1. Waking up

Outside, today mirrors my inside. Blank and gray and ready to let loose with another downpour at any moment; I am waiting for the clouds to burst open again. The rage has mostly faded, for now. That gust of stormy anger that says, “How could you? I thought we were special- I thought YOU were different!” It’s still there, that arctic blast. It’s still there, ready and waiting to rise and swell and fill the air and shout out, “Hear me! See me! How can you walk away from what we have when you know what you’re walking toward doesn’t even compare?!” But there is the other side of me too, equally forceful, and powerful enough to drown out the other noise. Red hot, glowing, and growing. “I don’t need you,” it says. “I am STRONG! I am capable, and I can do ALL the things!”

But today, in this moment, I feel small. I am crushed, my heart crumpled and tossed like some picture begun with ideas of beauty and perfection in the mind of the artist. But when pencil and color touched the page, it wasn’t good enough. It couldn’t be perfect, so it was tossed haphazardly over a shoulder.

“If I fall for you, I’ll never recover. I’ll never be the same.”

This is so hard for me, this level of vulnerability. I. Don’t. Do. This. This feels raw and exposed and tender. This is now- this isn’t the past. But I know that the past is also part of what I have to go through, time and again until I learn whatever lesson it is that keeps hitting me.

It starts with feathers: here is your lesson, you should learn something.

Then the bricks: Hey! I’m talking to you!

Now come the Mack trucks, and if I don’t learn now, then I may not survive this.

But I have to. There’s too much. I can’t keep pretending that I am happy and life is perfect. It is good. Especially from the outside, it is good. But it is not good enough for me.

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