“Never be afraid to fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along.” -Rae Smith
I look at the clock and see it’s already afternoon, and I choke back tears. I have too many unanswered texts and emails, unreturned phone calls, and unshed tears for the beautiful and hard things going on in life right now. I carry guilt that weighs more than my own weary body, and hopes that I may never see come true. My heart is full with wonder and overflowing with love, but it also carries pain and emotions that I can’t fully process. I am busy in the physical and emotional worlds of myself. I am a juxtaposition of confidence and doubt, of the known and the mysterious, of idea and reality.
I cannot carry all the things no more than I can do all the things.
Life is shifting around me and inside of me, and I am a swirl of what was and what is and what will be. None of it is in my absolute control, not really. Nothing is easy, even the good. Nothing is light, even the beautiful.
I have fallen apart a million times, each new version of me mended together by love and change and shifting and growing, still a version of what was and a whisper of what will be. I am learning to let go, to ask myself the questions that hide in the shadows, to say out loud what I want, what I need, and what hurts.
I am happy. I am sad. I want everything. I want nothing.
This is the process of writing a hard book, of speaking a hard story, of living a real life. This is what it’s like to be alive, to bend, to sway, to give in, move on, hope, cry, and laugh in the intersections of where blessings meet the ugly. We build and rebuild, shifting ideas, feelings, goals, dreams, schedules, and minutes that all too quickly flash by, foundations that seemingly crumble. We learn to let go so there is room for something new, and we grieve with the process as much as we are overjoyed.
No one said life would be easy. No one said joy would never couple itself with pain. No one said shifting and growing and healing would be fun.
The clock reminds me that nothing stays the same for longer than a second, certainly not time. So what will happen in each minute? Which responses will I get to? Which tasks will I finish? Who will be left waiting another day, resentment building, impatience growing? What can I let go of to release myself from the cycle of guilt and overwhelm?
I am not afraid to fall apart anymore, but sometimes I’m afraid the pieces of me won’t come back together again. Or maybe that I won’t recognize the me I rebuild, and will that be the worst thing?
Life keeps shifting, shifting, shifting, and the part of me that thrives on sameness panics, and the side of me that thrives on change is excited. The pieces of me battle and a war rages on as I put a smile on my face and pretend I’m just fine, totally fine, no problems here, we’re all OK.
And breathe… Another minute begins.