Since I moved from Florida to Washington over four months ago, I’ve had a myriad of ups and downs to accompany me. From sheer elation of being able to head to the mountains for a day hike or weekend camping, to utter despair over the inability to find my place here. Wondering what I’m doing and even more so, why I’m doing it.
Quite often, sometimes more than once a day, I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness, hopelessness. Questioning every decision, and grieving over who and what I left behind. I had grand illusions of moving across the country, finding the perfect job, making more money than ever, and spending my free time on mountaintops and ocean kayaks. It hasn’t been so. And most days, when people ask me how I’m doing, eager to hear of my “adventures”, I do my very best to sound cheery with comments like It’s great! The weather’s fabulous! It’s so beautiful here! And while all those things are true, my emotions don’t quite match the words coming from my mouth. It doesn’t feel great. The weather is fine. It’s beautiful here.
Inflections missing, feeling numb.
And the more I try to force the This is what you wanted! You should be so grateful attitude, the more a voice screams, Grateful for what? The same struggle in another state?? And when people want to cheer me up, they inevitably say the same things, or share words of inspiration on social media, and while that is all well and good, while I appreciate the efforts of others to help me see the bright side – it continues to elude me.
Because I know, I do in fact know, that This Too Shall Pass, that I’m in a stage of transition and growth. But the pain. Oh the pain. Rising above it is so incredibly hard right now, so difficult to do.
My child had to put her dog down just last night. And I wasn’t there to comfort her. I wasn’t there to support her. I wasn’t there to let her lean her head on my shoulder and sob until she couldn’t anymore, and sob along with her. And the pain of that is excruciating. I’ve never been far from my children, never far. Until now. And the missing of them is palpable, I feel it as weight on my skin, immobility in my joints, and painted on my bones.
Efforts to cheer me have been mostly unsuccessful, and I’m becoming ok with that. I’m becoming ok with the fact that I need to grieve, need to feel this overwhelming sadness that grips me beyond repair. I need to locate the bottom, so I can climb back to the top.
Irony teaches me that the mountain I must inevitably climb first is one formed from heartbreak, reminiscence, and loss. Finding the strength is an ascent in and of itself.