So October disappeared. I don’t know where it went or why it didn’t stay longer, but I think it was unkind to go away without so much as a by-your-leave. I truly have been living in the whirlwind and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Which is ok. Except I feel like I’m in a rickety tilt-o-whirl at one of those shady carnivals that sets itself up in a mall parking lot.
Anyway, I’m trying to quell the impact of the craziness by getting some good old-fashioned quiet time. Of course when this happens, I either end up falling asleep or my mind whirls at ninety-five miles an hour. But it’s been a good time because it allows me to take time to breathe, contemplate life and generally push away the cares of the job, relationships and life for a bit.
However, over the last couple of weeks, these times of silence have been full of revelation. I would consider myself to be a person who is relatively self-aware. I know I’m a goober. I know that I have a tendency to be dramatic… most all of the time. I know I’m a hard worker and I persevere with people, even when it’s difficult and it hurts.
Here’s the thing that I’m realizing though. (To be honest, it was put into words by a good friend recently.) I stink at letting people in. I haven’t decided if this is good, bad, or a mixture of both. See – I shared with everyone back in August the story of my hysterectomy. And that was easy to share. Because I had dealt with a lot of emotion internally. Looking back, I had a few in depth conversations but I mostly dealt with it internally and that was that. I could share what I did because it was behind me. But it was hard for me to let anyone in the situation in the moment. I think I tried in moments with friends, but I would be overwhelmed with the sense that I was a burden (that’s my own mental issue) or that I needed to get it together. I do that to myself a lot. It probably boils down to pride. Like I’m ashamed because I’m an ugly crier. (It’s true! More snot than tears and splotchy face. Not. Cute.) Or maybe it’s because I’m afraid that in my darkest moments, I’ll be rejected. I haven’t delved too deeply into the whys. I don’t know that I need to.
I mentioned in the first installment of my story that it wasn’t the end of the story, but the beginning. The beginning of new life for me. And physically it has been. My body actually works (well, 95% of it anyway) the way it’s supposed to. I’m spinning again. I’m kicking booty in barbell class. And I am sleeping (for the most part). Yay being healthy.
But, in the interest of finally opening up and laying some things on the table, I’ll just be honest with you, friends. My emotions are a mess. I wish I could blame it on the hormones, but I think we’re past that now. To be honest, I think I’m hitting the point in this process where I’m realizing the enormity of everything that’s happened this year. It’s overwhelming.
I’ve met beautiful, wonderful people. I’ve made new friends that are more like family. I’ve gone to places I love, seen shows that have made me smile. I’ve eaten delicious food, had deep conversation and tear-inducing laughter. On the flip side, I’ve seen the inside of a hospital more than I ever want to again. My heart has been broken. I’ve made one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make. My city was on fire. My sister was sick. Friends have come and gone without so much as a word. Dear friends have moved away.
I share all of this mainly because writing it down makes me accountable. It helps me process. It strips away a lot of pretense and brings the important things into sharp focus. I don’t know that there’s a specific point. I don’t think there has to be one. Perhaps I’m learning the valuable lesson of grieving rightly and then moving on. Maybe I’m growing up.