My sister-in-law just wrote this, and I love it so much. This reflects almost exactly what I’ve been feeling the past few weeks. I’m not even sure when the shift took place or even if there is one moment where everything changed.
I do know that 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. It’s been sitting in our garage for months, and I can’t hang it. 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 couldn’t let go of, 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 embrace 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, knowing that there is something good under anxiety, that someday I would peel back my depression and start to really 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 care about my job. I had a come to Jesus moment where, in the face of financial crisis and feeling like I couldn’t carry another load of crap I cared so little for, I had to find something that worked better, something that I could own and hold in my hands and love. And I decided of all things to work in a hotel. So now, for 20-25 hours a week, I work at the front desk of a hotel, checking people in, selling them overpriced, cardiac arrest-inducing snacks, bringing people extra pillows and blankets, and caring about this job and caring about other people. Life is tired and depression is king when you’re in a job where the only positive thing about it is getting paid. Goodbye, old life.
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.