Full disclosure: This post will be heavy for a bit, but I promise I’ll sum it up with my usual wit.
I recently had a close friend lose a child. At a loss for words, I struggled to even find the most basic set of reassurances to comfort her in those delicate, first moments of revelation. The loss is so deep, the event so horrific, that nothing, especially what may come across as trivial words in comparison to such monumental circumstances, would ever be able to take away the pain.
The hubster and I often speak in the mornings when I’m on my way into work and he’s coming off his night shift. I listen intently as I dodge traffic, and Lincoln Continentals, and he exhaustingly describes his eventful evening in the ER. Often I don’t speak for minutes at a time while he recounts some of the harrowing things he sees. This most recent discussion ended with him being on top of an elderly patient doing chest compressions for thirty minutes, finally getting a pulse and, in the end, eventually losing the patient. Again, I found myself at a loss for words.
This is what I do for a living; find the right thing to say to produce a feeling or action. Writing is my mainstay, my security blanket and often, writing has certainly helped when plucking some obscurities out of the back of my brain to say to someone during conversations. But, I just couldn’t pull it together in these instances.
My words couldn’t help and something shifted.
In a world filled with deadlines and urgent emails and frustrating “What in the Hell was that backup for?!” evening traffic jams and gossip and Pinterest perfect moms and politics and cliques and unending paperwork and dirty dishes and an Explanation of Benefits letter from your health insurance where you fail to see the actual benefits and those damn sour cream containers that never open properly, so you put more pressure on the sides trying to lift it up the top until a deluge of sour cream is unleashed onto your counter and shirt and in that sour cream thunderstorm you know it’s not going to make or break your life but, dammit, in that moment it sure feels like it.
But it’s not life or death. Literally life or death.
In the haste of other’s judgement, I often find that I second guess my words, my work, my feelings, my reality, my personality…myself. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day rumblings, and forget who you are through the complexities of another lens. My perspective needed a shake up and in the twisted way life works, the awful things my loved ones experienced provided that jolt – this isn’t life or death.
I am a kind, intelligent, conscientious gal. I am enough. You are enough. That’s it. Simple as that. If someone else doesn’t see your good soul based on their own leanings – oh well – you are still enough.
So, don’t ever let anyone tell you that your feelings are invalid because in that moment, as the slimy sour cream stream makes its way down your brand new Banana Republic button-up shirt, it sure feels shitty. Just know, it’s not going to matter 5 years down the road.
Perspective change, engaged.