The last few months I have been in a state of recovery, bouncing back from a life turned upside down and inside out.  In the past five years so much about me changed from the music I listen to, to the things I do to relax, the people I call friends and the place I live.  I feel like I am finally settling back into my skin.  No. Scratch that.  I feel like I am desperate to settle back into my skin.  

For the past five years KK and I have been so busy getting to know each other and creating a life that everything, including hobbies, sat on the back burner %90 of the time. When we weren’t moving, getting married, getting pregnant, working too many jobs and too hard, and trying to make friends in a new place I was helping her dig her way out of clinical depression.  It has been a beautiful, tragic, lovely, important time.  But now I find we are settled.  We love our family of three.  KK has found stability in her soul and that has made room for me to rediscover myself.

I was a knitter.  I think I’ve made just a handful of things in the last five years.   In the past month I’ve knit a ton.  KK will be getting new socks tonight.  I made Zachary a fabulous fair isle Christmas Stocking.  My best friend’s second child, V, will be getting a Layette at the end of this week (sweet booties, a sweater and a hat).   Last weekend I attended a knitting meet up.  It was a bit of a bust.  In graduate school I was a part of a “goth” knitters group as well as our founding the knitting group at the Women’s Center and in my first landing spot after that I started the local Stitch’n’Bitch.  What I loved about both groups was their youthful energy and willingness to tackle any topic.  Some of my best friends were found in each group.  I can’t seem to find a similar thing here although I am so relieved to be looking!

I was femme.  While I only adopted the label after meeting KK, it is something that has always been true of me.  I love feeling beautiful and taking the time to curate my appearance.  Pulling together a special outfit and adding a little makeup has always been a treat.  Since Z’s birth I’ve struggled intensely with my self image.  I love my body more than ever before.  I feel at home in this skin, with these stretch marks.  I am beautiful, but my size has changed so dramatically that a year later I am still wearing things that I’ve purchased “to get by” until I’m back in my old clothes.  In addition I’ve kept the same hairstyle for so long that I am bored by it.  We eat more carefully now that we have a little person to feed and so I know that in time I will be back in those beautiful clothes I love.  The struggle in the interim though is to find ways to make myself feel beautiful when I am out in the world, not just when I see myself in the mirror after a shower.  

I was a swimmer.  I swam three or four times a week until 20 or 21 weeks of pregnancy, when it became clear that I was going to have to buy another suit and I couldn’t face the cost.  I haven’t been back in the pool since and I am desperate for it.  I’ve always swum on my lunch break, but pumping has taken priority for the past year.  Tomorrow I am getting back in the pool.  It is a trade off – in order to pump and keep my supply up I will need to swim in the evening and thus lose time in the evening with Z – but I will also gain so much.  I am extremely excited about this.

I was a goth.  Yep.  For years I wore more black than any other color and spent my weekends in clubs where the electronic music was just short of deafening.  When I met KK I simply jumped groups, suddenly finding myself at Brandi Carlisle concerts instead.  I was so happy to have found her, and so glad to be out of the closet that I didn’t look back.  I’ve always loved all kinds of music, and my family was so glad to see me “looking more normal” that this switch wasn’t difficult – at least not to begin with.  But, I now realize that this community was an extremely important part of my identity.  The social rules and cues made sense to me.  I’ve lost track of the music, the people, an important part of my self expression and a few dear friends.  I miss it.  In some ways this is the most difficult piece of the puzzle to reintegrate.  I am clear that I don’t want to dive back into the deep end of that pool, but I do miss dancing.   

There is more to this picture.  While writing I’ve realized how much KK’s depression limited me.  It was a brutal 4 years and the lightness in our lives is palpable.  I’m going to leave this here but I reserve the right to edit later.  ;)