It had been a long time since I lost my shit on public transportation. But I had on my big sunglasses and decided that my train car was just full enough to give me the requisite dose of anonymity.
From behind my shades, I saw a group of teenaged boys passing around an iPod so each could take a turn listening to a song that made them smirk. I wondered if it was LMFAO. A girl with a pierced nose saw me wipe away a runaway tear.
I didn’t care.
Once that first tear slid down my cheek, I knew I would cry all the way downtown– through all six train stops until I got where I was going. I stood in the back of the very last car letting each bubble of grief rise up and spill out of me.
When the train stalled at the Chicago stop, I was crying hard enough to need to blow my nose. “Atta girl, let it out.” I was being so nice to myself, and it was making me cry even harder. As the train sputtered and lurched on its way out of the station, I softened my knees so my body could move easily with the jolts. I leaned in to each curve and bend. The more I softened, the harder I cried.
I cried because I am stuck, and I am searching. And, I haven’t found “it” yet– that place that’s my own. The place where I don’t have to share one fucking thing. With anyone. My friends. My kids. My husband. You. The place where I get to unpack my own toys and make my own mess. The place where I get to truly exhale, unhook my bra and slouch while eating crunchy, fatty potato chips straight from the bag– pausing only to lick the cheesy, salty residue from my fingers. I am thinking Doritos.
The space is emotional. That’s obvious, right?
I am not searching for this just because I am a mother, though mothers do have a reputation for struggling to find “their own space.” I am searching for this because it’s worth finding, and it so happens I also have children.
I am looking for the place where there is only me. There’s no audience to woo, no followers to attract, no competition, no sisters, no parents, no kids, no therapists. There is no relentless chasing– of Facebook or Twitter or Freshly Pressed or Huffington Post. There are no comments to monitor or to which I must respond.
There is no one to please, because it’s just me. And I don’t have to please myself. That’s the great thing about having a relationship with myself: I decided long ago I wasn’t going to bring my everyday bullshit into my relationship with myself. Because the relationship has to be a refuge from all of that. Otherwise, why bother?
Some posts are for you. Some are for laughs. Some are for contests or attention. Some are for the people I imagine never believed in me or hope I fail even a little bit. Some are for my idealized version of myself.
And some posts are just for me.
This is one of those.