Somehow, in the span of just an hour, my emotions have managed to do a complete 180.
I woke up this morning deliriously happy — tired, but happy, after an incredible weekend spent in good company, exploring my new town that I have fallen so in love with. These past few months have been the happiest and proudest moments I can remember having in a very long time, and a part of me wonders if it isn’t because this is the happiest I’ve allowed myself to be in that very long time.
For the first time in months — maybe even years — I felt like I was on top of the world instead of struggling to just remain a part of it.
And now, it feels a bit like I’m coming back down from those clouds once again.
I don’t know exactly what changed everything today or why I’m feeling so incredibly sensitive — at least, more so than usual. Maybe it’s the exhaustion from the past few weeks — the highs and lows that come with a change, no matter how good or expected that change may be.
Maybe it’s a blogging friend’s acknowledgment that sometimes you just have to allow yourself to feel what you feel and that covering it up will only mask the problem, mask the pain.
Maybe it’s because a plan I had made to do something special for my dad seems to have fallen through, and I’m so disappointed at that fact, having wanted to show him how much he means to me, to thank him for all he had done for me these past few months — even longer, even these past 27 years, if I feel like being really self-deprecating.
Maybe it’s because for all that I have, I’ve been thinking lately about all that I’m missing — the people and animals I’ve loved who’ve passed or moved on from my life and how, while I thought I was healed from those losses, sometimes the wounds run deeper than we originally perceive.
Or maybe it’s because someone on Twitter posted a snarky, though completely innocent musing that if you’re alone it’s because you’re unlovable, and while not directed at anyone, and certainly not directed at me, I happened to glance at that specific post and take it way too much to heart.
I think about the relationships I have and how it feels like so many of those are fading; I think about how I know I need to let them go, but how I long to hold on.
I think about how grateful I should be for everything — everything — and yet how empty and lonely a life can sometimes feel, how sometimes you still want more.
And I sink lower into that darkened cloud of despondency.
I think, my God, am I unlovable?
Am I unlikeable?
Am I too selfish, too proud, too confident in my own person?
Am I kidding myself, believing that I can be someone, that I can make a change, that I have any sort of gift or talent or that this passion for writing, for humanity, for life is anything more than an illusion that has been fostered by this almost sickening optimism that I find my personality laced with?
Am I still too guarded, trying too desperately to tear down this wall that separates me from the people I care so deeply about? This wall that is standing steady, standing strong, though I want more than anything to have crumble to pieces, to allow myself to be vulnerable — really vulnerable, outside the confines of a digital world, to be close to people without hesitation.
Why am I so afraid of getting close to people? I never pretend to be anything more than who I’ve always been, so why this fortress, why this invisible force field that tells people to hold on, watch your step, don’t get too close.
How is it that I can be friendly, that I can love meeting people, that I can want those relationships, those friendships, but I pull back when it gets too close?
Am I still so afraid of loving and losing?
Or am I afraid of someone loving me in return.
And why does that all suddenly seem so impossible, like the words in that post are absolutely right and I’ve been fooling myself all along, convincing myself that I’m capable of being loved, that I deserve to be loved.
Smart-Susan knows it’s a load of shit. Sensitive-Susan wonders if there isn’t always a bit of truth lying under the surface.
I know that I don’t want to be that girl anymore — that girl who lives with fear in her heart, who is afraid to get hurt, afraid to lose something else that she cares about, that girl who hides away and never takes chances.
I don’t want to be that girl who doesn’t believe in herself, who questions her talents, her intelligence, her very being, that girl who wonders why she isn’t doing something more, something better, something greater and who feels like she has somehow failed because of it.
I’m not that girl anymore; I haven’t been that girl for a very, very long time. And maybe I never was in the first place. Maybe life just has a way of changing things around, skewing the picture, of making me believe that I was all of those things so that I would get lost just so I could get found. Just like it is making me wonder if I am all of those things now…
Just as I know I’m not.
I know that now. And now I can feel that affirmation infusing itself into every cell of my body.
But an hour ago, I felt lost. An hour ago, I felt low.
An hour ago, I cried.
And then I hugged my dog, dried my eyes, and began that journey back to finding myself…