Bon Voyage

Four months of silence, yet I consistently don't know what to say when faced with a blank Blogger screen. The gist is this:

-I got a job in the US.
-I, and by which I mean only me, leave England after 8+ years on Wednesday. One day from now.
-I am terrified.
-I will be away from The Dude and P for two or three weeks, perhaps more.
-I have had one month to prepare for this and I have failed. Majorly.
-For the next few days I will mostly be crying and trying not to throw up repeatedly. This applies to repeatedly trying not to throw up, as well as possibly trying not to throw up repeatedly.
-This is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I'm not sure what the next month will bring. I will try my best not to beseige this place with my misery whilst I'm trying to sort out my new life over there alone.

Shit. Fuck. Bollocks. Wank.



When I was pregnant, I finally began to realise the weight attached to my own notion of motherhood. I never perceived myself to be the maternal type, and my relationship with my own mother, though loving, has some element of distance because we are two very different people. I have never been particularly fond of children, and even with one of my own, maintain a withdrawn, wary stance when it comes to the children of others. Since I had P, I suppose my Mom and I have grown closer, though I do feel as if my general emotional reservedness is at odds with her outgoing, emotionally bold personality.

My Mom lost her mother when I, her first child, was not yet a year old. Growing up, I knew how profoundly her loss affected her - she was apologetic that I never knew my grandmother, and her mourning was two-fold now that she too had a daughter. I didn't think much about the daughter-mother-grandmother link until I was trying to get pregnant and had a dreadful nightmare that my Mom died right after I had a daughter of my own. I was lost as she had been, struggling to come to terms with new motherhood and grief simultaneously. It was a strange, lingering dream which annoyingly elbowed its way into my waking life and provided a very odd world for me mentally for quite some time afterwards.

Since I had P, I haven't lingered on that dream much. I can't. As most of you know, I have some issues with anxiety, so the further away those thoughts, the better. My worry is often allocated entirely to P, and there is so much of it, there is not often much spare. This afternoon my brother called to say that my Mom took herself to the ER early this morning because she was having heart palpitations. Because "rational" is not a word often associated with my mental processes, I have been going to extremes all day. My brother has not seemed overly concerned, but then again, he's male, and I'm 4000 miles away and helpless. He often downplays all of my Dad's forays into alcoholic idiocy, so I know he's worried too and just masking it well.

Being a negative person and extreme worrier, this only goes one way with me. Even if it's nothing this time, it has awakened an alarm within me so that from now until someone actually dies, I will think every phone call is bad news. I know it sounds horribly melodramatic and an exaggeration, but this is how my mind works. It has always latched on to one occasion where something went wrong, and thus every other time the same situation presents itself, I assume it to be bad. Once The Dude had head pain so severe that I rushed him to the ER, with me believing he was surely experiencing an aneurysm and would die before we got there. Instead, he was 26 when he discovered he inherited his mother's tendency to debilitating migraines. Nonetheless, with every twinge, every need to take an Excedrin, it's 11 years ago again and I'm bracing myself for the worst.

Since my brother phoned, I have been catastrophizing. That's what us anxious people do, and who am I to disappoint? I am now starkly aware of my Mom's mortality, and cannot think of anything else. I think of it in terms of her being my own mother of course, but also her presence as the Granny P adores. I could be a mother defining my own mother to my child in purely anecdotal terms one day - soon? - just as she was 25 years ago. My mind then goes further, just to fuck with me even more, to remind me that as I'm trying to get pregnant again, I have possible dead-grandmother emotional baggage for that hypothetical child as well. Yes, yes, I know it all sounds so absurd, and to be honest typing it makes me feel a bit ridiculous. Regretfully, rational thought does not mix well with catastrophizing.

My Mom rang about an hour ago, scaring the shit out of me as that blessed ring will do from now on. She wanted to tell me that all was ok, "so you'll sleep well tonight." Ha! She's in a difficult place - other than being more or less on her own to deal with this, she has to concern herself with my fragile mental state. She knows how I am. She often brings up the many times in my childhood when I would be too anxious to sleep and she had to stroke my hair and talk about our "peaceful place." Apparently her issue (something about a sinus which I WILL NOT Google, or I shall never sleep again) can be treated by something as simple as medication, or at its most invasive extreme, a pacemaker.

Strangely enough, there was a line that had been bouncing around in my head all week, one which I read somewhere - I'm paraphrasing, but basically, the important things that change your life are the ones which happen in a second. We tend to ascribe all the gravity of our lives to the things we ponder over and over again - do I move back to the US? Do I greet infertility again to see if I can try my luck again? - rather than the ones which can change it all in an instant.

I was in an awkward mental place prior to all of this anyway, so it's only natural that the weirdness should be extended a bit longer. I guess it's a combination of PMS (because OF COURSE my period is impending), and general mental imbalance, but I have been near tears or tearful for the past 48 hours. Now I guess I at least have a good reason to be so. I'm so paranoid, another fun aspect of my uh, issues, that I picture people reading this and rolling their eyes. Many of you have lost your mothers, or had mothers with issues more severe than what appears to be a rather harmless condition as far as heart things go, and here I am, rabbitting on like the most overreacting-nest person who ever overreacted. If anyone would like to talk me down off the ledge, you are more than welcome to do so.


Music Monday: It's About Damn Time

I don't even know how long it has been since I did MM. I could look, but that requires effort and I'm fresh out of that. As I tweeted yesterday, my kid is being an absolute gobshite lately and a bit of a cow, so I feel capable of little other than dribbling on myself, staring forelornly into middle distance, and oh - hooking you up with some music.

Dave Rawlings Machine: To Be Young

Josh Ritter: Change of Time (frick on a stick I wanted to not like him or this song given my brother's worrying it-puts-the-lotion-on-the-skin love of all things Ritter)

She and Him: Ridin' in My Car (I like this quite a bit despite my abiding hatred of M Ward)

Beach House: Zebra

The Bird and the Bee: I Can't Go For That

Broken Bells: The High Road

Monsters of Folk: Dear God

Dawes: When My Time Comes

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: 40 Day Dream

Cold War Kids: Audience

Mumford and Sons: The Cave
(there are other songs I could choose from this wonderful band, however, I love this song so much I hae every faith that if I listen to it a thousand times, I will get the job I want and become infinitely fertile. It will be so.)

I hope to be back later in the week with an honest to god blog post about real stuff. We shall see.



Heyyyy-oooooo! I've swept away the cobwebs and stomped on the spiders inhabiting this space. They will surely take up residence again when I've left this to rot for another few months. So, ignore the tumbleweeds, but don't get too excited and think that I have much of note to say.

Where have I been...yes, where have I been. I have been trying to get pregnant in the UK or employed in the US, consistently failed, had mini-breakdowns, resolved to smite my ovaries because they are bastards, cursed US higher education institutions for being close-minded (or perhaps just exhibiting good sense), adoring my magnificent daughter, resuming my MA in Art History, consequently not getting enough sleep, shunning blogging in favour of the ease and lack of commitment of Facebook, and not running enough. I think that about covers it.

Since I last blogged in January, I made some decisions. As alluded to above, I decided to give equal effort to the two things I want - a second child and a job in the US. Neither one of those options seem too keen to get things moving, but at least I am attempting to take action so that something will hopefully happen. Eventually. I bought myself one of those nifty Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitors that does all the hard work for me, because I tried the temp thing the first go round and it was all a bit much of a to-do. I barely even know what day it is or where I'm supposed to be, I'm sure as hell not put together enough to taking my temp before my eyes even open and then drafting it on a damn chart.

I'll tell you something else - I always said that I was a completely rubbish infertile, and you'll be pleased to know that is still the case. I never used OPKs before now, and I have no idea what the lines on the wee sticks even mean. No clue. I hold them up to the light every morning, trying to glean what knowledge exactly, I have no idea. I angle them against the skylight, squint, furrow my brow, draw no conclusions whatsoever, and put them in the bin. Thank god the little machine tells me my business or else I'd have no clue. The penis goes where?

I have been trying not to think about what happens after failure. I have very quickly fallen back into the mentality that pregnancy is something which happens to other people rather than me. I may have been pregnant before, but like a lot of things, the passage of time wears away memories slowly. I can barely remember that time with any accuracy, and though the evidence of my successful pregnancy is constantly smacking my ass and saying "Hey sugarbum" with a flawless Southern accent, I seem to disassociate her with the actual process of being pregnant.

Between cycles I don't much care which comes first - pregnancy or job. After a failed cycle, well, woebetide the poor Dude, who is relegated to a support position which largely involves staring blankly at me while I rage. Ah, the good old days, eh?

So yes, I'm back in this IF sphere again, begrudgingly. I might even stick around for a bit. Who am I kidding? I'll be here for years. I hope to put off the fun stuff like wandings and flashing my doctor for at least a little while, but I'll need somewhere to vent the reality. Facebook is crawling with work folk, family, and severe Christ-worshippers who would fall of their pews if they knew what I'm really like. I need this blog for that, as short of personal emails, this is still the only place where I can be me.



Though I may not be blogging much lately, I am doing a lot of thinking, if that counts for anything. In the past couple of weeks I've been trying to get my (metaphorical) house in order, though, like all the other times, it will all soon fall apart. Again.

Anyway, while I was away, thinking and pondering, pondering and thinking - my FIVE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY passed. Five damn years. Not only does this mean that I have been writing this claptrap for that amount of time, but that I've known my Cheese Wife for pretty much that long. There we were, but babes in the infertile wood, and he we are five years later, both with drastically different lives. I'm thankful that there are more of you out there that I have known for just about as long, and happy that we're all still around in some capacity - whether it is still in blog form, email, or Facebook. I scoff in the general direction of all those who say you cannot form "proper" relationships in cyberspace. Do people even say "cyberspace" anymore?

The wheels in my wee head have been turning, consumed with thoughts of my own personal evolution as a blogger. No doubt Mel would write about this subject (and probably has) far better than I can, but I'm just going to go and talk about it anyway.

Within the last year, if not a bit more, my perspective on blogging has changed quite drastically. In the time before, I was perhaps a bit too consumed with trying to plump up my traffic, increase my profile, and befriend big(ish) names. I was never too ambitious, as I think a lot of the bloggers classified as A-list are not very good writers and/or entertaining and wouldn't sell myself just for the sake of squealing when one linked to me (she says, mentioning good writing after that awkward sentence). I was never so crass as to be obvious about it; I just cannot starfuck without feeling like a dirty, dirty whore.

I don't know why I wanted more readers. I'm too much of a flake to handle the online friendships I have now, so I can't imagine, at least not conciously, that I wanted to make more friends. Perhaps it's a tiny amount of that basic, high school-ish desire to hang out with those that are considered the cool kids. For the most part, that isn't what it was about for me, since I didn't much care for that rubbish when I was in high school. Admittedly, there are some bloggers that are popular and that I think are downright fabulous, and even now in my devil-may-care phase, I'd be lying if I said I didn't secretly want them to read me, just once. Luckily, one of them, the aforementioned, almighty Mel, does pop in every once in awhile, and heck, I think she even likes me!

I have always enjoyed receiving comments, as we all do, and I've always drawn a parallel (at least on my own blog)with good writing yielding a higher number of comments. Of course we know that isn't strictly true, as I have been to some truly dire blogs with dozens of comments, but I judge my own blog differently for some reason. I think we've all been in a position in which we have written a post we are really proud of, or is particularly heartfelt, but draws very little response. I like writing, and since I don't do that in an academic setting at the moment (though this is to change in a few weeks' time), it's nice to have occasional feedback, however informal.

So yes, maybe it's the Citalopram setting my head right, perhaps it's because I'm an old lady now at 31 and will find joy in things like cats and pensions instead of blog popularity. It's not an issue of not enjoying my blog anymore - I can't invisage giving it up anytime soon, but I can't be bothered with all of the politics and preening. I'm going to go simple and just blog for blogging's sake. I'm going to keep on (trying) to read the same blogs I've known and loved for years, and not add any with the view of trying to garner new readers. I applaud those of you who have been that way since you started, clearly you're higher up the blogging evolutionary chain.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go dig out the raisin I've just dropped in my cleavage, then commence with the burning of patchouli and listening to the Grateful Dead.