I found myself crying in the bathroom this morning. It was ironic because it was such a beautiful day. The sun shining, the fall leaves turning golden, the house fairly quiet. But my heart didn’t feel that lightness. It was choked out, in a way, choked by the me who had been trying so hard to hold it together. It’s been months of holding it together, of being strong, of carrying on, and this morning it was simply too much. The tears tumbled, they fell, and no matter how much I tried to stuff them in couldn’t get them to stop streaming down my face.
I feel so lost right now. I don’t get who I am anymore.
I whispered those words to my husband, almost afraid to admit the reason behind the tears. Those tears where a big pot of sadness, fear, shame, overwhelm, feeling that I should have been stronger or had it together, of being alone, all stirred together. And that pot was boiling with no place for the steam to go, but out.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but these last months have left me feeling a bit lost in my own life.
I look back to what life was like several years ago and there I was traveling, writing, building a business and now, today, this morning I found myself thinking about another day of teaching the kids, of being home, of not knowing exactly what direction work would go or if I would get to it. It left me worrying about the future while I was unsure of the footing below. It left me wondering when I moved from dress shirts to the sweatshirts. It left me feeling guilty about struggling being home because I knew that others would be grateful for this spot. It left me feeling more guilt for even being overwhelmed because that little voice inside told me it could be worse and you’re so selfish. And all of that feeling left my heart a giant mess and me a crying mess.
Pressure builds. I tried to stuff it down. Pressure doesn’t care.
It needs an outlet.
I had thought about writing it down for several weeks. After all, writing is my outlet – blogging for years, quote writing, book writing – but I was afraid. I was afraid of all the thoughts going in my head, I was afraid I’d be alone, and I was afraid of the reactions. All those fears – about what others thought or if I didn’t look strong – was in fact, more pressure. But, honestly, over that last months I’ve seen a culture of judging versus loving, of friends who no longer stayed friends, of people alone. But then I realized that part of being real, part of growth, part of community is being brave enough to admit that there are days, moments, weeks where we don’t have it all together.
So friends, shocker, I don’t have it all together.
And today, today I admit that I totally felt lost in life.
Today I admit I had moments of not knowing who I was anymore or what I was to be doing.
Today I admit I missed what was and had that moment of wishing for the old normal.
Being lost is uncomfortable. Heck, if I’m honest, almost all of 2020 has been uncomfortable.
Yes, there has been a bunch of good, but there has also been a great deal of brakes screeching to a halt. Businesses that stall, families torn apart, fear, schools changing. Jobs that are unknown. Unrest. Simple moments, like going to the store, that we thought were unchangeable, changed. Where a year ago I was sitting in coffee shops having business meetings now I find myself sipping cold coffee explaining direct objects to my kids.
And we have to talk about it. When we keep it bottled up, when we are hesitant because we’re afraid of what others might say or judge us with then we don’t extend the ripple of community, we don’t move forward. You can’t move without admitting where you start. At some level, the risk-takers, the movers, the trail-blazers who create bonds of friendship are the ones who dare to admit their real in order to create connection with others. This is where we can come together.
Talking about the shift doesn’t mean I’m not grateful. Talking about the uncomfortableness doesn’t mean I don’t see the good. Talking about the hard places doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate. Talking about the changes doesn’t mean I’m blind to the world, either. Talking about the ups and downs and normal doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate today.
It just makes me, you, us real.
So I’m writing it about it. I’m writing to you so that you, right now, feel a little less alone. I sharing my vulnerable so that you, right now, know that your heart, your vulnerable matters. You see, and I’ve written this for years – you matter, you are enough, you are strong, you are brave.
Even if you feel lost.
In fact, you might matter even a bit more in these moments. These are defining moments. Yeah, that. You know why? Because you keep showing up, you keep trying, you keep loving, you keep giving, you keep hoping, you keep struggling, you keep caring, you keep sharing, you keep helping, you keep believing, you keep on keeping on.
I see you. Thanks for being here with me too. Together we will make it through, together we will rebuild. Together we are strong. Together we will figure out our new normal.
Love, from your friend who feels a little less lost because she wrote to you.
who wrote this sitting on her front step after drinking yet another cup of coffee, after teaching about sets in math and reading a book, whose kids are inside reading. And guess what, my heart? My heart is lighter. Pressure release.