I've just not been in the mood this year, folks. But I love this little bliggity blog and all that it is for me -- a journal of the little details of life that are sure to be forgotten and lost if I don't record them somewhere, a way to share the cuteness with family far away, a little bit of release and self-therapy, something to do with the photos I take every day or a reason to keep taking them -- so... here goes.
Is it possible for one year to simultaneously be the best and worst of your life thus far? I think: yes? I can see so much blessing this past year: a cozy home in a beautiful place, a loving hard working husband, two sweet sons, the welcoming of our precious daughter, health, a productive garden and always enough food. Really, life is good. I'm really lucky and not complaining. And yet, my heart has been heavy. Heavy, heavy. There have been some heavy, heavy thoughts weighing on my heart and mind ALL THE TIME. Heavy. That's the only word.
In the true fashion of a long line of feeling-suppressors, I've been mastering a combination of numbing and bottling up my dark thoughts, to the point where the resulting mass inside me may have been crushing my heart a little bit. Which finally led to a recent spewing of truths to a couple of trusted individuals, which was not easy for me, but which I've realized was completely necessary. (I heard all those whiches but I'm rolling with it.) We can't battle our demons alone. We can't. We need to bring them to light and let someone say, "Wow, that is a lot for you to carry, you need to drop that load right now." And we need to cry and let it out and just feel up the feelings sometimes. I need to afford myself the same grace I try to extend to my children -- that feelings are a-okay and we need to let them out, not lock them in.
The art of hiding behind a humor of sarcasm, while perhaps making me amusing to be around at times, hasn't exactly fostered a host of lifelong connections with other vulnerable human beings. And that right there, that's been another lonely realization to come to terms with.
In the fall of 2013, I lost a friend. She didn't die, she just stopped calling, but it almost felt like I was grieving a death. Or a breakup perhaps. It was like being broken up with, but not even told. My girlfriend, my one local friend that I actually saw regularly, explained that she was "maxxed out" at the moment and that was that. And it hurt so much. And I started to realize -- and all through the next year the realization sunk in deeper -- that somehow, 30 years in, I had no friends. (Not true; I have two or three, or four if you include my husband!) I've always felt like I had friends, never felt hated, everyone has always been friendly to me, and yet it's clear now that my high school Spanish teacher was right -- these people that you think are your friends are not really your friends, and you will have only two or three real friends that last in your life. We laughed at her, my "friends" and I -- ha ha! we have dozens of best friends and always will! Well. I can't even remember the teacher's name but I remember that one conversation vividly. And you know, it gives me some consolation knowing that I'm not alone, even if facebook and tweeter and instograham can make it seem like I am.
I know now that real friends are the ones who, when you finally let down your guard and say I need you, they come running. Like, right then. That same day. And I know now that I am very lucky to have even a couple of friends like that.
I think, this new year (see here I am getting on the bandwagon after I already declared that I don't do that sham!) I'd like to let myself be a little more vulnerable. I'd like to meet a new friend, and actually open myself up to her so that she can do the same, and also I want to really be there for the people I know, and tell them so, so that they can call on me and know I'll come running.
And now I can (hopefully) get on with my regular lighthearted record keeping, and do a massive recap catchup, and move on into this new year with self-forgiveness and acceptance and grace and trust in God that all will work for good if I seek Him.