I know it's been over a month since I wrote last; I was a little lost and overwhelmed for a minute there (or about 40,000), but I'm back.
Life doesn't always work out as planned. Plans rarely ever work, at least for me, and that's why I hate making them. What if something changes at the last minute? What if you're thrown a curveball and have to bail? Then you look like an asshole. Just like I was planning to become a teacher, but that didn't happen. Just like I was planning on having a stable writing or editing job by now, but that hasn't happened either...yet. I got close a few times, then was let down, so rejection hasn't been the best for my confidence. Regardless of my effort and struggle, I look like a loser to someone who doesn't know my situation. But anyway, planning in general is stupid because it adds unnecessary pressure, so it's not for me. And I definitely didn't plan this (which I'll get to), but it's for the better...
What I want to talk about is what's really important in life. We get so caught up in what we're doing, where we're going, and how other people perceive us that we forget what really matters. We need to take a step back and understand it's not all about us.
Honestly, I was being so whiny about me, me, and me that I didn't see the bigger picture. Realistically, if I had a full-time job, I wouldn't be able to take the weight off my mom and help take care of my Yia Yia. She, now more than ever, needs me, and I absolutely owe her that. The role has totally been reversed and never in my life did I think it would ever be this way, but it is. So, I'm here. She's counting on me, and I'm here. That's my priority right now: my Yia Yia.
Being a primary, full-time caretaker for someone suffering from dementia is NOT easy. Especially when you're a confused 24-year-old. No one truly understands what it's like until they experience it for themselves. For someone who doesn't get it, I tell them it's like having a baby that instead of learning and growing each day, they regress and unlearn each day. Benjamin Button status up in here, only she actually is old, not a baby. Because that'd be weird.
But what you go through runs deeper than just getting her out of bed every morning or constantly repeating yourself or fighting her to please eat her meals you make her throughout the day or reminding her of my name or pretending the ridiculous comments she says make absolute and perfect sense. That's nothing. It goes deep, like not recognizing someone you love, watching them deteriorate more and more each day from the vivacious person they used to be, and knowing that no matter what you do, your efforts won't make it stop. It's her not enjoying anything anymore, it's her confusion over the most simple concept or task, it's her brain not registering or reasoning with any stimuli. It flat out sucks. It's heartbreaking. And that's my environment every day, but no matter how hard it is, it's better that I'm having such a hard time getting a job because then I'd regret not being here for my Yia Yia. I'm able to play my part and be the granddaughter I need to be. And no, my family will not put her in a home in case you were wondering...you think a 90-year-old Greek woman would let that fly, anyway? You know nothing, Jon Snow.
My time to shine will come, it's just not right now. I haven't stopped trying because I do have my own life to live, too, but I'm happy I won't regret anything down the road when she's gone. It's been a big challenge living with someone with dementia and trying to keep my sanity on top of figuring out my career, but she is what matters most. I have the rest of my life to work; I don't have the rest of my life to spend this time with my Yia Yia. No matter how depressing it gets, this is what's important, and given my circumstances, I think a job can wait until things fall into place. I won't stop trying, but I'm in the right place at the right time, even if I'll be haunted by TCM and Family Feud until the end of my days...at this point, I feel elderly and demented by association.
So yeah, that's why I haven't written in a while.
We all face challenges that try their best to break us. Don't let them: they happen for a reason.