I’ve never had such contradictory thoughts running through my head as the ones I’ve been having just lately. I am so desperately seeking adventure. I want to explore new places and re-visit old ones. I have incredibly itchy feet. I’ve been staring at photos from some of my old photo albums, the pictures I took when I used to live in France. A dusty collection of photographs that are full of mountains, rivers and beautiful quaint French towns. During that time, I never knew what I was doing or where I was going from one day to the next. I loved that. Every day was an adventure.
Recently, I’ve found myself wishing to be anywhere else other than where I am right now.
Please don’t for one second take this mean that I am unhappy or that I want to runaway from my little family. I am happy and I want to runway with them. I’ve always been an ‘on the move’ kinda girl, never stayed in one place for too long. I get bored easily and crave new places and new faces. Obviously this desire was much easier to fulfill in my teens and early twenties, pre-motherhood – I could go where I wanted, do what I wanted and had no one to answer to. I’m estranged from my father and my mother lived on the other side of the world. I got used to fending for myself.
So what is contradictory about all of this? Well, despite my wanderlust. Most days? I dread leaving the house. I feel an ache in the pit of my stomach every time I think about leaving the front door, even if it’s just to pop down to the shop for milk and bread. I’ve gone from being somebody who was more than happy to travel to New Zealand all by herself to a quivering wreck at the thought of nipping down to Tesco.
It doesn’t really help that whenever we go out, Jasmine is like a ticking time bomb, ready to explode into an angry pile of flailing limbs at any given second. She has tantrums several times a day and as much as I’d like to be the mum who just smiles knowingly at other parents who pass me by, a quick roll of the eyes as I say “Kids, eh?”. I’m not that mum, not yet. Instead my cheeks burn a bright red and I stare at the ground because I’m convinced everyone thinks I suck at this parenting gig, even though I know that’s not the case. Nobody’s thinking that. Except me.
Deep down I know it’s nothing do with Jasmine’s mood swings, she’s not the reason I don’t want to leave the house. It’s an excuse perhaps, but not the reason. I still haven’t really identified what the reason is. I’m completely and utterly confused by all of this. It’s like two parts of my brain are fighting against each other – one part craves adventure and the other seeks comfort and safety and it’s clear which one is currently winning the battle. It forces me to stay here, in these four walls. Protected, in my castle.
Most days it’s OK, we keep busy – Jasmine and I will play outside in the garden or we spend time dancing in the kitchen. But it gets to the end of the week and I realise I’ve not had a single face-to-face conversation with another adult (aside from my husband) all week. And I can only pretend to myself for so long, that I’m OK with that. I’m bored of routine, I’m tired of being lonely (you know what I mean by that, and if you don’t, I’m really glad you’ve never experienced this feeling). I’m fed up of this self-imprisonment.
I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know what I need to do. I just know I needed to write this down to feel a little better about it all.