Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lonely, or lost?

I am both an extro- and intro-vert. Very extroverted in situations where I am working, in charge, or have some comfort, control and/or knowledge. Very introverted when I don't. Even though I struggled for a performance career for 20 years, I have never been very comfortable in the spotlight or as the center of attention. So when I made the decision to have a baby, I struggled with the attention around my decision, and then the attention while pregnant, and ultimately when I had the cutest baby on the planet. But while I struggled with too much then, I find I am frustrated with too little now. And maybe it's not so much attention, in the "Look at me!" sense, but more in that I just don't feel very visible to those around me. Maybe it's more that time is just passing, that my boy, while still adorable, isn't a baby anymore; that I am getting older, am frequently frazzled, and am not performing in a way that is impressive to anyone, any longer. I seem to have lost any shine I once had, and capture no one's attention. This is not to say that the people I see everyday aren't a little curious about or interested in my boy, mostly they are. But he's just getting more independent every day, and when babies turn into somewhat self-sufficient preschoolers, the world's interest shifts.

All of this to say, quite inelegantly, that I am struggling with my loss of self and career and artistry, and my lack of true and near friendships. Until recently, I believed this huge family of mine, many of whom live nearby, would replace my need for external friendships. I have been expecting more friendship and togetherness from them for most of my life, but realize now that isn't exactly what has evolved. We are family, and love each other of course, and we do a lot of family things together - mostly birthdays and holidays. My sisters and nearby (girl) cousin are all married with families, and have pretty solid groups of local friends, and my brother is pretty independent with his own friends. While it's disappointing that things have turned out this way, at least I'm finally starting to be free from that expectation. But because of my introvert self, I still am unable to figure out what to do to build my own community. Other than having a really beautiful, smart, funny little boy, I don't have much to offer or bring to the table, or at least it feels that way right now.

So, hobbies? meetup groups? mom clubs? I am told by mom friends, that once my child gets into school there will be playdates and from playdates often come parental friendships. I hold out some hope there, and that sometime soon I'll figure out what makes me creatively tick, now that singing and performing are no longer a part of my regular equation. And the current season brings lots of family events, so we'll fill our time with those. Lots to consider.

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