My sister-in-law just wrote this, and I love it so much. It reflects almost exactly what I’ve been feeling the past few weeks. There’s been a disconnect, a shift in power in my life. I’m not even sure when the shift took place or even if there is one moment where everything changed.
In January, we took family photos. I made a big huge canvas of it, and hung it up, and something about it bugged me. The person in that photo didn’t look like me. Well obviously, it was me, but I looked wooden. I was smiling, a falsehood in print.
I took it down. I put it in the garage. It has sat there for months, and I can’t put it back up. I see that photo and I see this old me that clung too tightly to things she didn’t care about. I was clinging to marriage, to friendships that I felt I needed, to a house that was too big and too filled with things, and to a church that I couldn’t embrace completely.
Now I know what I care about, and I can tell you what those things are. I care about my daughters. I want them to have nice things, to enjoy life, and I care very much that they know I care about them. I have dispensed more random “I love you’s” and more out-of-nowhere compliments to these two sassy little girls. I embrace one’s exuberance about life and the other’s generally sad disposition. And I just love the heck out of them.
I care about my husband. I have struggled with this, and I feel bad for struggling with this. But I care deeply about this person who has stuck with me through anxiety and depression, and my anger towards the church that he still loves. I like to think that he must have known there is something good under all of my anger and sadness, hopeful that I would peel it all back and start to care again. I don’t know if he actually knew that, but he stuck around until it happened, and I like that a lot.
I took this photo more recently. It’s flawed in its own way, but in the way that’s most important, I love it. I love that this looks like me. And I love that I know what “me” looks and feels like now.
So that’s where I’m at. I miss old friends and I miss seeing my therapist, and I suppose one day I’ll see those old friends and wonder what happened. I suppose one day I’ll have a breakdown and sit crying in my therapist’s office, begging him to tell me what to do. That kind of thing is inevitable. But for now, I don’t need it, because for right now, I feel capable of caring about things and people. Life is bright and shiny and new.