Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Time Capsule #4: Waffling

This post is fourth in a series of six that I held back temporarily, so as to prevent them from impacting a graduate school admissions decision. The decision has been made, the letter and its yes or no verdict is on its way. In fact, it may be in my mailbox right now.

January 1, 2008

On Sunday mornings, my husband makes waffles. It used to be pancakes, then buckwheat pancakes, then gluten-free buckwheat pancakes. In the summer, he started adding blueberries, in the fall, bananas. These days, he's graduated to cinnamon-apple-walnut Belgian waffles (still gluten-free, for my sake), served with maple syrup, almond butter, blackstrap molasses, bananas, and yogurt. B~ and I are loving it.

But this is not a post about waffles. It's a post about waffling.

I'm waffling.

Ever since this pregnancy came along, it's been hard to think about graduate school. Something shifted in me, and even through moments of certainty that the pregnancy would be short-lived, I haven't been able to shift back. It's unfortunate, since only one of my intended five applications is done. The rest are due by the end of the month, and there's tons of work ahead of me. I keep giving myself pep-talks about how much better I'll feel with options lined up for the fall, just in case. But the more I push myself, the more I suddenly need a snack.

In fact, all I really want to do is gather my journal, my laptop, a telephone, and a big pile of books and magazines, and crawl into bed for a month. I imagine I'd get up for an occasional walk, bath, bowl of cereal or soup or cup of tea, but other than that, I'd allow myself to lounge, read, dream...

I'm of two minds. One says, Let go, pamper yourself. Trust what feels right. Life is unpredictable. Stop trying to control it. The other is nervous, shrill, but also big-hearted, trying to take care of the future-me in the best way she knows how, reminding, in her best coaxing tone, that just a week or two ago I was excited about graduate school, about building my professional identity.

The me that contains them both has no solution, no conclusion, and no momentum in either direction. The truth is, I'm scared. There's only one thing to do in circumstances like this: I'm going to have to sleep on it. In my dreams tonight, I'll sit the two sides of myself down in front of a stack of J~'s best waffles with all the fixings and let them work it out on their own.


michelle said...

I really like the way you write and how you express your feelings. You make me feel like I know you, and I find myself hoping you find exactly what you want and need, whether it's a healthy pregnancy, graduate school admission or both.

Becky said...

That's one of the hardest parts of life as I know it, and you express it very well.

Paula said...

One of the things I did during infertility was go to graduate school. I actually started before the infertility was discovered, but I found it a good place to be--I may have posted this to you before--surrounded by intelligent women, most of whom had no children, some gay, some with one or two grown kids. It was a place to see that life could go on even with the lack of a baby. It was comforting when other formerly comforting places (like church, then filled with little faces celebrating new life on Easter) made me cry.
Then I got pregnant via IVF. My coursework finished, the oral exam and dissertation got put on hold, things I'm only getting back to now, a few years later.
I guess it's all a rather longwinded way to say that it's OK to put things you feel strongly about, like grad school, on hold temporarily, or just mentally, while you think about something else, your pregnancy. It's unavoidable, really.
I've learned that it's not an either/or proposition. You can do both, a little of each, one and then the other, in fits and starts, and a bit more slowly.
I wouldn't give up either. It doesn't change who you are--bright, inspired, creative, etc.
It's funny. I discovered your blog through another blog a while back. I see a lot of myself in it. I grew up in RI and go back to visit family, the infertility, the creative bent, etc.
Once you've been through miscarriages (and I have), there's no pregnancy without the fear of losing it. I tried to find some peace in the sense that I was pregnant and would stay that way, as the majority of women do, and try to revel in that, in spite of the worry.
Good luck to you!