A heavy anxiety followed me around all day last Thursday. Anxiety is not impending doom to me. It’s not the jittery sense that something bad is about to happen. Anxiety is a No Space feeling. It is walls surrounding me, moving in. And it’s me stuck inside them: panicky, restless, overwhelmed, with nowhere to go.
At Kindergarten pick-up, my friend asked me what I did that day. I began to fumble around in my mind to find something to tell her. I instantly felt shame on top of my anxiety because I’d done so little and people were supposed to do things. People were out there doing world-changing things like publishing great books and people were even out there doing ordinary things like washing cars. All while I was sitting in my house, overwhelmed, not doing any of the things. The truth is that Billy had watched the iPad and played with his trains and I had – I don’t know – what had I done? I looked at her and said: I haven’t done anything. I have felt anxious all day because what we lose when we’re honest, we never really had to begin with. I don’t want perfect anymore. Give me real, please. Give me free. I am so god damn sick of the correct thing to say. I am so freaking done with the rules.
“I feel like that sometimes, too,” she said.
And for the first time that day, I felt grounded on the earth, connected by what it means to share a real space with someone instead of following the scripts we all agree to adhere to. Too often we send the shiny versions of who we’re supposed to be out into the world and she is armed with smiles and I’m sorry’s, straightened hair and sound byte replies like a sword to defend the real woman inside: the one who’s a little jacked up, a little in pain, a little lonely, a little pissed.
That sense that tells us we are on the outer, we don’t belong, we’re not like the others, we’re doing it wrong? We all have that. It’s best to point to that bit inside ourselves where it lives and expose it. Because once we do, we give permission for others to point to their insides and say: And here, too.
And what a great big relief that is.
Our hot, messy loneliness is so universal, in the end, it becomes the thing which unifies us. We might be lonely but we’re ALONE TOGETHER. Is there a hashtag for that? I might start one. #alonetogether #yeah!
Anyway you guys, I’m slowly re-emerging from a 72-hour viral assault which left me confined to the bed, sweating and delirious for the most part. I’ve been online so much over the past 72 hours trying to distract my mind from how miserable my body felt and Christ on a cracker, the online world is a real frightening place. People are NASTY, you guys. Not only that, I’ve caught up on both the Presidential debates and I’ve got a massive headache, for obvious reasons, and I’m wondering if my daughter had a better chance at winning the election? I asked her this morning what she’d do as President and she said, simply, “More chocolate” so naturally we’re moving to America and I’m letting her run because that is a policy (and a person) I could get behind.
Signing off today with a little Small Happies post and a few things to love this windy Tuesday.
Celebrating our new house settling.
My writing girl. Always. Everywhere.
And sunny pool days celebrating friends.
And a few things to love this week:
Girls & Their Frenemies article.
Alain de Botton’s podcast via Meshel Laurie’s Nitty Gritty Committee: Sent to me by a friend and highly recommend!
An Open Letter To Donald Trump From Some Angry Women The author had me at her opening paragraph: Dear Mr. Trump… can I call you Mr. Trump? Is that ok? I want you to be happy, that’s very important to me. The feminist in me had to laugh.