It’s nearly 2 in the morning and I’m wide awake. This isn’t unusual for me. The witching hour and I have been well acquainted for several years now, and insomnia is my homie. My habit has been to stay in bed, tossing and turning and feeling like total junk because I SIMPLY CANNOT FALL ASLEEP. But earlier tonight—I guess it would be yesterday if we want to be technical—a woman older and wiser than I was telling me that she struggles with the same issue, and that finally she started to get up and do things around the house, knit, etc. instead of also feeling like junk because she simply cannot fall asleep either.
I decided to follow her lead and be at least a little productive until my body decides it’s ready to crash. So far, I have filled in my planner and gotten a head start in figuring out how my week will look, started listening to Mat Kearney’s Just Kids album, wrote a poem, and now I’m here. Working on a blog post. It’s a bit of babbling, but there’s also something I want to talk about. It struck me earlier when I was brushing my teeth. One of those things.
My life has changed a lot in the past couple of years. I also think that I have changed a lot. Like, not a lot, a lot. I’m still ~me~ and all that. It’s like this, y’all: I’m in my mid-20’s and I thought I had all the things figured out until I realized in a rather harsh and unpleasant and mean kind of way that I had next to nothing figured out. Which sucked on an exponential level. And then over time it sucked a little less. Now it’s becoming exciting. Still confusing, but I’m learning to live and thrive in what I call this “tension of not knowing” instead of despising it or wishing it away.
Am I making sense? Did I mention that it’s nearly 2 in the morning and this is almost pure stream of consciousness? You’re welcome.
But here was the thought that came as I was teeth brushing. As I was going through my personal rollercoaster—think Texas Giant at Six Flags—a lot of the relationships in my life were affected by the crazy ride. Friendships were tested. Majorly. Some are still present with me, and some are not. And I guess I wanted to write about this because I wish that Me from two years or even a year ago had some kind of resource or voice to walk her through that time. I think a lot of us are well-versed in how to deal with romantic versions of heartbreak or loss, or at least we know there are magazines and blogs and books aplenty that broach the subject. But, the loss of friends? Of people I thought would be in my life, you know, more permanently? I didn’t know what to do at all when the rubber met the road. I was so ill-prepared. I made mistakes. I was hurt, and I most certainly was hurtful, whether any of it was intentional or not.
In a sense, I guess this is like a letter to my younger self, even though of course she won’t read it and it’s fruitless to try and change the past. Maybe this is more important, that I’ll have a reader who needs to see this and it will be like a digital hug for them.
What I’m trying to say is, at some point in your life, you’re gonna go through something tough, or maybe a fair number of tough somethings. I’m not even attempting to scare you here. It just is what it is. Keep breathing. And when that time comes, you may feel like the world as you know it has shattered and you’ve lost all your bearings and you might be wondering who you can trust and who could possibly understand what’s happening inside of you. That’s normal. It’s awful, but it’s normal. It’s not wrong, and there’s no need to feel ashamed. I would like to encourage you to start with trusting yourself, but I know that can be shaky and next to impossible. If you have a relationship with God, pour into that. If not, that’s alright too. Really, it’s alright. There’s still yoga and iced lattes and butterflies and night drives and babies to cuddle. Go for a run, even though you hate running and you think the runner’s high is a load of utter BS. Let the run turn into a walk, and pay attention to how the sun feels on your skin. Take it a day at a time, or in even smaller increments. One hour at a time, one minute, one moment. Binge watch New Girl and laugh until you cry, and then cry just to cry and know that it’s not against the law to do so, especially when your heart is broken. It’s okay to be angry, too, even though I know that particular emotion frightens you. If someone asks how you’re doing, be honest. You don’t have to divulge everything that hurts, but you might be pleasantly surprised by their response. You might also be super offended and realize that’s a person who isn’t on the same frequency as you. I repeat, that’s okay. You don’t have to force it. It doesn’t make you a jerk, and it doesn’t make them an enemy. Know that certain bonds were only meant to last a given amount of time. This is the hardest lesson, the one about impermanence. Finally, know that you have people who will love you through some of your ugliest, nastiest moments. You won’t understand this. You don’t need to. Tell them, “thank you.” Tell them, “I love you.” While you’re at it, tell yourself, “I love you” too. Spoiler alert- you’re gonna make it through this.
[photo cred: me // this was taken somewhere in Middle of Nowhere, New Mexico a few years back]