnant. Obviously. But, once again, your beautifully written words hit home with me. I feel ya.

  • miss alix June 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I think this sensitivity comes not only with children, but with age. I find myself crying over the most obscure emotional triggers. Planets cause tears? Apparently.

    It is difficult to focus on the things that are tangible and current and not dwell on the history of things. I am much better at looking back than looking forward clearly, or even at the present.

  • unha engels June 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    oh man.. the exact thing i was thinking about last night.
    am turning +1 soon. it’s strange that now it can be rounded off to 40.
    i’m here, yet it’s hard to REALLY internalize it.

    i wonder if it’s generational for X and younger, or everyone?

  • Jane June 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I have definitely found myself becoming more emotional with age, more reflective and nostalgic, sometimes even negatively so. It can be hard to move forward, when you’re so linked to the past.

  • Anna June 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I was just thinking this yesterday, when I couldn’t hold back my tears, dropping my 4 year old at preschool. (She’s been going for nearly a year, but in the last few weeks she’s been unsettled when I drop her off, and yesterday she was quite upset.) Afterwards I was thinking, am I really the “type” of person who cries in front of a packed classroom? Obviously I am! But before having children having children I rarely cried, even at funerals. I could watch anything on TV without it really affecting me. Now there are some news stories – particularly those involving children – that I just can’t watch. I’m sure I am a better person for it, but I wouldn’t mind more of a thicker skin sometimes! I suspect it grows back a bit though (judging by my parents!)
    And yes perhaps age has something to do with it too. I am 32. I am different person to the one I was in my twenties.

  • Ann June 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I’ve followed your blog for quite some time, I love your honest, insightful writing and beautiful photography.

    I HAD to comment today because the photo took my breath away, it is so beautiful.

  • Juju June 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    i find your thoughts to be so relatable. i also find other readers’ comments to be very interesting and helpful (I know that sounds odd, but i don’t know how else to describe it).

  • lara June 6, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    beautiful photograph, and I totally relate to that floating feeling. I rarely stop to think these days since transitioning to becoming a mom and freelancing or becoming self-employed, I’m just so busy, but every now and then thoughts like these you’ve articulated so well float into my head.

  • Roseann June 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I’m 24 and married, and I find that I spend so much of my energy thinking about the future and mentally preparing myself for career and babies and I don’t take enough opportunities to appreciate where I am right now. I wonder if this will end once I have children of my own. I wonder if it will shift and I will then be focused on how quickly they are growing and how fast time is passing. Right now if feels like it won’t come fast enough!

  • brianna June 6, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    That photo is gorgeous. Really, really beautiful.

    Last night while watching a preview for the new Les Miserables movie I started getting teary remembering Susan Boyle singing I Dreamed a Dream. I wasn’t like this before my baby, so I totally get where you are coming from.

  • deedee June 7, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Jenna,
    I can’t quite remember how I stumbled across your blog. I think it must have been on Apartment Therapy. But I’ve enjoyed reading your entries so very much. They’re heartfelt, insightful, and beautiful. Thanks for being so honest with your thoughts and feelings. I must say that I can definitely identify with what you’re going through. I’m in a similar place space now as I watch my little boy growing up. I’m missing his babyhood already, though he’s barely out of it, and contemplating the future. Again, thanks for sharing.

  • gracie June 7, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I am not a mother but I am so emotional and ready to cry at the beautiful and sad, I thought it might be depression but then I began to think it is the growing compassion and connectivity I feel towards people. I feel more tuned into it as I get older. I am sure it will be heightened in motherhood.

  • Rami June 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

    This is a stunning image, perfect in its sensual simplicity.

    I also feel afloat, perhaps it is the time of now, where we are in our lives (the middle) or in our self-awareness (evolving). I also feel like it is exactly where I am supposed to be, watchful, aware, engaged, but with this enlarging perspective. Disconcerting, different, and good.

    Thank you for your thoughtful writing, as always.

  • Sara Jensen June 7, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I love love love this photo.

  • diamondkelt June 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I love that your posts are real.

  • Jennifer Nichols June 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I can really relate to this post. I’ve found that I’m much more emotional with daughter #2. Seeing how fast the first one is growing really puts things into perspective and makes everything seem much more fleeting.

    Lovely, lovely image of your littlest.

  • Jasmine June 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Such a beautiful image, and this entry is so poignant and lovely.

  • Jill June 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Ugh, I didn’t sign up for all this sappy stuff. Come on, Jenna. Get a grip. 😉

    (btw, BEAUTIFUL photo of C — I’m with that Jensen up there!)

  • RebeccaNYC June 8, 2012 at 9:03 am

    and then comes menopause where tears flow for no reason at all. Our hormones suck.

  • roxana June 11, 2012 at 4:30 am

    yes! i still cry at the aspca sarah mclachlan ad, seriously! your second paragraph made me think of talking heads song ‘once in a lifetime’ and your are right focusing on what and most importantly who you love helps pull you down from the floating.

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