Grey Street

I’ve been feeling grey lately. Not blue exactly, though I’ve cried more this week than I have in the past 6 months, maybe a year. I’m not exactly sure why, but I can trace parts of my feeling to a general sense of being overwhelmed. My work is wonderful, my students are for the most part lovely, but I haven’t quite managed to get back to the resilient teacher that I have been for the past couple of years.

I feel like I am trying so hard that it’s too hard and that somehow all the cracks are obvious.

I’ve been missing Owen, too, in the now full-time daycare schedule we have him in. I was craving his cheeks the other night and almost wanted to wake him up just to feel them. I was at a meeting that night and got home when he was already asleep.

I am worried (this week) that I am trying to do too much at once. That I can’t slow down to enjoy the little moments of colour that pop into life. I am worried that, to quote Dave Matthews’ Grey Street, “all the colours mix together to grey.” And when it’s grey like that, it’s foggy and dreary (inside my head).

I was berating myself at dinner the other night because I haven’t read enough Greek literature. I should read the Odyssey. I really should. But I probably don’t need to read it this week. I should probably read Dante’s Inferno. Also a good idea. Also a big hole in the education of someone who teaches literature. And then I should probably reread Paradise Lost and some Shakespeare and all those Victorian novels whose plots are growing hazy. And Ulysses. And when I get like this I feel frantic and I start reading bits and pieces of things, trying to squeeze it all into the 5 minutes before I fall asleep. It’s like trying to catch up on e-mail or marking when I am also playing Lego with Owen. Why can’t I just play Lego? Why do I have to try to do something else also? Why can’t I just relax? That’s what I always tell Owen. Chill Chill Chill, Relax Relax.

When I am like this I grow insecure, fragile. And I know, intellectually, that I’m probably not perceived as a fool by most people, but I feel exposed, like everyone can see everything I am trying to hide.

All this is probably too much to say here, but that’s how I have been feeling this week. I do feel better today. I am glad that tomorrow is Saturday and there is nowhere to rush to. I am going to try to stop and breathe a little, try to focus on the small flashes of colour that, after all, make up our lives.

3 comments on “Grey Street

  1. this really resonates with me, maybe it`s a september thing? maybe it’s a teacher thing? maybe it`s a crap, there just not enough hours in the day anymore thing?

  2. There IS a grey time of year, I think. The days get shorter and life seems to be closing in on us. If I think back I remember many autumns laced with panic. I am always bewildered by my feelings of bewilderment (and very relieved when the feeling passes).

  3. I am not sure that fall should take all the blame, some of the feeling must be related to being a new parent. Less time, more stuff to organize and manage=> tough to maintain the same performance and meet your own expectations=> identity crisis.
    Solutions:
    1- you will get better at juggling (practice, routines, recruiting outside help…)
    2- kids get easier to manage after 3, and life will feel relatively easier after that.
    3- remodel your identity to include being a kick-ass parent (which you are!) and find ways to use this experience (trauma) in your teaching, writing etc…
    4- don’t worry about cracks, hiding or exposure (this blog is a great first step toward that) you are the wonderful person you are and no one expects or wants you to be anything else. “Perfect” people are fake and not nearly as interesting or lovable.
    I love your blog! Hugs J.

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