So I’ve been having one of those days when I feel kind of shit for whatever reason and frustrated that I haven’t made much progress in getting myself out of these ruts and thinking patterns (vicious circle, really) but then a friend sent a really funny picture of us from three years ago that was taken on a very very bad morning for me. In fact, at the moment that picture was taken, I had just vomited on the friend in question, and I was a few minutes away from leaving my laptop in the cab. Not too long after that I ended up leaving my friends and heading back on a train to Poughkeepsie because I was so very down and disappointed in myself and angry about goodness knows what.
I looked at that picture today and I thought: god, that girl was sad. And this was three years ago. This was eight months before my dad died. I suppose in a lot of ways my dad’s sudden death has become an easy excuse or explanation for my unhappiness beyond that grief but it also eclipses how much progress I’ve made since. And also, I guess, it pretends that I began grieving for my father at his death. Our relationship had been in pieces for years. I began long before that. I would hope he didn’t answer when I called home. I think, and it is very hard for me to say this, I sometimes treated him as though he was dead.
I made huge decisions for myself but I also didn’t feel like I had any power. I was confident but horrendously insecure. I was the picture of responsibility and tremendously self destructive. Friends “just didn’t understand” but I didn’t truly appreciate the fact that they stood by my side all the same because I was so convinced that they secretly hated me. I was very sad, full of self loathing, and very lonely. These things are all still true to some degree, but not to the extent that they used to be.
When I am sad and lonely now it consumes me but it passes. Then it used to go on for much longer. I work to show myself the power I have through endeavouring to show others the power they have. I know it’s okay not to know the answer but to speak up anyway and make decisions based on the fact: it’s okay to be wrong because we are all almost always wrong and we are all still learning. I am less confident, a little quieter, a little more reserved, but I am less insecure. And in place of the burdensome word “responsibility” with its many associated implications and expectations I have chosen trust, helpfulness, and generosity.
I’m not there. I am on my way. And that’s okay too. It’s okay to still have these terrible sad days and it’s okay if they are or aren’t associated with my dad. Everything in motion. Everything in time.