Embracing the Mind F*ck

It’s 10:10pm and it’s dark out, which seems magical after the brutal six weeks that bracketed solstice. I love summer, but a toddler and 11pm (and 2:45am) daylight are a terrible mix.

This last week has felt intense. I’m in a period of fast-firing ideas and planning. These times are part of my flow, and have been for many years, and I’ve learned to just ride the wave of their productivity. Good things can come from them, like the impetus to build a new library or to sprint on a new initiative. Alternately, nothing can come of them, and that’s ok too. I learned long ago that “no-go” is a really good finding in a feasibility study, if it means you don’t waste years and tons of capital on a crappy idea.

I told a friend today that I feel like I’m coming up out of water. My previous experience of this was when Auggie was about four months old and I realized that he was past the intense infant stage and wasn’t going to suddenly perish. This time the emergence feels like it’s more about me. This is my own self arriving back into the world, with thoughts and desires that are independent from my motherhood and my child. I feel hungry again, craving some sort of project I can bite into, own, and kick ass on.

I also feel that familiar sense of creative tension and insecurity that comes when I’m beginning to push my bounds beyond my own confidence zone. This is the space that I once termed the “mind fuck,” where you get intensely uncomfortable and panicky because you’re out of your own bounds, but if you can stay there and ride it out you explode your own limits and expand into the new space you’ve created. This place sucks when you’re in it, but I’ve learned to recognize the pattern and to know that I’ll get through. What comes beyond almost always is intensely gratifying and results in very good things.

I feel sorry for C., who will come home after his summer away seeking the grounded peace of home, only to find me in this phase of intense reordering and striving. My challenge will be to be present for my own self in this time of growth, while also giving him the space he needs to breathe and come down to earth.