Do you ever just think about what it would be like to be someone else? Still physically you, but to just wake up one morning, walk out of the front door and just cease to be YOU, and start a new life somewhere else, somewhere that no one has ever heard you name and where you have a clean start, a do over.
I’ve looked at the front door lately and thought, I wonder what would happen if I just upped and left. Would anyone notice? I wonder what the first tip off would be? Would it be someone shouting “muuummmm, can you check my bum?” or maybe “Harriet, I don’t know how to do this, I know you’re busy but…” or perhaps even when someone questioned what’s for dinner or who was going to call the take away to put in the same order that we put in every Friday night that it appears I’m the only one who has that magical ability to do. What do you think would be the first thing that would tip everyone off that you just weren’t there anymore, and say you were to just think, fuck it, grab the car keys and go, who would you become?
It’s a bit like a book I used to read as a child, or rather it was a series of books; Polar cat, Crab cat, Parrot cat and others I can’t recall. The essence was that this was a cat, who looked out of the window and didn’t want to be a cat anymore, so it fantasised about what it could be – could it be a parrot? If it did become a parrot, it would fly high, it would do this and that and then, at the end of the story, if something started to happen that it didn’t like, it would “quickly turn back into a cat”. I guess the hidden moral was that we always want to be something or someone else but the grass isn’t greener on the other side… yet when I’m feeling under appreciated, exhausted with being pulled in one direction and then the other, I do have to wonder is the grass sometimes greener? No, it wouldn’t be – and I would almost certainly turn back into a cat again.
I have so much to be grateful for and I am, believe me I am, but I do often wonder is anyone grateful for me? It doesn’t always feel like it and I think that is a common issue for women of my age and in my position with a family to raise, a husband to love – everything to be grateful for and yet feeling somewhat undervalued themselves.
In these little fantasies, I could take enough cash to tide me over, walk away and move to Portugal. I loved the cheese, nuts and honey, I could pick up the language quickly and I could do something spectacular or something really mundane, but *just* something different, I could have a do over where there aren’t 5 people speaking at me all at once, I could read books in a reading nook in my apartment that is simply too small for children and feed my adopted stray cat bits of cheese. I could move to America, set up the martial arts school I dreamt of setting up as a teenager, though lord knows how because in this fantasy I think I can still do splits and kick above my head which, erm, actually I can’t. Bummer.
I could become a travel blogger, jumping from place to place – maybe take Yoda with me and start an adventurous account like Suki Cat but instead of being hipster and glamourous we’d both be slightly wrinkled and chubby. I could be called Marie, I could be blond with short hair. I could be thin and wear only the most glamourous clothes.
I could be someone that no one wanted anything from.
But I’m not. I’m me and sometimes I’m not sure I want to be me any more, I’m not sure I didn’t run for the boat but watch it sail out of the harbour because I was so busy being busy. Other days I adore my life, when my husband kisses me on the shoulder and tells me he loves me, I’m reminded of how lucky that makes me to have that love in my life. When my children giggle or they smile up at me just as they are waking up, I can’t express to you how lucky I feel to have them with me. When I ask my mum if she will just watch the kids for 2 minutes so I can nip down to the shops without having to take them all in tow, I feel so very happy I have her support and help. Then I feel extraordinarily guilty that I don’t always love this lucky, happy life I have.
Is that normal? I don’t know. It’s true though.
I think sometimes the pressures of life get to us a bit, they grind us down and leave us feeling a little bit lost, a little bit unsure of how we got here and of where we’re going to end up, but if you’re having those low days, please know you aren’t alone. I don’t think we did miss the boat, you know. I think the waters are just a bit rocky but we’ll get there in the end.