Hello my amazing friend!!
How are you? No, really. How are you ACTUALLY doing? I personally feel like a hamster in a wheel feeling like I'm getting somewhere only to realize everything is still the same. My kids are getting social interaction from technology and zoom meetings. Vitamin D is in full deficiency here in the Pacific Northwest. It's the happiest time of the year yet, it's not. My husband and I have had so many conversations about what the heck we are supposed to do as parents right now. I can tell you right now, our family has consumed more screen time, special treats and late nights lately just so they can remember this time at home as something fun. Sure, the dental bills might suck later, but YO... worth it.
If I'm honest, I've basically had my head stuck in the sand over the last several months trying to stay afloat in daily life and, no joke, have been falling asleep anywhere from 7:30-8:30pm most nights. I will literally go take a shower just to attempt to stay awake until my goal of 8pm. It's just been a lot. This morning I was still in bed at 7:40am (usually up 5-6am) when my daughter got up. When she saw me, she gasped and came to cuddle with me and told me to always sleep in like that. <3 I chose to enjoy my late start of a morning and considered the benefits of trying to change my biological clock, but honestly I feel like I'm drowning already not having a couple hours of quiet time to hammer out some things without being pulled a million directions and the dishes judging me aggressively from across the room.
Anyway, enough with the jibber jabber. I have had it on my heart to touch base with you. You've been on my mind. A lot. I know this season of life is astronomically unexpected and difficult. I know how hard some of your relationships have been and how tumultuous it can be on social media right now. Everything is so HEAVY and constant and intense. The people you always felt you could rely on may not be there in the same way today. Our households are learning to live in a new world while struggling and mourning our plans and goals we had originally set forth in front of at the beginning of this year. The holiday season which is meant to bring families together, is being spent apart from one another. It hurts. It sucks. It's real and valid and worthy of being acknowledged as tribulation. However, through my own experiences of loss and affliction, I can recognize the importance and necessity grit, strength, hope and faith are in these seasons.
I know, I know.. it's always easier said than done. When you're in the valley, it feels like there is no way out. You pick yourself up one day to travel and see if you're close to home only to realize you've become more lost. I want you to know that there IS a hill that leads you back up into the greenery, you just have to keep one foot in front of the other. One of my favorite things to do to keep my mind patchy with positives, is to recognize the little beauties I get to find while down in the depths of the valley that I wouldn't have ever been able to discover had I not been down there. For example, the familiarity and comfort that I find in escaping into a book for twenty minutes. And the genuine love I see in my kids. And the gratefulness I have that my family is healthy, my bills are paid and we have food in our pantry. When everything feels like destruction, I cannot stress how important it is to remind yourself the ways it's GROWING.
I was talking with a friend recently how I am working on learning more about myself as one of the ways I am healing myself. I found that I was getting so frustrated with everything I did, or didn't do or was unable to do. Why couldn't I just be like "everybody else"?! That's when I realized it.
...that IS like everybody else.
No joke. Every. Single. Person. Everyone has no flipping clue what they're doing and there is no such thing as the "right" way to do anything. I've thought a lot about this because, you gotta think. What makes one person's perspective more valid than someone else's? Is someone viewed as "less than" or perspective "less important" because they did or didn't have access to certain knowledges or experiences? Or, could we consider, that each human has undergone their own unique journey through life which affects the way reality looks to them. If we are willing to connect and share and open our minds to other insights and experiences we have not been through, we can combine each puzzle piece of perspective into a tapestry of the secrets of the Universe.
It may be because of the way I was brought up, or just a natural curiosity, but I've always known I didn't know anything. I was so naive and would trust anyone around me, especially those older than me because, well, I was told that adults were trustworthy. No joke, I actually thought wrapped hay barrels were large marshmallows until I was 14 and a friend of mine who lived on a farm literally laughed at me when I asked why he had marshmallows in his field. This was both a wonderful gift, as well as a nightmare. I found myself trodden on, abused, ignored, and downright shoved to the side as I continued to place my trust and value in others and how they viewed me. The more I kept letting people in to satisfy my internal need to know I'm allowed to love myself, the more I placated and began living in a facade simply to be finally be accepted.
The day I let myself acknowledge mental illness as a REAL illness because I knew what I was feeling was NOT normal, it began showing me that maybe I do know more than I realize. The moments I would receive advice or suggestions but know in my gut that it wasn't right for me and trusted in that, I would come to find that I did, in fact, know what was best for me. Little by little I began trusting in myself the way I would seek trust in others while also medicating my mental health diagnoses and have bloomed to the realization that I am exactly as I have always meant to be. The things I loved as child but grew away from because others told me it wasn't cool or I should do other things instead, those are the exact things that FILL ME UP. Reading, sitting alone in the quiet, acting silly in public... these are the things I need to prioritize in my life to create the intentional curation of the things that enable me to feel confident in myself and environment, allowing me to overflow and spill out into others.
You got this, friend. Don't give up. Keep following the trail your passions are leading you down. I promise that the journey is worth the effort. <3