Trying to Stay afloat

When it comes to a bubble, and you attempt to scramble to get your headspace going, clearing your mind, calming the emotions. You breathe deeply, in and out, in and out. You count each breath, concentrating on relaxing each muscle… It is too late, the tears flow, the sobs start, and you can’t stop. You have no idea where the waves of emotion are coming from, you just know, it is part grief, part anxiety, and part stress.

Living away from my tribe, I sometimes feel completely and utterly alone. It still hits me, that few would truly understand my insanities, my sense of humour, my sense of correctness, and punctuality. There is a small group of us, I know, it seems I harp on this, but, we can sense each other a mile away. It is odd, heavy, and yet a relief. At times like this, where I need to vent, to let it out, I sometimes feel I have no one to turn to.

What looks so punctual, so together on the outside, is always so close to be folded like a house of cards. Over the last couple of years, living in a suburb, I have discovered a couple of things: I have put on a veneer, and the veneer is not necessarily someone I truly identify with, most of the time, I don’t recognize myself. My life has become a strange series of being a Mother, and being consumed with raising my child, while at the same time, I run a business, and most of the time, run ragged. The ragged thing, is every parent in the whole world. I have become rushed, I used to play and relax, and I realize, I have not done that, I need to train myself to let go, and take back those moments, be present.

All of this, brings this intense amount of guilt, and an inability to understand and navigate this world. I never grew up where Mums hung out at the playground, and made plans. The social network of moms is exhausting, and the non stop chatter about kids, houses, and who is more tired than the other. The small talk just drains me out, depleting me of anything of substance. Most of the Mother’s, thrive on that social time, and I can’t knock them for it, but it is hard. Having spent the better part of my life, living and working within an institution, where everyone seemed to have the same jaded sense of humour, where small talk lasted 2 seconds, and you got right into a debate, where no one cared where you lived, they just wanted to know if you read the latest article in Foreign Policy. I just don’t understand the laberinth of a social structure on the school playground, why half of the women are depressed, and complain, and the other half have busied themselves so much that they won’t notice how they are feeling until their kids are older. I can take it for a while, then I fold, and the emotions wash over me, that feeling of not understanding after all these years, that I can’t fake it all the time, because it isn’t me.

My feeling comes down to knowing I still suffer from culture shock, and the inability to understand Canadian culture, and how to navigate it, it still boggles me.

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