I have been struggling to write. Somewhere along the way a crippling anxiety about my writing and myself in general took hold of my heart. “My life is not interesting enough.” “Why would anyone read about the storm that I’m trudging through right now?” “People come here for funny and inspirational and I have no humor or light to give.” I have started and stopped this post six times since August. I have tried and failed to capture what it is that I want and need to say. As I sit on my bed tonight frustrated with tears pouring down my face I know that the time has come.
The anxiety and lack of confidence I’m feeling is no ones fault. The people around me have shown me the same amount of support they always do. The change is in me. I see myself struggling and living a more fearful life than I have in a long time. My soul has become corrupted by worry. How can it not be? The worries pile up and threaten to drown me.
I’m working still but my job feels incredibly insecure because of the economy. I’m struggling with my identity in my position because we’ve had to lay off all but one person from my staff. Staff that I’ve worked hand in hand with nearly every day for almost three years. People that have watched my children grown and made our organization the wonderful place that it is today. People who have made an indelible mark on who I am as a person and as a manager. My heart is broken because I know that while some will return when things reopen, not all will. They should have left on their last day with celebration and fanfare as thanks for all of their hard work and I can give them none of it. And what of me? Who am I without my team? I’m here to guide and lead and advocate for them and I feel as though I’ve failed miserably even though there is nothing that could have been done. I’ve kept my job when I couldn’t save theirs. That feels awful too even though I know it wasn’t in my control.
I really spent a long time thinking that I’d adjusted well to this whole “new normal” thing. (Except the work part I mean.) I ignored all of the things that I missed and pretended I didn’t miss them. I was so wrong though. Another failure to add to the list. It hit me like a slap in the face the other day when I saw a video of people dancing at Mardi Gras. I completely lost it. Ugly cried. It sounds so stupid. Crying over a video of watching people dancing. There has been so little of that this year though. Festival season is my favorite time of year. I love seeing all the beautiful art, hearing the live music, eating all the fried food, and watching people dance together. In a time where we are more divided than we ever have been in my lifetime, it would do everyone some good to dance again.
I miss being able to go places and not worry that I’ll bring the virus home and hurt someone that I love. I miss leaving my house without feeling fear in the back of my mind. The stress of this new lifestyle is taking its toll on my marriage and motherhood too. I’m short tempered. Quick to cry or yell. I’m struggling to focus even more than normal. I vacillate between wanting to hold and snuggle my children all day and feeling like one more touch will literally make my spirit fly out of my body. I’m not really sure how to do self care right now. I wasn’t awesome at it before but now leaving the house isn’t really a thing unless I’m going to the three stores I go to, work, or visiting my parents. It’s impossible for me to not feel guilty about working on crafts or reading a book when I’m surrounded for most of the day by a house that reminds me of all of the chores that I haven’t done. All the reminders of where I tried and failed. I feel like I do a lot of that lately. Try and fail…Fail again and again.
This morning as my family slept I decided to stop scrolling Facebook and open my TED App. The first suggested video was called The Beauty of Being a Misfit by Lidia Yuknavitch. I found myself moved by her story. I watched it twice. It helped me to find the courage I needed to share my feelings with you today. So this is me sharing the story that I know how to tell. This is me giving voice to what’s written on my heart. It’s not profound or inspiring but, at least for me, it must be written. This is where I’m at right now. A little broken. Wobbly legged and unsure. Ill fitting in this current phase of life. Failing. I can only hope that, like in Lidia’s story, these seeming failures of mine can become “weird ass portals to something beautiful.”