It was 2014. I woke up one summer’s day and decided that enough was enough: no more mental walls, no more negativism, no more excuses. I worked hard to see myself become smarter and stronger over the next few months. The manifestation of the brand-spankin’ new me was a much lighter version of myself with nothing but optimism in the bag. I walked with confidence, I felt powerful, I felt like I had awoken from a passive dream of dread. I was happy.
The peak of all that was last summer: for the first time in my life I felt like I knew where I was going and what my purpose was and I liked the prospects of my future-self. The relationships I’ve helped build were strong and getting better and I found myself finally and for once looking forward to the future.
December came and took it all away. The tears I have yet to cry have pooled in my insides and have now flushed out all the terrors of my past.
Now, for the fist time in my life, I find myself more lost than I’ve ever been. It’s not an easy thing to admit and to put in writing. I am very-well aware of all the blessings of my life, but still feel empty a lot of the times: I’ve spend all my life taking care of others and have failed to see that I matter and I, too, can have hopes and dreams. I’ve been so busy accommodating everyone else and failing to make sure I fit into myself. I’ve shrunken my ideas to the point of little droplets with no particular form to them. I let myself be led because I have no power to speak my mind and am afraid of more people walking out of my life. I keep on asking myself: Who’s next?
I’m afraid of letting new people in because I’m afraid of seeing them leave and I’m having a tough time letting the ones I care about come closer. Closing the gates to my inner world is what I’ve done to survive. Solitude has once again become my blanket of comfort. At the same time, I don’t like it. I know I have people around me who care for my well-being, but I feel like I don’t deserve their attention and I don’t understand why anyone would want to spend time with me. So I just shut off. There’s so much I want to say, but it all gets stuck in my throat. There are emotions I’d like to express, but I feel are unworthy of reciprocation. Last week a friend asked me to name 5 positive traits of mine and all I came up with is that I’m sometimes kind. That was it, that was all I came up with. We then simply stared at each other while I had the depths of my depravity on my lap like a dirty coffee mug.
I’ve always been hard on myself as I’m sure most of us are. This harshness has helped me tear through sleepless nights, it has helped me shield myself from daggers being thrown and it has protected me from breaking down and shutting off completely. But maybe it’s time to simply allow myself to say that I’ve been through some pretty tough stuff and that maybe it’s okay not to have it all figured out all at once:
Yes. My father passed away. I walked with him as he was dying and now he’s gone. I miss him. It isn’t getting any easier, it’s getting tougher.
Yes. I’ve had to let my fluffy, smelly ball of fur go. I still wonder if I’ve made the right decision. I miss his warm hazel eyes and the truest of all unconditional loves.
Yes. I’m re-calibrating some of the longest- standing relationships of my life. It’s hard and I am lost. The confusion here is endless.
Yes. One of the people who should, in theory, love me most, blames me for their losses and are working very to make me feel them, too.
Yes. I have a though time with some of the new relationships in my life. I don’t know where I stand and feel I have very little control over the situation. I’m afraid of losing them and have a hard time expressing myself.
Yes. I’m ill and have been for a while now. I’ve been taking care of myself as best as possible, but my body simply won’t cooperate. I’m tired and I’m tired of always feeling tired.
Yes. The list does not end here.
Maybe it’s okay to admit I need a little time to think things over and maybe it’s okay to admit that I need a damn vacation. Maybe it’s okay to let myself be taken care of sometimes. And just maybe it’s okay to let people in- even if they choose not to stay. Maybe it’s okay to sometimes say no. Maybe it’s okay to think of myself first sometimes.
But the little monster of love within me is still here and waiting, purring ever so gently. It’s a little fluffy critter who loves the world, loves jumping in puddles, loves to laugh, is silly and playful. It’s a tough little cookie and it won’t go away no matter what. This little monster helps me get up every morning and try to be better, do better and see myself just a little clearer. I know I’ll get through this somehow: it’s a little hard to drive through life right now, but it won’t be like this forever. I’m getting stronger each day. I’m not only learning to live with just myself, but am learning to like it.
So it stands that my heart has a banner with the tag “fragile” on it.
Because of that, darling Universe, if you can see this, thread lightly over it. I’ll try to do the same.