Sunday, September 22, 2013

Muck

So.

I've gone back and forth and back again about whether to write about the emotional place I've been in lately.  Usually, it's easier for me to talk about stuff than not talk about stuff (hence going to bed each night categorizing the many instances in which I put my foot in my mouth that day), but somehow,I haven't wanted to talk lately.  I haven't wanted to talk to my mom, or to H, or to my best friend.  I knew there was something big that needed to be said but didn't know exactly how to say it, and I didn't want to mess it up, feeling like the first shot at expressing myself would be the most important one.  I also knew there were no ready solutions, and I didn't want to put others in a place of feeling they had to offer some (truth, I didn't want the offer of band-aids).  So I kept quiet.  I became smaller.

Truth be told, I still don't quite know what I need to say, but somehow I've now started saying it in bits here and pieces there, and slowly I feel like I'm feeling my way through.

When we find ourselves lost, unsure about the future, unhappy in our present place, I think it's so easy for us to feel like we're stagnant, stuck, waiting.  I've certainly felt that way for the past couple of months, despite big things happening (starting a new job, H starting a new path in his education, thinking about buying a house).  There was a piece that just hasn't been clicking, and though I've had moments of joy and peace while distracted, those times when distraction wasn't present brought with them a flood of deep, deep emptiness.  Of being without anchor or guide.  The weekends, strangely, have been the hardest, because it is when I have permission to do something more that I realize I don't right now know what "more" is.  It's a scary feeling.

But in those moments, I looked for ways out.  I read blog posts.  I listened to podcasts and made myself go out on sunny walks and said yes even when I wanted to say no.  And I think, in those actions, though they did not in directly lift the despondency of the moment, a synergy was happening that suddenly, today, gave me back a piece of the self I like.  It all happened behind the scenes, it would seem.

The lesson seems to be to just keep doing, to keep reaching, to keep saying yes even when you want to say no.

I don't write this in any way to worry anyone; I think what I've felt the last couple of months is utterly normal, and I fully expect these times to come in regular waves throughout my life.  I write this because I think it is too easy to go into shame mode, hiding out until the waves pass.  We live in a world where only the edited, flattering photos are put up, the mistakes discarded with a simple click, where we show the fabulous vacations but not the 60 hour drudgery work weeks put in to get there.  We talk about the glitter and hide the crumbs.

But guys, we need to be together in the muck, too.  The connection, the healing happens there.

It wasn't until I started talking that I started to feel better.  I didn't start out with a defined story or a linear message with tidy borders.  I started by blurting, "I'm not happy," by saying, "I think I need something different."  Truth be told, though I've started working my way through, I still feel very much in the muck, and while I know much of my way out will be my own willingness to trudge through, it's also the knowledge that a handful of special people have tied ropes to me with the promise to pull me out if it gets too thick.  It is exactly because those ropes are there that I know I won't need them.

Let's give each other permission to talk more, to be honestly and humanly imperfect more, okay?

In the meanwhile, I'm doing.  I want a little more clarity, a little more direction, before I write about specifics.  Things are objectively really really good; it's my place in those things that might need a little tweaking.  At the risk of being annoying vague, I'll leave it at that.  I'll also leave it with a reminder that it is these times, when we're in the thick of the muck, that leave us humbled by gratitude later.  It's the muck, not the glitter, that's the gift.

xo

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