I really thought that today was going to be the day I could get all of the chores done that I am behind on. Yet, when I…(12 hours later) I have finally gotten back to finishing this blog post. I stopped mid sentence because my life called. Again. And again. AND AGAIN. A grumpy baby. Was there any reason in particular for this grumpiness? No. No reason at all.
Yet, my son is always teaching me new things. Today, well yesterday really, was all about Grace. I had a bunch of desires and visions of how the day would be and what I could do. I knew how my son would behave. In reality, I had no idea. I was not going to be the author of that day. In reality, none of us are ever in control. God is in control.
Yesterday, God said to me: Total focus on the most important things in your life then rest. Repeat.
That’s it. That was all I could do yesterday.
Feeling a million times better today. So does baby. Lesson learned.
Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. L’asissez bon temps rouler! Love that feeling, love that energy. Mardi Gras always makes me think of St. Augustine. “Give me chastity and continence, but not yet. ” There is always the desire to indulge in pleasure just before you become your best self. That is exactly how I used to think about Mardi Gras and my life. Before motherhood my thoughts veered to everything that felt good FOR ME. Trust and believe I did not hold back. Indulgence and luxury were my specialty! Fine wine, fine food, fine arts only the best would do! That’s right I enjoyed and experienced all three not just once, nah, for me I went about the glamorous lifestyle for years. Over a decade I led the lifestyle that many only dream of and I did so without being a wealthy woman. God blessed me with my heart’s desire: a charmed life.
Then the moment came, just like my favorite St. Augustine, it wasn’t enough. I was not satisfied. I was still hungry. I found myself asking the classic existential question. Is that all there is? Was I born just to have fun? If so why wasn’t I having fun anymore? I found myself feeling very, very empty. I wanted to feel good again. I wanted the good times to keep going forever!
I felt this way one afternoon as I was leaving my favorite watering hole. During my usual stroll home, walking up the steepest hill in my city (great for the legs!), an unforgettable moment happened. A moment that existed outside of time and space. A moment that wasn’t brought about by the one glass of mediocre sauvignon blanc I had finished. A moment of transcendence.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me. “It’s time to go home.” I looked to my right and saw the Catholic church that I had passed by many times. “It’s time to go home.” I received instructions. Right there on the street. By myself. There were no flashing lights but it was the clearest moment of my entire life.
I walked back to my place. Opened the door. Picked up the phone. Called the church. “Hello, I’d like to join the Catholic Church. Can we begin the process?”
The Birth of my son was an amazing moment in my life. It was a peak experience. How else can you describe feeling so close to God? Creation has only convinced me more of the love God has for every single one of us. He created us!
Yet, right after that moment, I had a very frightening episode: severe preeclampsia. I was swiftly taken to another room. I was strapped into monitors, my arms and legs were placed in casings, monitors all around me, no food, only clear liquids, 24 hours of treatment and observation. The medications made me lethargic and only slightly grounded in reality. My only thought was 24 hours. 24 hours and then I can see my baby.
I am writing this blog, so you know what happened. The saints and the angels were with me. I survived. Baby and I are together all day at home. There are moments the exhaustion is profound. There are moments of anxiety when my mind is conjuring a million worst case scenarios. There are moments when I look in the mirror and wonder where the glamorous lady has gone. Still, more than any of that, I feel like I am thriving with a renewed sense of purpose. Many people mentioned postpartum depression to me and my husband. No one ever mentioned postpartum power to me. I feel like a strong mama bear that will and can protect her cub from anything. It’s like every comic book you ever loved. Super powers have arrived. Let the transformation commence!
DIVA. It took bringing another life into this world to remember the life I was infused with from the beginning. God somehow downloaded this deep, internal knowing inside me. I could do anything with His help. As a child, I walked and spoke with more authority than a child should at times. I wasn’t spoiled or rude. I just had a deep sense of right and wrong. I wanted to learn the truth about the beauty and tragedy I saw in the world. I wanted everyone to know exactly what was on my mind and in my heart. This mindset created an amazing opportunity for me. It sent me to boarding school. Boarding school was a completely new adventure. Custom designed for an ambitious young woman. I remember walking on the grounds of my new home at 14, meeting other kids who would become lifelong friends, and somehow in those first days I got a title…DIVA.
People called me a diva. Me? Diva? I wasn’t exactly sure what other students meant except that I had once seen what people called a diva at the Met in New York City. My father had taken me to the opera when I was 11. We saw Salome.
The opera was like heaven for me. Sweeping steps, men in suits, women in beautiful dresses, and then the music! It was like nothing I had heard before about a topic I didn’t totally understand but I FELT the POWER of the voices. Opera. This art was exhilarating! The Diva was the centerpiece of this creation.
So when people referred to me as a diva, perhaps it was meant to bring me down or mock me as the new girl in town, but I thought “Yes! That is exactly who I am. I have a voice and it is powerful!”
I felt that way about myself.
Then I forgot who I was…