Yes, it is my birthday month, and I've really been doing some thinking about where I am at in my life. Every day I feel a sense of purposelessness which is eating away at my patience and cracking at the nut which is my calm.
I remember being 20 and insisting I wouldn't marry till I was thirty and sick of being successful, rich and famously admired. I was a mannish girl, strong and independent, never got into dressing up but always crazy for magazines about music and fashion. I was good at my studies and also loved labouring - anything which was either very mentally stimulating or very physically demanding such as menial labour interested me. Such weird opposites, huh? I mean, weird in that they existed within the same person simultaneously.
Then as soon as I graduated I got a job in KL. Loved it as soon as I came here, having been eager to give up the student lifestyle and attitude of entitlement that always surrounded me at uni. The only thing I really missed was the great outdoors (just to look at, mind you, I have never been a fan of camping or living the bush life, as they say in Oz).
Then I became friends with this wacked out guy who didn't seem to have a shred of self-consciousness about him. We played lots of pool (sometimes I let him win) and very soon after becoming friends we fell in love and got married.
That's when my life turned upside down and Christina got turned inside out. Before I used to spend hours reading, studying even, subjects that intrigued me. I used to have a clean and tidy house. There was more space than there were things. If I had to pack everything up in a hurry, I could. The most I had were a collection of magazines and books which were sentimentally meaningful - even my clothes were few, though each and every item of clothing well-loved and cared for! When I got tired, I slept. If I got overworked, I prioritised. I always had time for learning about the things that interested me most: music, movies, and anything that had a beautiful logic and required analysis.
After marriage, phew! As I have said before, real creative people (the kind that hubby boo is, not just the ones who dot their i's with love hearts), geniuses in their own rights - they don't live like the rest of us. There is no off button. Occasionally they reboot after the hard drive burns out, but nothing ever gets turned off. Even in sleep they sing and make interesting noises.
Then we had kids, whom we love very much.
And now I am thirty three. I have felt so harrassed by my motherly and wifely duties that I totally thought I was turning thirty four.
Last night I took time out to think about what has been bothering me. The answer came, as it has before, bright and sunny - Christina, you need to fulfil your purpose in this world! And though I love my hubby boo and my two sprogs, living exclusively for them is not what I was made for. And I think everyone in the household is sensing it because Finger-In-The-Socket-Mummy comes out more often nowadays.
I do admire those women out there who live for their families. They manage the household, are nanny, teacher, feeder, emotional bandages and security to their children and husbands, and feel totally fulfilled. I am, sad to say, not such a woman. If I stay home too much I get cabin fever and start going stir crazy. I watch myself in horror as I demand to the general living room, why is the school bag here and not there? I say horror because I cannot possibly stand by and watch myself get garrolous over such things. And yet, the school bag in the wrong place really gets to me.
Up until recently I have been working hard at the office, but not really feeling the satisfaction because although I am being useful, it hardly sustains me and my creative juices. It's not entirely what I want, to be producing and managing. I have more inside me than that.
What stops me I guess is the guilt of leaving my kids alone with a relative stranger while I pursue my own goals. However, on a very philosophical level, what example am I setting my kids if they have a mother who gives up on her own dreams? Especially since I want them to grow up independent and pruposeful in this world. I know they are resilient. And I know that they will never lack love from either of us as parents. I can only do the best I can, and being stuck at home with little else to do than avoid smoking and getting too fat is not putting Mummy Dearest in the best frame of mind for them.
It's time to reclaim the lost and to get on with the servicing of this rusting car!
But first, gotta pick up Curly Haired Cheeky Babe from school...