I have found myself driving in excess lately. Stuck in traffic on the way to and from work, taking the long ways – spending hours a day alone, in my car. Yes, I am physically in the car, but my mind altogether is somewhere else. I am, in fact, everywhere but in that car, distracted and thinking about how much my life is about to change forever. That, any day now I will become a mother, and have the biggest responsibility forever living alone on my shoulders.
Part of me just shuts down when I think about it. As if I have finally done it. Have I finally bit off more than I can chew? This trepidation is like nothing I have ever felt before. Creating an internal response to want to break down and cry. Scream at the top of my lungs and just run away.
Be anywhere at any time in my life other than now.
I question if I can handle the stress of owning this responsibility. This isn’t like moving to Australia, where if I didn’t like it I could just move home. Or starting a new job, that if it wasn’t a good fit I could just quit. This responsibility….this one is indefinite and there is no turning back.
Driving has become the closest thing I have to running, as I can manipulate my mind to take me back to simpler times.
Like at 14, where my biggest fear was that my VCR did not tape the N’sync performance on The Ellen Show.
Or 16, where my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t see my crush at the punk rock show that night.
Or 18, that I would oversleep from working my graveyard shift at Norms Diner, and miss my commercial audition.
I am now 20 again, trying to scope out which bar would be more likely to let me in without an ID.
Or 22, trying to find that perfect classic rock song on the jukebox in order to beat some stranger in pool.
All these years of my life, though they didn’t feel very carefree at the time, actually were when I think of what all I have ahead of me.
I guess taking that leap into a whole new chapter of your life is never easy. The unknown is frightening especially when it involves being responsible for someone else’s life. Like uncharted waters that for once, my fear has blocked me from wanting to explore.
But every time I freak out and every time I sit there and cry, somehow my mind always leads me back to one place.
Random times of comfort.
Being 4 years old sitting with my mom on the couch while she performs this little piggy to my toes.
Now 5, at my preschool graduation so excited to see my family in the audience I peed my pants.
Or 7, pretending to fall asleep on the couch so my dad would have to carry me upstairs and tuck me in.
Or 8, on random rainy days when my mom would take me to Subway to get my favorite meatball marina sandwich.
No matter how utterly scared I am to become a mother, I am quickly reminded why I wanted to become a mother and fill that part of me that has always felt incomplete. It is my turn to shape wonderful and meaningful memories for someone else. All the memories I have of my childhood is my constant fuel to push through my fears and remind me of how amazing being a mother will be.
Yes, my life is about to get pretty damn hard and scary for a while but it is also about to be pretty damn worth it. I know I will stress about money and my child’s health, but I will also get to become the tooth fairy and take him to Disneyland. I know I will worry when he doesn’t come home or goes off to college, but I will also get to see him live wild adventures all of his own.
Until the day he finds himself driving in the car, driving away the fear of fatherhood and is taken back to memories with me.
<3 Hot Mess
Photos by Samantha B Photography