EmptiNest

Last week, a friend of mine sent me this artwork Invisibles (2018) by Jaume Plensa. It immediately brought me back to a text I wrote last year, while I was battling the thought of back to work. I felt this desire to share it, especially because I know there are a lot of women who feel the I was – and I am – right now. I want to let you know, my comrades, you’re not alone. So, let’s walk together…

Here’s the text:

You’re at home. It’s the end of the day, everything and everyone in their own place. You mastered it all. You feel proud of yourself —for 40 minutes. Then it starts. That old known feeling.

You woke up earlier and went to sleep later than everyone. You worked hard in the gym. You walked the dog – how fit you are!

You work kids on their schedule. School bus on time. Toddlers in the Library. Fun after school. Give kids smartness, happiness, freedom. You feel confident, you read all the books about it and watched that documentary three times about learning by playing.

You smile at people in the street. You have a nice little chat with the neighbors. You prepare healthy and yummy food— at least you think you did. You hear about husband’s work with true interest. You pay the bills online – look at you, even managing the bank account!

But that old feeling is there, somewhere between the night’s very last breath and the afternoon nap of the little one. The emptiness. Oh man, it’s still there, can’t believe!

You know you used to be “that” successful professional. You have a master degree, speak lots of languages. You know you’re intelligent, creative and a good leader — despite the fact that you weren’t raised through that documentary about learning by playing.

You know you can divide-multiply yourself at least ten times in the same second. But you’re empty. You feel yourself without a purpose while you feel lazy to find one. You say you’re tired while simultaneously knowing you’re lying to yourself, you just don’t know how to begin. That first step makes you think a lot and, at the end of the day, you end up navigating through some serious website about learning by playing.

Because the nest is full, the chicken is empty. That’s your reality, but you know it’s your excuse too. You can’t pick your time,it’s all about adjusting to the time that remains. You’re happy, you’re not complaining at all. But you feel you can do more — and you’re afraid to assume it too. You have an amazing opportunity to pick your own path, to do whatever you love. But you’re so empty, you can’t recognize yourself anymore.

You’re conscious of being in the middle of your own way. But is the chicken even allowed to bring her own personal interests to the nest? You never had that much time with yourself for a long time. You never had the chance to think about yourself. But you forget that the first pronoun you learnt was “I”. “Me”. “Mine”. “Myself”. You lost yourself to the humankind.

PS: Jaume Plensa is from Barcelona, but his works are around of world. Beyond the Invisibles in Madrid and the other sculptures on its style, I fell in love with The Heart of Trees (Wakefield, UK). If you live in one of these cities or is visiting them, please send me the sensation to see them live. Thank you in advance!
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