Sunday, August 7, 2011

In Which a Lot of Whining Occurs

The FSA National Conference is in a few days. Y'all are going, right? I'll be there, of course (please say hello if you see me; I promise I only bite on Tuesdays). August used to feel very far away but now the whole thing will be over in a week, and I'm looking forward to it. Not that I'm not excited, because I am, sort of, but I've been feeling kind of blah lately and I think if I weren't presenting I'd just say to heck with the whole thing and stay home. Google Maps rather optimistically calls my drive 11 hours and 39 minutes. Google Maps has clearly never made the trip before. I have, and when you factor in breaks for eating and fueling up, plus the nightmare that is Utah road construction, it was closer to 14 hours last year. (Utah's roads have been under construction for the past 80 years or so. I've decided this is their way of taking the state motto of "Industry" to heart.)

Last year after the conference I stayed for a week with a friend in Provo. This year is different, and I'll be driving home only three days after I drive up. My back hurts just thinking about it. In case you're wondering, I'm driving instead of flying because while a flight was about the same as driving, if I flew I would have to rent a car, and that would break the bank. So I'm not stupid, you see. Just cheap.

There are other little things that are bothering me about this whole thing. For openers, I had to submit my presentation for approval, which I totally understand, but now I feel this pressure to only say what I've submitted so I don't accidentally say something I'm not allowed to. I don't like doing public speaking that way; it feels inorganic and uncomfortable. Also, I am totally unprepared to present without staring at the words on my computer screen. This could be a problem.

Another thing is that I'm missing work so I can go, and while I'm happy to get a break (if you call 24+ hours of driving in five days a break) I already accidentally calculated how much money I'm not making when I'm gone. Also, I'm funny about how certain of my work tasks are done, and I just know that my co-workers are going to mess them up while I'm away and I'm going to have to fix things when I get back.

Did I mention I'm not looking forward to the drive? I'm really not. Although I'm considering some sort of audio tapes to learn a foreign language on the road (learn Swedish? Ja!). But it's just ... it's such a long drive. I could never be a long-haul trucker.

And then there's my brain. Have I mentioned before what a scary place my brain is? It's terrifying. It never shuts up. My brain wants to know why, nearly two years after placement, I'm still so "into" adoption.

Don't get me wrong. I know plenty of birth mothers who are several years post-placement who are still involved in the adoption community. But it seems like most of them have also moved on in the sense that things are happening in their lives. That's where my brain gets stuck. It wants to know why they get to move on and I'm still alone in my boring little world. It seems grossly unfair. I know, of course, that life is very rarely fair but, to quote a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon, couldn't it be unfair in my favor?

I honestly believed that two years after placement I would be married or at the very least have a busy social calendar and go on dates. It sort of bites at me that, work aside, this trip to Utah interferes with absolutely nothing. My mother and my boss know that I'm leaving town, and that's about it, because there's no one else to tell. I am so sick and tired of being lonely. It bothers me that there's no one to inform of my plans.

I know that faith in God includes faith in His timing. I just wish He'd throw me a bone, give me a hint, something. I just wish I had a reason to believe that things won't always be exactly the way they are now, and I don't have one yet. It would be nice if God would say, "Hey, Jill, be patient a little while longer, good things are coming." Or even, "I hope you like the quiet, because you're going to grow old with a lot of it." I mean, I need to be able to plan for the future. I want to know if I should give up hope. If I'm going to be alone forever, I have to plan for the acquisition of a lot of cats. Should I start collecting them now? Inquiring minds want to know!

Okay, I think that's all the whining I'm going to allow for myself for today. I need to stop so I can psyche myself into being excited about the driving I get to do this week. I'm going to need to start now if I want to convince myself I'm excited about it by Thursday morning. I don't think I'm going to believe myself. Wish me luck.


A Life Being Lived said...

Jill, I have to say, my hat is off to you (if I wore hats, which I don't, because I think I look weird in hats and my ears stick out) for participating, and that long drive (please take breaks to stretch out!). Secondly, you yourself have taught me that we all have our own timeline and way of dealing, healing, grieving, moving on. I ALSO thought, the day I left the hospital, well his huge life-changing thing just happened and tore my heart out and I am going to THROW myself back into life, find that proper gentleman to marry, really establish myself as ready to be a mom, go conquer all of those mountains or goals or whatever it was that I felt were standing in the way of me parenting my daughter. I was convinced that the sheer will and power of what I had given up would at, the very least, allow the world to become a "little unfair in my favor". After all, I sacrificed so much, and while it was all for her, I honestly thought that things would have fallen into place "better" or easier or quicker. I thought, ok, I made this pact, this exchange, and while I am sure I will grieve and process, look at all of those other birthmothers I read about who are married, or married and expecting a baby, or have a boyfriend, or have a boyfriend and are expecting a baby.....I thought that by virtue of enertia, or gravity, or mercury in retrograde or what have you, that my life too would be in a vastly different place. But you know what? I'm in an eerily similar place to where I was when I had my daughter. And I realized that it's ok. It took me a year to just get back to that place, and it may take me some more time to get into a more forward-moving place. Just putting one foot in front of the other is change. You have done a LOT since your placement and it is a testament to your love and commitment to Roo and her family that you are still "so into adoption" and so supportive of it. Many people take strength and courage from you sharing your experience. Please don't forget that!

A Life Being Lived said...

PS- Do not start collecting cats. Cats make kittens and then you're really in a pickle. :)

Cami said...

I wish I was going to the conference so I could hear you! You'll do amazing, I just know it. Love you Jill.

Jill Elizabeth said...

ALBL, if I don't start collecting cats, how will I become a crazy cat lady? :) Although I am allergic to cats, so I might have to settle for being a crazy book lazy instead.

Anonymous said...

Cats don't have kittens if you spay and neuter!

I also totally snorted at this "(Utah's roads have been under construction for the past 80 years or so. I've decided this is their way of taking the state motto of "Industry" to heart.)"

Since moving to this state, I have decided it is simply their way of keeping employment up. If there's always construction, you have a neverending work project, thus neverending jobs. Luckily the only really bad spot is around Provo right now.

Que and Brittany's Adoption Journey said...

Um, the roads have only been under construction here for about 60 years. We didn't have roads prior to that, thank-you-very-much. LOL

And you had better be excited to drive 14+ hours, because we are going to lunch while you are here! And everyone knows lunch with me is SO worth the special kind of hell that is driving on I-15 through Utah.

Savannah said...

Utah: where the state flower is a traffic cone and the state color is bright orange. I don't envy your drive. I've had to find different routes to the city this year because of the construction and its even now creeped its way into my small town. Another reason to hope for snow.

Wish I could meet you there, but my heart isn't into adoption anymore so I'm not planning on going, even though I'm going to miss out on meeting great people like you.

Oh, and go ahead and be a rebel. Throw in a few lines that weren't preapproved.

Lara Zierke said...

Your fairness quote by Calvin and Hobbes is one of my favorites.

I don't know why "normal" things don't happen for some people. What I do know is that God usually seems to get a kick out of changing the plans you have. So I say go ahead and start getting those cats. That's when things will happen. :)