As of late, my mind has been wondering about my future. I think I might be getting a little ahead of myself in my worries about where I want to focus my job search once I graduate. I feel this pressure like I need to decide where I want to settle and make roots. But I am realizing that I think it is more important to have grounding in myself and to take my roots with me in where ever that might be. I want my life to be open to the possibility of having a family with someone I love. My heart aches to be a mother. But I know that is not on the map for me at this point in my life. I feel I need to first get my career in order and to establish a self-sustaining independence. And I don't want to just find anyone in order to just have a family. I need to remind myself that I want a loving and respectful partner to share in the adventure of life.
I am scared about the possibility of moving away from RJ when I am done with my studies. I wonder if RJ thinks about me as being part of his future? I wonder if he feels pressure in the direction of our relationship? I know I am feeling pressure and I feel like it is affecting my ability to be genuine and present when I am with RJ sometimes. Other times I feel like we are just in the flow, like the night that we spontaneously worked on a puzzle quiz together. I find myself questioning the fit of our relationship and if the out of sync feeling is a result of me being a graduate student and going to Columbus or if it is us. I feel like there is some distancing. Is this because RJ's feelings have changed for me? Or is it in my head and I could actually be the one who is giving him mixed messages and distancing myself from him? Then the layer of feeling sad about motherhood complicates things for me and I have to separate that from my relationship with RJ at the moment.
I talked to my therapist about my sadness surrounding not being a mother. He said it takes some getting used to not being married and time to let go of some of the things that may come with marriage. I am experiencing grief. And it has recently been brought on because I am having difficulty with the fact that three of my closest friends from growing up are all pregnant. One is a first time mother-to-be and one is expecting her second and one is expecting her third. I am being lapped on multiple levels and I don't want to feel ugly about it. I feel guilty about how to be there for them without feeling hurt.
Then I was babysitting for some friends of mine this week. It was such a sweet day with their two kids and I loved every moment. It wasn't until later that evening that I felt the bittersweet sadness. I realized the meaning of that twinge earlier in the afternoon as I was buckling one of the kids into his car seat. All of what I did with the kids was so simple, but I loved it and it felt so natural. We colored pictures, watched the mail truck drop off the mail, and took the dog outside. Our time outside with the dog could be an entire post because of all of life and silliness in it. Their favorite part of the day was helping to clean up poop. The snow finally melted and the yard needed some extra cleaning up. And because the house sits on a hill, the poop gets flung into the wooded valley. Leave it to my teacher ways to even use the experience in a teachable moment about what it means to stand down wind as one of the kids said how stinky it was to stand to the right of me with the shovel. And even with the sadness, I am still thankful to have had that experience.
My mind knows that I am not in a position to be a mother right now--financially or relationally. I know I am young and it is still a possibility. But it is my heart that feels so sad. I just want others to hear that and accept that--period. I want acknowledgement, not a solution or pep talk. And I need to remind myself to be patient and to do one thing at a time. I need to refocus on the now. I am a graduate student and a single woman in a dating relationship. And I do and I don't want to talk to RJ. I don't want to hold back in a way that would be detrimental to the relationship and I don't want us to talk all of the time. I think I am just going to have to go with the moment and see how it unfolds.