Honest, hope is a verb

living again

I got to hug my friend Joanna today for the first time in I don’t know how long and we both cried.

Joanna is someone I’ve known for almost 6 years and she’s a human being that I adore more than I can even describe. Joanna is a friend that is home to me. She tells me hard things, laughs with me and always reminds me of who I am; especially when I forget (this can also be copy/pasted to her husband who I let sit in my personal space today so that says a lot).

Moral of this story is everyone needs a Joanna.

But, the point of this is that I got to hug my friend Joanna, we cried and it reminded me that I’ve missed living.

I wrote the following words while sitting in church today.

It’s been a long time since I’ve lived.

I function. I survive. I move.

I exist.

It’s been a long time since I’ve lived.

I show up. I smile. I laugh.

I am here.

But I’m ready to live again.

I don’t what It looks like or what it feels like. I don’t know what it feels like anymore to live outside of surviving. I don’t know how to be myself outside of aggressive positivity.

I just know that I’m ready to live again.

To take a deep breath.

To try.

To be ok with feeling like I’m failing someone.

To be ok with letting someone down.

To be ok with not being enough for someone.

To be ok with all the things I have no control over.

I am ready to live again.

So that was a big woof.

I know it’s true. Between work and things happening around me and exhaustion and bad dreams I’ve been on autopilot. Attempting to aggressively encourage myself into life.

Knowing that I can, and I will do the damn thing. I will keep showing up.

I will keep moving forward.

But, sometimes, that doesn’t feel like living. Having to amp yourself up to do all the things. Having to push myself to keep my feet moving forward.

Desperately wanting the season I’m in to end so I can just catch my breath.

I’m just honestly tired of having to catch my breath.

I want you to know that living isn’t all flowers and hope and margaritas on a patio.

I want you to know that I know life isn’t always easy.

But, I want you to know that you are allowed to start living again even if you feel, like myself, that you aren’t allowed to do so.

I don’t know if someone has told you that or you have told yourself. I don’t know if you’ve lost the ability to live life each day because everything you must do gets in the way.

I also don’t know what living means to you; or honestly, to myself.

But, I’m going to keep moving forward and picking up the things that bring me hope and joy. I’m going to sit with the people that bring me life and remind me of who I am.

I am going to rest.

I don’t know if you need help living, I don’t know if you get a taste of life and then feel like you aren’t supposed too.

I don’t know if being hopeful terrifies you.

Or if choosing to live terrifies you.

But, I’m here with you. I’m an almost 36 year old who isn’t close to having any answers, but I’m just going to keep trying.

Just take a deep breath, make a list of things that bring you life and go from there.

Let’s show up for ourselves and see what happens.

Honest, I choose champagne

Not the last word pt1

We’ve reached the point in the end of the world/natural disaster/plane crash on a deserted island movie where the survivors are about to see the sunlight for the first time. They are bracing themselves. They know that the outside is still there because they can hear the wind and see scattered light in the midst of the caves of wreckage they find themselves under, but like what if there are zombies waiting, or people with huge guns, or worse: zombies with huge guns.

What if what’s outside the wreckage is just as bad as being piled under it?

Or as per Jamie…what if we can’t breathe out there?

Now, pardon my French, but for the most part, 2016 has been a shitshow.

And even though I almost feel like I can use a royal WE in this blog (which Patty knows I only ever use with permission) I won’t use it. I will say that there are people in my life who have been in the trenches with me in this year. People around me who the same year as I did. People who were exhausted all the time. People who shook their fist unable to figure it out.

I think I’ve cried more this year than I have ever cried. I ugly cried this year. I hurt in ways I didn’t think possible. I was gut wrenchingly lonely amidst some of the best people I’ve ever known. I battled depression so much that I collapsed on my bed most Fridays. I was numb by the end of each week, from busyness, heartache, loneliness, anxiety and sheer exhaustion.

The need to run was maybe the highest I’ve ever felt. It lit my nerves on fire. Wanting to leave these place, these people, this home of mine. Because it was staying. And it was hard.

I questioned most of my actions. I questioned my okayness. I questioned being a broken record. I questioned my fineness. I questioned people wanting to be around me.

And also, again, it bears repeating, I cried.

I sobbed in the office at work multiple times in the first half of the year (less the second half-not none, just less). I sobbed in front of Patty. I sobbed on the garage floor with Joanna and Patrick. I sobbed in silence on my bed more times than I want to admit. I cried tears for my aunt Ann. I sobbed in airports and in Tiffany’s car. I cried in restaurants and bars. I cried at church. I cried to Glenalyn as I walked through back roads of Bellingham. I cried at NMC after camp, regretting not buying contacts just so I could wear sunglasses.

I cried more tears than I ever have in my life.

Something in me was reacting to everything around me. Some force outside of myself was telling me to fold. To wave the white flag.

And sometimes I did. If I’m being honest, sometimes I didn’t show up when I knew I needed too or I left early when I just couldn’t take it. Sometimes I didn’t push through.

{and here it is folks}

BUT

There is a reason why this is a two part blog.

For every time I cried, I probably laughed.

Even it was from the absurdity of life or the horrors or that span of life in T1 where teacher Meg got off the grace train and never got back on.

For every time life tried to kick me in the face, there was a reason to celebrate, even if it was just getting through another week of ypocalypse or ya know, all the weddings and babies.

This year has been hell. It’s been pain. It’s been heartache.

But that’s not going to be my last sentence.

Part two is filed with the loveliness I wasn’t always able to see. Or I was too exhausted to talk about. Or was in the midst of planning

Part two gets the last word.

So, watch this space.

And find your own last word on the end of this chapter of your life.