For the first time in my life I am facing what feels like an overwhelmingly enormous change. And that is unusual for me, because I have spent my entire life adapting to and seeking out change. I have moved enough times to be able to call 27 different houses/apartments my home. I have gone to 4 different elementary schools, 2 high schools, 1 college, 2 universities, and I have had at least 13 different jobs. I have had an endless stream of friends come and go from my life; so many, in fact, that I no longer expect anyone to stay.
Yet here I am in the longest, most stable and healthy relationship of my life, living in the same house for the longest stretch of time ever, raising three of the most incredible children that I never dreamed I would even have. My entire world has been dedicated to staying home to raise my family; it has become all I know, and it is all about to change.
This year all three of the kids will be at school, and my house will be empty. This year I will need to find my way back into the workforce, and into an adult world that I no longer feel a part of. I know that in a month’s time I will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about, but for right now, for this very moment, I feel unexpectedly sad, strangely overwhelmed and very much alone. For someone who has never questioned the fact that change is inevitable, I am finding myself shedding an awful lot of tears about something that I know deep down will be completely fine.
I wrote this poem several years ago during a time when I had decided that happiness was more of a suggestion than an actual state of being. I only just recently came across it, and it left me both humbled and amazed after I finished reading it. I felt as though I had peered back in time and found the exact moment when I gave up on myself. The point when my head dropped down, chin tucked into my chest, while shallow breaths betrayed my wish to disappear. It was a time when I was filled with more than just sadness and shame. A time when I struggled and fought to understand it all until one day I finally stopped, convinced that I would never be the light that chased away the shadows that fear and regret had smeared across my floor.
I have reached a point in my life now where I can look back on those days, and I can finally, with so much compassion, properly grieve for that girl who felt more comfortable crying on the bathroom floor than smiling in a room full of people. I can see how much she struggled, and I can finally understand why. I can also see that it wasn’t her fault, regardless of what she thought. And I can, with absolute certainty, see that she did one day discover how to be the kind of light that washes the darkness from the room. With the softest of exhales, she did one day find the courage to turn around, and she shone so brightly when she did.