Here I am on day 2, reading a couple other #write31days bloggers and realizing that I’m nothing like them. I haven’t accomplished things. I’m not a parent. I’ve never really been in love. I don’t have a book published or about to be published. My job history is pathetic and unexciting.
In my 37 years, what can I possibly know about anything that is worth putting on a page? Well, I know about pain. I know A LOT about pain. And loneliness. And struggle. I know about depression and anxiety and finding hope and joy again after not having them for more than a decade. I know about hating myself and the beautifully excruciating process of having a best friend who is so certain that I’m beautiful and worth something that she kept reminding me until I started to hate myself less… and less… and after a couple years of her love, I can say that I love myself and almost always like myself, even in the midst of my disastrous life. I know how to survive. I know how to trust God when nothing makes sense and how to continue to trust Him when things start making sense. Answers can sometimes be harder to cope with than confusion.
I say this not for pity. I’m a firm believer that both good and bad things shape us into who we are meant to be. But if all of this has shaped me, it must be for a reason. I’m trying to put my life to use in a way that all of the shaping hasn’t been done in vain. Life is better now, emotionally speaking. And a lot of the physical pain is in the past. I’m hopefully delusional (or is it delusionally hopeful?) about how amazing the future can be. I know that I’m standing at the end of a very dark chapter and beginning a brand new chapter full of potential. I have lived my life on pause for long enough that the sheer amount of possibilities gets overwhelming. It’s hard to focus on pursuing a path if you are torn between 47 different ones!
*I must take a detour for a moment to apologize for the potential overuse of the number 47. It’s a Rhiannon thing, just ignore it and put in your number of choice. I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog reading.
So, in the vein of things I know, I can say that life is hard. Everyone has hardships. When you seem to be missing a lot of milestones or accomplishments that a lot of seemingly happy (*cough* normal) people are celebrating, it is even harder. You feel like a freak. When your plate is overfilled at the burden buffet, it can result in a heartburn of bitterness and self-isolation. You feel like no one will understand and you will have to bear it alone anyway so why sit at their table just to be rejected? Well, what if you aren’t rejected? If you think you aren’t worth someone’s time because your life is messy or hard, you are believing a lie. Someone will understand or at least try to understand. Someone will walk with you and share your burden if you let them. I didn’t believe it was possible until someone sat down at my lonely table of misery in the back corner of life’s cafe and refused to leave. And believe me, I gave her every opportunity to realize I wasn’t worth her time and to get out while she could! I don’t know if she’s a glutton for punishment, really crazy, or absolutely nothing short of a blessing from God sent to change everything about my life, but I’m glad she didn’t listen to me.
*Another detour to apologize for my cheesy metaphor usage. I’m telling you all, I’m a mess! You should probably also get out while you can! My bestie didn’t, but it’s not too late for you… yet…
Perhaps part of finding my voice is about rejecting the isolation I put upon myself for so long. I’m finally realizing that I don’t have to be just like everyone else to be a valid and lovable human being. I don’t have to be anything but myself. So here’s to putting ourselves, our true selves with all the scars and fears and strangeness, out there in the search for the connections that make life beautiful.