Finding My Place in This Empty Space

There is finally room for an empty space in my life. After graduating college in May, most people assume I am filled with elation and exhilaration, au contraire, I am somewhat lost. The past four years of classes, homework, studying, writing and being on campus are over. It’s uncomfortable, foreign and undesired. Thoughts and machinations arise in this space, creative compulsions and stories that grow wild and spread like spores over a windy field. All of this happens while I do laundry, grocery shop and spend hours trafficking to and from my daughter’s new high school. I try not to ruminate on any one thing, but the brain is not wired to endure silence.

For the first time silence reigns in the house and I don’t have classes to rush to or papers to write. That empty space around three o’clock is my enemy reminding me that I no longer have to pick up Charlie, drive her to practice, help her with homework or make snacks and talk about her day. Not only is she farther away in her new school as compared to the past ten years where she was only a mile away, but she has volleyball practice until Bryan picks her up every day since she started school. I haven’t even picked her up once. It’s been a monumental change.

Feeling lonely on Charlie’s first day of high school I packed up some snacks for her short break between classes and practice. Driving to her school, my heart bursting with excitement, I did not realize the embarrassment my presence would cause. The look on her face when I found her near the locker room changing for practice was horror as she said, “What are you doing here?”

Let’s just say I took the long way around the school so her friends would not see me walking out with a bag of snacks as if she was in kindergarten or the tears that followed. When I reached the parking lot she texted, “I’m sorry,” and I wrote back that I was sorry too. It’s just that around three o’clock I miss her so much. It’s an empty space I don’t know quite how to fill and I don’t want to fill with just anything.. yet.

The difference between being busy and being intellectually fulfilled is infinite. I am certainly busy enough and grateful that I am here as the mothership to the family. I will not fill this empty space with just anything. My mind does wander and wonder though. It wanders and wonders though.