November 29, 2017

a note to my past (and present) self

I unearthed this scarf from the basement last night. I made it in winter 2015 after Justin found out I had cheated on him. It’s my first project that I knitted in the round, and it’s twisted and littered with mistakes. Wearing it all day today made me feel a certain kind of way. 

Remembering the tender moments where all of your softness and emotions come spilling out is an exercise in boundary setting. 

I have learned that it's okay to come close to the things that hurt you. 

Get lost in your memories. Sit with the things and the memories that hurt you. But you must remember to come back to your present. Come back to your life here and now. Come back to the people that are here, loving you right now, instead of living with the ghosts of your past in your head. 

Come close to the things that hurt you, but come back when your heart starts to hurt too much.

Don’t be afraid to let it out. Write down your feelings. (And then burn them if you have to.) Cry when you're all alone in the shower. Cook yourself a delicious meal, and take out all the emotions you're feeling on the veggies you're chopping. Call your best friend and have a three-hour catch-up call between kids and life and all the messy things in between. Reach out to your people. They will be there to catch you and lift you up when you are doing the messy work of getting into the mud.

Listen, I know you're tired. I know you're dirty and there's mud caked in your hair and all you want to do is give up and quit and go back to things being "easy."

But you have to keep going. 

The mud is going to swallow you whole for a while. It will consume you and become all you can think about for days and weeks at a time. You can sit there with your phone in your hand, scrolling through Instagram and Twitter and Facebook and back again shaking your head at me, but the stuff that wakes you up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat because you keep dreaming about it is no coincidence. The half flashes of memory that come to you in quiet moments are begging for your attention, inviting you to dive deeper.

You must confront your demons.

The only way to start thriving instead of surviving is to go through your demons instead of shoving your fingers in your ears and screaming, "LA LA LA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU." Your bare bones survival methods are not made to be how you live your entire life. There will come a day where the darkness becomes too much for you to bear. You can't take the solitude and the cold comfort of only your own arms for warmth anymore. You can't take the strange noises and the things that go bump in the night anymore. You will long for the light and passion of connection and community. You will find yourself stumbling around, asking yourself, "How on earth did I get here?"

Eventually, you will take your fingers out of your ears. Your voice will be hoarse from shouting and your arms will hurt from trying to keep everything and everyone else out of your proverbial eardrums. The exhaustion from running away from your problems will overtake all of your senses, little by little, until you have no choice but to fall to your knees in the mud and start the hard work of getting into it.

When you're ready, go all in.