I have had a number of people applaud the honesty of my blog posts, my willingness to be completely open and vulnerable about very personal experiences and struggles.
First, sharing my unfiltered self on social media hasn’t been too scary and doesn’t feel very brave. Talking to the people I love face-to-face about these issues is the much more difficult but also more important task that I continue to struggle with. I am getting better but I think that part will always be a work in progress and that’s okay.
Second, being honest and open and vulnerable is unbelievably freeing. I have received so many supportive messages from friends and strangers and people I used to know in what feels like another life. The sister/brother/parenthood is alive and well and, thanks to all of you, I now know there is not a single thought, word or deed in which I am alone, no matter how shameful it may seem to me.
Because you and I have shined a light on things I am most ashamed of, they no longer feel so shameful. I have been a secret-keeper my whole life until recently. Never again. I know you will help me carry my burdens now and forever. And I will help carry yours, happily and with all my heart. Just tell me.
I know it’s really the little things that make up a life together. Not the big things, the highlights or the low-lights; only the things you do so often you hardly notice but still you do them, day after day, until suddenly you’ve been married ten years and have three children together.
It’s the little things that I want to focus on, to cherish, or at least recognize, instead of always searching the horizon for some big new change that will finally be the thing that makes me feel better, about myself and us and our life together.
There is no big new thing out there. There is only us, our kids, the life that we make together, one day, one hour, one little thing after another.
I want so badly for that to be enough. To be able to stop expecting something more or different. I’m so tired of looking for something that isn’t there, that isn’t coming.
I feel like my mind has betrayed me, betrayed us, and all I really is want to feel like myself again, to feel content here in my life as it is.
I’ve been thinking a lot about home lately. Not my current home but the home of my first 18 years. Home home. Where I grew up, rode bikes to the lake and Aspen market for candy, had my first kiss, drank my first beer, and drove my first car (not necessarily in that order, of course).
It was a very pretty, very small place to grow up. I couldn’t wait to leave and I haven’t been back in years.
My parents don’t live there anymore. Someone else lives in my childhood home, assuming it’s still standing. Yet, despite the physical and temporal distance, it pulls at me. I think it always will. Something about that lake and those mountains. About the people who have known me literally my whole life.
I have friends who never left and friends who have moved back. I scroll through their posts on FB and I am jealous that they are there together without me. Driving those same streets, skiing those same slopes, watching those same sunsets, while I am far away.
My parents moved their because they thought it would be a good place to raise a family. I suppose they were right. But I can’t see raising my family there. Financially I just don’t know how we would swing it. My husband and I couldn’t work at our current jobs or anything close in a town of less than 3,000 people.
But maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Maybe something new is needed. It’s hard to say. It’s hard to even seriously consider after all these years of believing I could never, ever go back. Because then I would be who I was and not who I am, or at least that has always been my fear. Unfounded probably, but still, I prefer my present self.
Maybe a visit when the kids are older. Or maybe just in my mind from time to time. Even if I never go back, it will always be home to me.