some thoughts

Writing feels strange sometimes. I have all of these thoughts in my head but getting them out of my head is difficult. But when I was younger, writing when I felt like this provided such relief. So here’s a stream of consciousness diary entry that might end up not making sense. Let’s see if it still makes me feel better, getting the words out of my brain.

Being a mom has come with so many new anxieties. I never knew I could love this much. And I expected a lot of anxieties and most of them make sense. One that I didn’t expect: a newfound fear of death. Before I had my baby, I never really thought about death. I mean, I did, sure, as much any other person I suppose but death was death. Of course, I don’t want to die, but before I had my baby, if I died, the world would go on. Now, I’m scared of leaving my baby. Of dying and him not receiving this love. Yes, my husband loves him tremendously. But it’s not the same as my love. I don’t want him to have to grow up without my love. I don’t want him to grow up not remembering my love.

I’ve also been thinking about my own childhood quite a bit. When I was around 12, my entire life changed. Before that, my childhood was really rough. Moreso, no one knows about it. Not really. Mom knows the most, because we were in it together. But there are so many things I harbored, so many secrets I kept to myself, so many things I pretend I forgot. It’s over now. There’s no point in letting my mind go back there. But lately it has been and I’m realizing how much my childhood shaped me.

There was a time, when I was a child, where I told myself to be invisible. That I need to be invisible. Because I held onto a lot of guilt. So many things were falling apart around me and I felt like it was my fault. All my fault. I stayed up at night crying, blaming myself for things I could never have changed. Things I should not have been exposed to. But, because I felt like everything was my fault, I felt like if I could be invisible—if I could just not contribute to anything—I couldn’t ruin things: I couldn’t cause hurt. So I tried to be invisible. I would try not to speak, not to contribute to a conversation, not to answer something even though I knew what the answer was. The world would be better without me. That’s how I felt.

Now, as an adult, I feel unimportant. Maybe that’s why I chose law. Maybe that’s why I chose criminal defense. I can make a difference. I can see the difference I make in people’s lives. I can feel important. Doing something that I’m truly passionate about, albeit a little controversial. But in every step, the universe keeps reminding me, I’m not important. I can be invisible. The world doesn’t need me. Law school was hell. The only thing I was good at was litigating (and I don’t compliment myself often, but in the courtroom, I was incredible). That part, I loved. But it’s not good enough. Not good enough to pass the stupid bar exam. Not good enough to be able to litigate. Now, if I want to do that, if I want to try to be that person, I have to give up time with my son, and I don’t want that. And I’m constantly reminded that there are other people who do that. People I know, people who are doing it for the right reasons, who advocate for their clients, who passed the bar, who are smarter than me, and are doing the work better than I probably could. I don’t need any of it. I can stay invisible.

What am I doing with my life? I spent the majority of it in school. Faking confidence, pretending to be intelligent. Working my ass off for a future I don’t have or know if I want. I have no job. No license. No career. And nothing to show for my hard work except a fancy piece of paper hanging in my husband’s office and my dwindling memory.

I don’t know who I am, or what I want. Only that I need to make money, and I’m not making any. Only that I don’t want to work a 40+ hour week. Only that I don’t want to leave my baby with anyone ever. And I’m not satisfied.

I’ve always been a people-pleaser. I’ve always been the good girl. Doing what I’m supposed to do. College, straight A’s, jobs, internships, law school, more jobs. The people pleasing started as a child, again in those dark memories I try to stop my mind from visiting. And now, I don’t know how to please everyone and myself. My parents want me to retake the bar, and regardless of the results, to get licensed (I can still get licensed in another state because I passed in a bunch of states but not mine). My husband wants the same thing. I want to make them happy. But I want to be happy as well. I’m tired. I’m tried of trying. I’m tired of not feeling good enough. I’m tired of working. That sounds stupid, I know. I still have more than half of life to work. But it seems so pointless. It seems like a waste. I feel like I’ve already worked too much. My whole life, I’ve just been waiting for the future. Waiting to finish school, to graduate law school, to pass the bar, to get a job. Then what? Work nonstop? I don’t want to. I’m still burned out. I still haven’t recovered. I still have nightmares about being in school, or taking tests, or being forced back into one of the jobs I hated and couldn’t get out quick enough.

I’ve always faked my confidence. I don’t have the energy to anymore. I’m not a confident person and I don’t want to pretend to be. People like to throw their controversial opinions at me. They want to hear my opinions. I try to be very logical, and I enjoy presenting things in a different point of view than they might have heard. I am opinionated, especially when it comes to politics. Another reason i went to law school. I was tired of my voice not having weight. Now i have a degree to back up my arguments, my thoughts, my opinions. But I don’t feel like arguing anymore. It feels pointless. It’s so much effort to try to change someone’s mind. Lately, I’ve noticed that I just smile and nod and let them have opinions I don’t agree with without telling them my own. Me telling you why capital punishment is bad isn’t going to make it go away. Me telling you why we need gun control isn’t going to make any pass. Me telling you that banning abortion will only kill more people won’t make abortions legal again. My opinions won’t change anything.

I should just stay invisible.

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