a different me

I feel different. Last night I laid in bed and thought of things I normally think of before I fall asleep...if I put the diapers in the dryer, what bill I need to pay next, etc. and I started thinking of life just a couple short years ago. It really doesn't feel like that long but, wow. My reality is much different. 

Two years ago around this time Chikezie had just gotten a job offer in California that was too good to pass up. We were living together and I had just been accepted to grad school and had no plans on moving. 

I had 2 weeks to find a place to live, completely on my own. I'd lived alone in the dorms once, but after that I always had roommates. Chikezie was leaving and I was staying and we didn't know what was going to happen. We loved each other. We'd worked through a lot in the 3 1/2 years we'd been dating and knew it was worth it to keep going. In January we were living our normal lives, working just across a little parking lot from each other, riding to work together and having lunch dates or reading at Barnes and Noble over our lunch hours, spending our lives together. We'd reached comfortability for one of the first times, I think. Our lives were borderline boring. By St. Patrick's Day Chikezie was moved to California, I was moved into my own apartment and our lives were completely changed.

I was scared. Although we were still together, I was back to just me. I'd forgotten the feeling and was kind of excited but afraid at what the future would hold. And now here I am 2 years later trying to remember what kind of person I was before all of this. I'm different now. At least I feel different. I know there are slivers of the old me that spark through spontaneously through my days but my reality has changed. 

Sometimes I really miss living on my own. I'm an extremely independent person and I absolutely loved living by myself. I love my family and friends but I am happiest when I'm alone. Until I was 11 I didn't have any siblings and for the majority of my childhood was on the farm with no one to play with but to imagine things up on my own. Even throughout high school, I never had any real or serious boyfriends. I dated a couple guys for a month or so but was really on my own. Chikezie was my first love, my first really serious boyfriend.

When I lived alone, aside from work, I could go for days without talking to anyone and be fine. Chikezie and I both knew this truth before he moved to California and I think it scared us both, knowing that no matter the circumstances that I would be ok alone, whether the future kept us together or not.

Sometimes I really miss having a job. I miss interacting with people, and the people I used to work with were kick-ass. I miss feeling productive in ways other than the fact that my house is clean and my kids are still alive and not broken yet. Then I try to imagine myself working now, with the boys. It makes me sad to think of leaving them with someone else all day long. I think of all the things we've done through their first year and it makes me appreciate how really blessed I am that I get to stay with them everyday. Even on days like this morning when they were making me want to stab my eyeballs out. 

I'm slowly trying to find me again, the me that exists with a family to take care of, a pile of never ending laundry to fold, a stack of dreams teetering next to my sewing machine, and the California sun shining in my windows. I'm still here, but just...different. 


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