The lowercase me is all about the usual juggle: kids, school, design, relatives, yoga even though my wrist is toast, camp plans for those who just want to "relax", vacations, organizing dinners with friends, overseeing everyone's schedules, class parenting and those related art projects because I'm the creative one, PTA and the overwhelmingly vast amount of confusion it comes with, getting meds into kids who don't want it, waking sleeping 9 year olds who stay up WAY TOO LATE (ok, the last 2 were this morning), sitting in my car talking to the super across the street even though I had tons of work to do while alternate side parking, making runs to Jersey City Target for socks and cool sweatshirts—you get the idea.
Then there's uppercase ME. The ME who wrote FLOW, was on The View, whose name shows up in thousands of google searches (yes, I check). The one who went to lunch with one of the founders of Seventh Generation yesterday because she loved FLOW, wanted to meet me and perhaps find a way to help each other. The one who had HD make up done. Who's worried about what to wear on air. The one with editors, publicists, publishers. Contacts. Contracts. The one who markets, sells, promotes, hypes, constantly building my brand.
Exhausting in a very different way.
When I'm ME, I'm exhausted afterwards. Being "on" is draining. I can talk, pitch, entertain, chat, amuse, educate. And then, when I'm done, there's nothing left. After every interview I feel like I've run a marathon, or at least 5 miles when not quite in shape for it.
And then there are times when me and ME collide and I have to be both at the same time. I did a magazine interview this morning while sitting in my car, hoping the chatting super would be done talking about his love of motorcycles before the phone call came. The journalist was great - we talked for almost an hour, finishing up as I stood outside my coffee shop, waiting for the fire engine to pass. I was in need of a caffeine fix well before lunch, wiped from talking my message. The cute boy in the shop asked how my radio interview had been. In the moment I couldn't remember what he had been talking about. Half an hour later I remembered last week I talked with The Kathleen Show (it airs next week). That was squeezed in after yoga, and while my kids cooperated by watching TV until I was off the phone. I got all that call, zonked, but had to make dinner, deal with homework and the bedtime drill.
In those moments, when I need to collapse but can't, I stop. Actually, I don't stop. I keep doing everything I have to but my brain's blank. If someone asked my name I don't know that I'd know. I'm having one of those right now. I'm empty. But I have 3 pieces to write. Design work to do. A PTA election to figure out. I'm meeting a twitter friend later. I've got a dinner tonight. A to-do list for me that keeps growing. But ME has her own list and that's important too.
I feel like there's got to be another me. Not the juggler. Not the writer. Just the person who sits still, stares off into space, takes it easy, isn't connected all the time.
If you see her, please send her my way.