On Past and Present Futures

The other day I got to thinking about this blog and why I started it in the first place. Why I left behind my stream-of-whatever-I-felt-like-writing-about and decided to blog with parameters, sing a new tune. Why I went from pointytoeshoefactory.com: no shoes, no service (as of this week, defunct) to GGC and the new and improved titty-flashing all nighter.

Girl's Gone Child, the blog about parenting and my life as a mother and Archer's life as my child and the adventures in urban-motherhood, and me and my obsession with baby hats and indie rock and how I make it all work. How I have transitioned from life as a writer/odd-job-working/commitment-phobic/care-free/ chain-smoking/table-dancing/thinker to my current life as a work-at-home mother. A mom. Mommy. Woman with offspring.

When I became pregnant, the record stopped. It had been broken, so it wasn't difficult to finish it off. A karate chop to it's ridged heart and CRASH! The pieces were on the floor. A broom and dustbin and all was gone.

I wanted everyone out of my life who had taken from me, taken and not given back. I wouldn't let them near my child. I wouldn't let them near me as he grew inside me. I erased phone numbers, contacts, friends, mostly men who had drained me financially, emotionally-- societal orphans, misfits with skateboards and spiky hair who needed Mommies. I was saving the world, one lost boy at a time but I was killing myself, without even realizing it.

I was never able to ask anyone for a favor. It was hard for me to except a gift, borrow money. I was unable to call for help, call for a ride, tell my truth. Instead I gave everything away, opened myself up like a shelter, let the world inside. Up all night to talk a friend off a ledge or away from a needle or a married man. Flying across the country to hold a hand.

I didn't want to bring Archer into a world where drug-addicts might pass-out on our doorstep, even though they were at a time, my friends. I didn't want Archer to see where I had been and who had joined me. All of my life I had taken in stray dogs, and now I would throw them out. On their asses. Because of Archer. Because stray dogs never become men. Because lost boys live in never-land and girls aren't allowed there. Or women. Or my baby.

When one has a child, one changes. More than I imagined. No longer is at all about you. It can't be. I may have played the part of mother and acted like I cared about the world, wanted to join the peace corps, hold the hair of the puking drunk, love everyone unconditionally. I may have acted like I was selfless, honest, real but I was a good liar. Even I believed me.

I said I love you to everyone who needed to be loved but did I love them? Of course not. I loved saying so. I loved that my love was enough to make a difference, at least until morning. I loved that my words could be an easy fix, could numb the pain. Fix a moment. Fix an hour. Fix a life. I loved that I could be the strong one, even though I was falling apart. I felt like I was worth something. I was alive.

When I got pregnant with Archer I started screening my calls. I stopped answering my phone after midnight. I stopped giving money to every bum who begged for it. I stopped pretending to care about friend's affairs with married men and drug-problems. I stopped pretending I could make a sick child well again. I stopped trying to save the world. Friends had become leeeches and I was just as at fault for offering my blood.

I wasn't afraid to be alone. I wasn't afraid to start over. I was excited. I was relieved.

Girl's Gone Child is supposed to be the new and improved titty-flashing all nighter, because there is nothing wrong with yesterday. There is nothing wrong with my BC* blog and my past. There's nothing wrong with the original titty-flashing all nighter or whatever I was doing when I knew people were looking, even though I pretended I did not. There is nothing wrong with my days of mothering fuck-ups and losers. There is nothing wrong with who I was. Then plus now equals tomorrow. I have no regrets. Just epiphanies.

And the words will continue to crawl across the computer screen like insects, bloated with everything that nobody knows, the white space full of secrets. And I will marvel at what has changed since my biological makeover.

I am not and never will be defined by motherhood, but I will wholeheartedly admit that motherhood has inspired and enabled me to define myself.

Girl's Gone Child is proof that parenting has changed me, moved me, agreed with me, that having a child has given this girl more than she could have imagined. Mommy. Mom. Woman with offspring...Whatever people are saying this week.

I would have grown up eventually. I would have been fine, more than fine even. I would have found happiness and love and dot dot dot, but that's not what happened. This is what happened. I got pregnant. I had a baby. I became myself, and THAT is what this blog is all about.


GGC

*Before Child

48 comments:

Anonymous | 7:17 PM

Wow, I loved this entry.
I really am happy that you found this part of you!
I see nothing wrong with your past life but babies do change you in profound ways and I too, found myself 'removing' the random souls that drag you down.

Jess | 7:19 PM

chicky...

that was beautiful writing.

Kristin | 7:31 PM

I love how you said that... just a perfect expression

Fidget | 7:44 PM

That is a perfect expression on how life can change and why it can be a great thing

Stephanie T. | 7:59 PM

It's truly remarkable how having a child can instantly show you what parts of your life are good and real and worth holding onto and what parts are crap and need to be tossed.

Hey, I think we'd get along well. "Hannah and Her Sisters" is one of my all-time fave movies (in fact, I named my daughter Hannah in part because of it) and I love indie rock, too.

LadySeduction | 8:15 PM

It was great to read about someone who is so willing to be responsible for their past and recognizes the beauty in the mistakes and lessons b/c that is how you became who you are today.

amazing writing and beautifully said. I appreciate that you don't put all that pressure on Archer to be the Reason You are You, he is who he is and you are really clear that you chose who you wanted to become....either way.

Meredith | 8:35 PM

WOW!

That's all, just WOW.

Oh and a tear.

Karen | 8:38 PM

This reminds me of your post about turning 25 - that mental space where we become what we're meant to be. Doesn't it feel good to be at peace?

O Mama Mia | 8:49 PM

Ummm... AMEN!!!! "I am not and never will be defined by motherhood, but I will wholeheartedly admit that motherhood has inspired and enabled me to define myself." Yah... that! What she said. Uh Huh! Me too! Again with my "preach on, sistah!" Girl, how do you know my mind like this????

Mona | 9:13 PM

What a great entry. Motherhood is such an identity-shaking event. It's great that you're still grounded.

bethp | 9:33 PM

GGC-
I've been lurking around your blogs for the last several years, I'm not much for commenting, but I feel the need to today. I met you in a strip club with Dana years ago and we were taking random pills out of the bottom of our purses.
It's been such a pleasure to watch you grow up, watch your writing improve... your life improve.
Thanks for sharing.
Beth

Bringing Up Ben | 10:53 PM

This is beautiful!!
I have been stressing a bit about becoming a mom (3 weeks! EEK!) but I really feel so much better after reading this post!

the weirdgirl | 11:47 PM

Not that I have any banners to give out, or any validity in the blog world really, but I think this was a perfect post.

I especially liked, "bloated with everything that nobody knows". (Exactly.) Your blog has the most natural embodiment of the intertwining of life and writing, the process of being.

That sentence probably doesn't make much sense, but I'm betting you know what I'm talking about. Love ya!

Lumpyheadsmom | 12:00 AM

This is such a beautiful, glorious post. Thanks.

George | 5:23 AM

This is amazing. I have the exact same feelings. When people ask me if I regret becoming a mom (at 20), I tell them no. You completely summed up the reason why.

Mother | 6:19 AM

I feel the same way - although I'm still working on the new me - trying to combine old and new into something PRESENT.

When does that happen, I wonder? The wholeness of being...

Kendra | 6:34 AM

What a beautiful, truthful post! Archer should be very proud that YOU are his Mommy.......

Mrs. Davis | 6:56 AM

Beautifully said. I relate to so much of what you've said, even though I came to motherhood at a very different time and place.

Cesarean Goddess | 7:43 AM

Wonderfully written. I could have written several passages myself.

Katy | 8:25 AM

That was incredible. I think many women can relate to what you said, I know I can. I love your writing.

ECR | 9:22 AM

That sums up what I consider to be the best part of motherhood--that it enabled me to find the best parts of myself. I also think that our situations (working at home, as writers) allow us a special kind of in-depth exploration into ourselves and the lives around us. I am really thankful for that (and I have to remind myself of it when other things like money problems and marital problems keep getting in the way). I really relate to this post.

Miss Britt | 9:37 AM

You know what - having a baby does not change you by default. I always assumed that too after I had mine... and he did change me in LOTS of ways.

And then I started noticing other people who didn't change...

You deserve HUGE props for the changes you've made for and because of parenthood. :-)

Mel | 9:40 AM

"I have no regrets. Just epiphanies."

Well said, GGC.

jennster | 10:13 AM

i love this. sincerely. such a kick ass entry. so insightful and so true.
it's weird and lame, but before blake- i could watch anything on tv.. nothing grossed me out or offended me... then after having him, i can't stomach to watch shows that are just fucking stupid- like jackass. i have no tolerance. and i swear, nothing changed except birthing. it's weird what becoming a mother does to you. but it's cool.

Mel | 11:03 AM

I so often don't know what to say to your posts except "I agree. I agree. I agree."
You write the hell out of your topics with such skill and sincerity, man. I read all your stuff, even though I don't often comment. The reason for this is that, like I said, you say it all so well that there's nothing left to do but nod and sniffle.
So
[nod]
[sniffle]

cutemama | 11:07 AM

BEAUTIFUL!

I've recently cleaned out my emotional garage too! It's nice not having all those people who say they'll call then don't, or who are too busy to even have an occasional lunch, or just take, take, take. I wish them all the best but I have two angels that God has entrusted me to care for, now I'm too busy.

I can't say I'm never lonely, but I'd rather be alone than in bad company! Plus I've opened myself up for real friendships to develop in the future.

Hippie Mama | 11:45 AM

Oooh, I love it. I love it! You put into words something I'm not sure I've even grasped onto yet about myself. I'm 22, and having a baby young really made me stop and look at my life and make adjustments, like you said, distancing myself from certain people. Very well put. Cool.

Grandpaeast | 2:49 PM

Scanning the responses---most (or all) are from females...having a baby and becoming a mother certainly makes changes. BUT - becoming a father brought about (at least for me) almost all you mentioned.
Understanding what it means to be a parent is the key...hooray for you!!!

Onetallmomma | 2:55 PM

BRAVA!

Mama C-ta | 8:12 PM

Amazing post, sounds like we've lived such similar lives.

Applesass | 9:25 PM

Someone once told me that if you aren't transformed then you aren't doing it right. He wasn't talking specifically about motherhood, rather about times in our lives when we have the opportunity for growth. You have taken your opportunity and run with it.

Great post. It is posts like these that is why I continue to read blogs. The humor brought me in, but the feelings I have while I read are what keeps me around. Your eloquence helps me put words to things I can't otherwise. Thanks for that.

Mommy off the Record | 9:53 PM

I have nothing of substance to add, except that I need to read you more. You write beautifully.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 11:51 PM

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has commented on this post. I was overhwhelmed by your response, your nods and "been theres."

It always trips me out when I write something so personal and so many people identify with it. Pretty amazing, all the common denominators...

Jenn | 9:21 AM

This is the second time I've ever read your blog, but after this post, I've just turned into a daily reader. I wrote something recently about how all of a sudden I'm "normal" and it shocks me. After looking back on my past (sex drugs rock and roll, ya know...all of it) I'm shocked how being a mommy just changed it all. And not because I was forced too, just because it just happened, and it just feels right.

Andrea | 10:28 AM

Poetry, my dear. You weave the most vivid images through my brain.

And yes, it all agrees with you.

Kristen | 12:25 PM

It always sounds cliche to say motherhood changes us, but it's cliche because it's true 100% of the time, and so many eloquent people (like you) have recognized it. No matter who we were before, we are ALWAYS different after (during) motherhood. And you're right, it doesn't make what was before any less significant to your life - it just makes what is now that much more profound.

Domestic Chicky | 1:36 PM

Everything you've been and done has brought you to this exact moment in time. Had you done anything different, your words might not have been here for us to be so profoundly touched.

NotSoccer Mom | 4:31 PM

yup, you'll never be the same once you become a mother. enjoying your writing!

Misfit Hausfrau | 6:25 PM

Well DONE, GCC!

Her Bad Mother | 7:21 PM

This is so late-to-the-party and all and really such a banal thng to say, BUT.

I love you love you love you because you always tell it so, so true and bring tears to my eyes and even though I hate hate hate the tears being brung when you do it I don't mind so much. And that's sumthin.

I wish that there were a better way to say that. My blogging - WRITING, reading - experience wouldn't be what it is if you weren't out there.

MrsFortune | 11:43 AM

God, I love you Rebecca! And even I believe it when I say it. And I love that baby of yours, too.

Wait, I don't even know you IRL, so I'm going to modify that. I love so much what you share with us on your blog. And what you share of Archer. It could never be all of you but what the fuck? I love what I see. :-)

sunshine scribe | 4:37 AM

Insightful. Frank. Cut me to the core.

You are second to none GCG. This post hit me in a way that I don't have the words for.

Thanks for writing it Rebecca

krista | 4:28 AM

GGC, you are awesome. I love your words as insects crawling across the screen metaphor.

Neil | 12:07 AM

Really interesting perspective, you can feel the humanity come through with the humor...

Mitch Mcdad | 12:57 PM

Thanks for the advise in your email. This entry was very well written and I aslo enjoyed it greatly. I'm an avid reader an writer, and I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it.

As for inde rock check out my friends, The Hard Goodbye, they're from Venice and they jam. I bought their record on itunes, and there's a link on their website.

http://www.sarchicha.org/icsi/smc/spr/hg/contact.html

Mitch

Anonymous | 7:59 PM

Thank you for this post.

Since my girl was born 10 months ago, I have struggled to put into words the feeling of centered change that you described with such grace.

My core self has not changed, and this isn't one of those periods where I've lost my shit a little bit, dyed my hair three bizarre colors and adopted a South African accent while "looking" for myself, tending only to find bad company.

I don't look for myself because I'm so grounded, I'm so "here". And, it's because of her. Because of her edible thighs and sweet little neck and her earnest way of reaching out her arm as she makes some unintelligible consonant laden sound that she means with all her heart.

I'm still me. But, more importantly, I'm "Mommy. Mom. Woman with offspring."
Thanks again.

Anonymous | 4:15 PM

How wonderful it must be being you.

flibbetygibbet | 9:01 AM

i know this is wayyyy old but iv'e been reading through your blog for 2 weeks (at work!)im not yet pregnant but am planning and have just "dry-cleaned" my life of all the garbage that used be at my house, hanging around and taking advantage. these faux-friends that i would say how much they meant to me and ignore the little voice saying "really.....you sure....these guys?" so this post really struck a cord with me, 3 years after you wrote it, you in amereica, me in england. thats pretty cool, thanks.