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I've been thinking {Keepin' It Real Series}

It's been almost two months since Mom died.

I still don't feel like I'm completely "here". I still feel like I'm going through the motions of what is expected of me in life. I'm just existing.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Eat. Work. Sleep. Sleep some more. Can I have more sleep please?

The truth is, I could sleep all day. I don't want to deal with life because life is really hard right now. I want to check out. I want my pillow, my blanket and my comfy bed. I'm sorry. Iva can't come out and do life right now. Please leave a message at the beep. She won't be getting back to you.


 I'm seeing a doctor. I'm not ashamed to admit this. I'm a huge fan of talking and believe that most problems can be talked out. So, we talk every month. Well, I talk - he listens. But then he talks and I listen.

 And I've been doing a lot of listening. I've been trying to make sense of the noise that is going on in my head. Is it normal? I don't know what normal is right now because:

1) nobody really talks, really talks, about what they are going through. Put on a happy face because nobody really wants to be around a sad face. Sad faces make people uncomfortable. Especially when they can't fix them or don't understand what you're going through.
2) I'm treading new ground. I've never been here before. 
I'm turning 40 in a couple of months. I also started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

These two sentences are not unrelated.

At least I don't think they are.

I'm feeling a shift in how I'm feeling about everything in my life. I don't know if it's because I'm dealing with mom's death (I can't really use the past tense dealt. Will I ever truly get over this?) I don't know if it's because I'm turning 40 or if it's because I've been reading this amazing book about simplifying life.

The truth is: I'm tired of the noise. I'm tired of the insignificant. I cannot be bothered by things that I feel are not worth my time, my energy, or my emotion.

I've put myself out there for a long time. I am the classic People Pleaser. I bend so that others don't break. I've always put myself on the back burner while I give everyone else the best of me.

This is what good people do.

However, when that's not reciprocated, you're left with an injured spirit. You begin to give because you want to avoid the unpleasantness. After giving that way for 40 years of life, when the primary person who has hurt you over and over (and over) again is gone, your mind begins to shift. Suddenly, you wake up from a nightmare and what you discover is that who you've always been is not who you really are.

Who am I?

I am a wife, mother, sister, friend. I am a teacher, a nurturer, a healer. I am a writer, a thinker, and an inquisitive mind. I am a lot of good things. These things I do not want to change about myself. I like these things. I want these things. I don't want to lose these things. These things are at the root of who I am and I enjoy being those things.

Who am I not?

I'm not a doormat, a scapegoat, the cause of someone elses misery. I'm not a second thought, a pot on the back burner, or someone to be discarded at a whim.

I am learning that life is short. God might call me home tonight. He might call my husband or one of my children home (Please, God - don't take them now). When you are at your lowest, you find out who your true friends and family are.

Who are these people?

They are people with integrity, who can see through your walls and your pain and hurt and push through. The harder you push away, the harder they push back. They are the people who tell you the truth: words you don't always want to hear, but words you need to hear. They are people who allow you to be your own true self - full of fault, bruises, and a little darkness - and love you all the while. In short, they love you when you are unloveable. When you can't love yourself, they wrap you in their arms and love you more.

These are the type of people I want to make time for in this next chapter of my life. Not because I'm narcissistic but because this is how I love. This is how I've always loved and this is how I will continue to love. This is the only love I know how to give.

I'll love you during your highs and celebrate with you, but I'll especially love you in your lows and weep with you. I'll walk through the door when everyone else is walking out because that's who I am.

But this paradigm shift comes at a cost. You see, when you start changing, people aren't always open to your change. Why? They might like it when you're in a rut so they can feel superior to you. They might like it when you're in a rut so they can have company. They might like when you're in a rut because it means leaving them behind when you dig yourself out.

Whatever the reason, however good the change might be for me, it's painful.

But as my doctor said - change and growth, even if they are good things, hurt. Sometimes a lot.

And this is where I am currently. I'm trying to find my new balance. What does life look like right now?

I'm just trying to draw a map.

Until next time...Pin It
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  1. Has it gotten any easier yet? My mom died two days before you posted this, and I feel a lot like you did two months ago.

  2. Shannon, I'm sorry it's taken so long to get back to you.

    I'm not sure if "easier" is the right word for it. I still have those moments where I have to stop myself from texting my mom. I have those moments where I think, "Mom would find this really funny/ironic/annoying." I have those moments when I listen to one of Mom's favorite songs and I think fondly of her.

    Mom has recently missed several milestones - her oldest grandson's (my son's) graduation. My 40th birthday. She will miss Baby Girls' 15th birthday. I often think that I have a lifetime of milestones that Mom will miss and it does make me a little sad.


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