I haven’t written much lately because the things I have to say aren’t fun or happy and that’s a real drag.
I don’t like to be a downer. I like to be an upper. I said this recently to a very wise woman who replied, “Well, sometimes you can’t choose.”
That’s true. Sometimes, you can’t.
If I’m being honest — and I am, because my writing is based on honesty — this has been a tough year for my family. My mother was diagnosed with cancer and then my uncle was murdered in my childhood home. If that sounds crazy, it’s because IT IS. Every dysfunctional facet of my extended family that I was dimly aware of, but mostly shielded from, rained down on me in the span of about three days. If there was ever a time that I COULD NOT EVEN, IT’S NOW.
I keep waiting for things to get less difficult, but they don’t — in fact, they continue to get harder. That doesn’t seem right. Life shouldn’t get harder the older you get, but it does.
However, as our difficulties increase we get better at navigating the bullshit. We put up boundaries and become more comfortable saying “I’m not okay with that,” or “You are not allowed to do that to me,” or “You are not welcome in my home.” As life gets harder, WE GET BETTER.
We get better.
It’s like parenting. We don’t give birth to a child in the throes of the terrible two’s — we start out with a mewling newborn and it feels like the hardest thing we have ever done. But then they start crawling and running and fighting back when you’re desperately trying to cram them into car seats and grocery carts, and again you think to yourself: this is the hardest thing I have ever done.
You find yourself thinking that every time you face down a new problem or situation that taxes your spirit. But remembering all of the other hard things you have surmounted — the colic, the endless nights, the tantrums, the failures made right — gets you through it.
That is how I am looking at my life right now. I will get through it, because I have made it through a lot of other hard things.
But it’s still really hard.
When life outside of these four walls becomes overwhelming, I turn inward and focus my attention on my people. They make me forget the bad and focus on the good.
There’s a lot of both, but I’d rather focus on the good. And there is so, so much of it.