Have you ever felt lost? Unsure of who you are. Unsure of where you should be. Unsure of what to do. Being lost can feel like an ongoing perpetual nightmare or a brief escapade from reality.

Original photography by Li Shen (2014)

There are those never-ending days which can feel purposeless. The summer heat slowly creeps under your skin, leaving each minute feeling like a very very slow movie, one of the old projector kind that run on reels. And then, there are other days where you can be walking down to the shops with a purpose to get something but suddenly, you forget what you are meant to be doing.

You realise you don’t need the very thing you were going to get.

I am caught between the two types of days. I am not saying that you are too. I am wondering about my purpose in life. Have you contemplated about yours? I am also feeling lost because I am full of insecurities which relate to what I should be doing as oppose to what I want to be doing.

I want to take off somewhere to a foreign country and leave all my responsibilities behind because I am that tired. Motherhood can feel like that. Faced with non-stop whinging, crying and forever meditating between fighting children and mind-numbing chores; on top of that, trying to get a hand on your own set of triggers, trying to be empathetic towards little hearts, keeping a lid on the state of chaos in the house AND putting food on the table, the days can easily spiral out of control quickly.

Out of my control. Leaving me grasping at thin straws.

I forget who I am. I have forgotton how I used to be.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Even though I know that they will grow up soon enough, that time is like a faraway dream yet to be realised. Gretchen Rubin said,

“the days are long but the years are short”.

While I do know this to be true as well, for me, the shortness of years are not going by fast enough. And, I am standing here looking at one continuous road of long days, wondering if I will ever find myself at a gas station to fill up my empty tank.

There have since been several positive spins on this quote to encourage mothers that this parenting gig is a tough act. In the past, ‘encouragement’ probably came as verbal hand-me-downs from well-meaning family members. For example,

“You will spoil her by holding her too much.”

“Does she drink from the bottle?”

“Spare the rod, spoil the child!”

“She is too old to be sleeping with you!”

Our parents probably did their best with what they knew then, and had at their disposal, at the time. There was not as much information before compared to what is available on the Internet now. While all this information is mostly reassuring, depending on who you ask, I find myself going with my heart and gut feelings when it comes to my child.

However, no one warned me about losing myself in the depths of motherhood. How much of parenting is being sold as propaganda? For example, there is much debate over screen time these days, but no one has pointed the finger at the birth of smartphones or the fact that most of us lack a ‘village’ to help raise our children. Even if smartphones are not all to blame (like you gotta curb your screen habits in front of the kids!), the expectation that parents will need to be more mindful of their shortcomings is itself exhausting. There is some amount of pressure (mostly from ourselves) to ensure children these days have access to opportunities we did not possess or failed to utilise.

The relentless pace of modern life means that I sometimes meander off the beaten track, looking for signposts to point me the way home. With heaps of messages ‘out there’, I find myself questioning and establishing my own set of values and then, mentally prepare for my child to take me to task on them. The back and forth bickering, tantrums and rebellions can be quashed, but not without a cost. What is the cost?

The cost is a disconnection.

A disconnection between our former and present selves; between fantasy and reality; between then and now. And, the time during the in-betweens — the waiting — is all about the becoming, the personal transformation after realising our purpose in life.

In this digital age of technology and information at our fingers tips, it is no wonder I succumb all too easily to feeling lost in the sea of disconnection.

Emerging poet & writer finding her way in her world of words and feelings.

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