By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
The mind is a finicky creature, choosing what it deems worthy of time, energy and focus all the while allowing seemingly random information to seep away like sand in the tide.
Fear, worry and regret are all categories the mind favors, giving no equal opportunity to rationalization or logic. The mind of a woman is both so powerful and complex that it can focus on ill-advised grammar in a thank you card while zeroing in to the intricacy of an apology that was never meant. It is no wonder wine sales are healthy.
At any given moment, my thoughts can be described as a pizza comprised of short moments of chaotic days. Toppings include worrying if baby food taste as bad as it smells, working enough, working too much, cleaning baseboards, wondering if that cupcake is worth the pounds, deciding if the pounds are worth not having cupcakes — and the list goes on to a supremely topped pizza of convulsion. Prioritizing thoughts is an exhausting exercise in mental fortitude all on its own.
It is the darkest hours right before dawn in which the pesky overflow of thoughts emerge in even stranger forms than the light of day. It was then I allowed much of the content of my overcrowded mind to dance through my fingertips across my well-worn keyboard.
Week after week, I submitted my frivolous follies to the newspaper — observations of the mundane and well written snipits of life with a newborn. With sincere and often humbling honesty, I wrote of exhaustion, confusion and the pure humanity that is the life of a brand-new mom with more than one fulltime job and less than enough hours in a day. Tears flowed, giggles escaped and the once iron clad door to the inner workings that is the woman with the strange name slowly cracked open for the world.
But the world went silent. Not one person mentioned my silly articles, not even in Publix. There were no emails explaining to me how irrelevant my chosen subject, no texts volunteering subjects for my next deadline and no call from my Mom reminding me that some things are best left unsaid. My little store wasn’t full of giggles and empathetic glances, and my husband didn’t ask me to omit any sordid new parent moments. No matter how hard I searched, I could not find my articles in the pages of the paper.
At 4 a.m., the cause is as clear as pluff mud. My time as a writer of weirdness, advocate of the odd and a voice for all the things you shouldn’t say, had finally come to an end. Maybe childbirth was to blame. Possibly it was my husband’s fault, or could sleep deprivation steal my ability to take random words and create even one article worthy of print? Week after week, the torture of silence chipped away at my hobby like a chisel to clay.
One morning, almost accepting of the newly found absence, I sat to read my daily plethora of emails. Skipping over sales ads, ignoring invitations to odd computer games, and avoiding all lottery winnings from Nigeria, something caught my pre-coffee eyes. It was the name of a client from a few years back. She is an OBGYN who purchased a beautiful home from me. Oddly enough, her email was ever-so-similar to my editor’s email address.
Her email was genuine, kind and brought about one of those “OH MY” moments where a woman raises her shoulders, crinkles her nose, bites her lips and lets out an unedited “Oh #%&$%.” Apparently, all of this torment over the reasons my articles were no longer gracing the pages of the paper was, in fact, my husband’s fault. He bought me a new MAC for Christmas, and this amazing instrument is slightly different from my antiquated laptop. Just different enough that the extremely similar email address of this poor, unsuspecting OBGYN and the editor of The Island News had gone completely unnoticed.
Although this kind and admittedly amused doctor and mother expressed her delight in receiving longwinded emails from her former Realtor, it finally occurred to her that possibly they were meant for another.
Mystery solved, face red and hope regained in my ability to share the silly parts of life, I explained to my former client that new mommyhood had slightly dulled my once sharp-as-a-tack brain. Today I write (once again on my antiquated laptop) with the realization that the mind is most certainly a finicky creature.