Saturday, June 16, 2012

The TinMan

Ya'll have seen The Wizard of Oz right?

(if you haven't, ummm, well, I'm going to say for the sake of living in America, you probably should, because hello, it's a classic. if you really don't want to watch the movie, then read the book! or the book series! both are fun)

I was talking with Luke today (and to be honest, crying a little, because, hello, hormonal woman!) and trying to explain to him how I felt about being in social interactions lately (spoiler alert: not very good). As I was talking about how I felt as if someone physically takes my mouth and keeps it shut, no matter how much I want it to open and words to come out, the idea of the TinMan came to me.

When Dorothy sets out on her adventure to the Emerald City, she encounters her 3 traveling companions along the way. First is the scarecrow, then is the TinMan. The TinMan has been stuck in the forest for years because he was out working when it started to rain and all of his joints rusted shut.

Including his mouth.

And that's where I come in.

I spend a lot of time alone. Mostly by choice, partly by circumstance. We have 2 homes, and have very sporadic schedules as to when we are going to be in each place, so it's hard to develop any kind of social schedule. Especially when you're an extreme introvert like me.

Plus, both places are new to me and so I am starting from scratch to develop relationships. And developing relationships takes time. And effort. And I have a baby who needs a somewhat consistent schedule and I am tired (cue: excuse symphony).

But as a result of all my aloneness (with the exception of the babe and husband of course), my words have dried up. According to a book called The Female Brain, women supposedly say 20,000 words a day (and men only 7000).

Ha. Ha, ha and ha!

20,000??? Sometimes I'm not even sure I say 1000.

Once again, mostly by choice. There are times where I construct flimsy excuses as to why I can't go to this or that or get together with this or that person. Or I just plain old chicken out of texting someone to go to the park, when I know that the worst they can do is say no.

And I am not a mother who spends a lot of time talking to Drew (don't get me wrong. I talk to my child. I just don't explain everything I am doing all day, every day, like some parenting sites tell you to do).

And with Luke's job, it's easier to talk to him via text rather than calling just because I never know if he is loading, unloading, or driving. We do try to talk at least once while he's on shift, but we mostly text.

Add in one short call to my mom on a typical day, and you get my lack of words.

And my rusted together mouth.

Because, as with all muscles, lack of use causes atrophy. And my mouth has atrophied. Not only is it physically tiring for me to talk a lot (seriously. sit me down with one of my besties, and I will talk. and walk away with a very, very tired and sore mouth/jaw), but it's emotionally exhausting to even think about talking. I see a nice looking mom at the park with a kid who's close to Drew's age and I do almost everything I can to avoid her. Oh, I try not to be a total snot. I do say hi, smile, etc, but I don't walk right up to her and strike up a conversation.

So the moral of the story?

I need to oil my mouth.

Except not literally. Because that's gross.

But in a figurative way.

I need to do something, because I am the dreaded 'l' word (lonely, for those of you wondering). But it's hard. And not as easy as just keeping my comfy pants on and staying home. But if I don't do it, who will?

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