Since I got home I’ve been consumed slowly, like the last log in the fire pit turning to coal, then ashy dust. I have lost warmth and light. This week hormones held a match to the tinder-pile of stress, loneliness, guilt, fear, and shame I’ve been stacking, and it’s been all I can do to imitate a functional human being. My parents visited. My older son stopped by. Friends messaged, and the whole while I’ve been burning from the inside out.
Then suddenly this morning, through eyes yet again blurred with tears about nothing, I saw a random Instagram post from a friend who makes a difference even when she doesn’t know she’s making a difference. And bam. I’m back. At least for right now. At least for this moment. And don’t they keep telling us this is the only moment that matters?
Just seeing the title of Daring Greatly – not to mention Jen’s hashtag #enough – was a touchstone for me. Or, to hyper-extend the earlier metaphor, a fire extinguisher. Life is what it is right now because I dared greatly. With inspiration from my book club and the love and support of a whole lot of other people, I recreated my life; decided who I was going to be; spent 5 1/2 growing, stretching, calling-me-forward months in Jamaica; and then slowly abandoned all of that when I got back “home.”
I keep saying I was me-ier in Kingston – I was more vibrant. More adventurous. More confident. I was sexier. I was in demand. I was more. Why it hasn’t been okay to be that here is unclear and irrelevant.
Maybe I can’t go out right now as much as I did in Kingston, but that doesn’t mean I have to spend every night sitting alone on my couch. I can still be vibrant, adventurous and confident even if I have to bundle up and count my pennies.
I have not been vulnerable at home. My experience in Kingston was that people look out for each other because the environment calls for that. But here – here it’s not okay to need anybody. And I really do need people. I need help.
I need immediate work – yes, I’ve found a job that starts in a week, but I still need some side work to catch back up again. And I need people to phone or visit, not Facebook and text. And I need to be reminded that this is actually my home. And most of all, I need to get back to being me. I left a lot in Kingston. I also brought a whole lot back here with me.