I remember one Friday night about 8 years ago when I had no plans. I suppose something must have happened and the plans that I had fell through, because I never didn’t have plans on a Friday. I used to make them weeks ahead so to avoid such a situation. That Friday when disaster struck, I remember sitting on the floor in my room calling around to see what people were up to. Everyone seemed to have plans of the type that I couldn’t join in. With every call I got more desperate. I ended up drinking a bottle of wine on the couch feeling very, very sorry for myself and promising that it would never happen again. From that day forward I would not only make plans, I’d make backup plans.
That memory is one of about 5 that are very vivid and seem to stick around. I guess the reason was that I felt really traumatised by it. More than anything, I used to hate my own company. I always needed people around. I needed to be doing stuff. Talking to people. Anything but hanging out alone. I was generally content with who I was. It wasn’t anything to do with disliking myself. I just loved an audience.
I didn’t imagine that would ever change. Even after I married I would make plans every weekend. There were times when Shaun wanted to stay in, so I’d go alone. We were both good with that. A year ago, one of the things that made me the most nervous about having children was all the nights that we would spend at home. It had a lot to do with a fear of missing out on things. I would always be the last to leave a party because I was sure that something really great would happen the moment I left.
When I was doing treatment I made my friends promise not to call me up because it was easier not knowing that they were out. That way I wouldn’t have to lie there wondering what I was missing out on!
But boy how things have changed. Now I look forward to the nights when I can go home and do nothing. I look in my diary at the start of the week and congratulate myself if I have more than one night at home. Shaun is away on a work conference at the moment so I have a couple of nights home alone. That used to be my worst nightmare. Not only not going out, but no one to talk to either! Now I especially enjoy it. I can eat fish for dinner (he doesn’t). I can watch Shortland Street on TV (I usually make him anyway, but that’s not the point). I can sleep in the middle of the bed and I don’t have to listen to snoring.
Don’t get me wrong – the novelty wears off after a couple of days, but I never thought I’d enjoy even one.
I always hoped that things would change in my head when I got pregnant. People told me that they quite enjoyed being pregnant. I figured they were weirdos. I swore I’d hate it. I was wrong. I’m ambivalent (but I’m still glad I only have to do it once!). Something really has changed.
Maybe I’m growing up?