It’s back, after several years, that urge to write. I guess I’ll pay attention, lord knows I could use a little….something. I believe at my core that people should be more real with each other. I think we can more often take off these masks we wear to suggest that we’ve got it all together. Truth is, I do not have it all together right now. I feel like a shattered vase hanging and held in shape by a spider’s web that I am (somehow) holding between my thumb and forefinger. On my best days, I am holding it together; on my worst, I am falling apart. Most days, I am falling apart and holding it together at the same time, simultaneously broken and strong. I never knew both of these could be true at once.
I have friends who know and friends who don’t. When friends ask “How are you?” I sometimes say, “I’m not doing very well.” I want to believe that it helps, that sharing an ounce of your troubles with a caring friend lightens the load, but I’m not sure it does. No one sweeps in to rescue me. (Of course.) When we go our separate ways, I feel pretty much the same, just tearier. But it does help knowing that one or two people who cross my path each day know that my smile is a little weak. And later, an e-mail says, “You will land on your feet, with grace.” Another friend/acquaintance gives an unusually sincere hello and a moment of extra eye contact the next time we meet. Those connections make a difference.
I guess I’m sharing this part of my story for three reasons: First, to say thank you to those people who have been extra kind. Second, to feel a little less alone–because I find I’d rather walk into a room where someone knows, even if we don’t exchange a word. And third, just to put it out there that broken is a normal state of being. I’m not really ashamed of being broken this time around. I’ll come through. And probably when we share our brokenness, we give other people permission to share theirs, which makes for a messier, tearier, but more authentic world. I’m for that.