I talk a big game.
I say things like ‘Choose happiness’.
I declare that I will think positive, that I will be brave and strong and tough and functional.
I end my blog posts on happy notes.
I work in a kindergarten, for goodness sakes. I essentially get paid to spread cheer day in and day out. In between telling kids to quit wiping their boogers on each other.
Some days, when the day is done, when my back is killing me, when I’m grouchy and exhausted and inexplicably smeared with chocolate (true story), I stumble home and collapse on the couch.
We all get tired.
I talk a big game.
But I still break.
Tonight, I cried.
I cried out of exhaustion.
I cried out of sorrow.
I cried for the past.
I cried thanks to hormones, sure.
I cried for the terrifying things the future could hold.
I cried for every changing moment when I don’t feel kicking, when I am SO
I cried for loss.
I cried for the losses of others.
I cried because others hurt, and I know so well that hurt.
I cried because my own hurt, though many months past, is easily returned to the surface, if only for a moment, because every time I truly cry, the type of crying that comes from deep below your lungs and wells up stinging in your eyes, for whatever reason it’s been triggered, I know that loss is why I am crying.
Because every time I cry, now, in this new world of mine, I’m crying, in part, because of a wound that never heals.
I cried because of loss, despite the thankful, wonderful, joyous life inside me (for which I really am so very very thankful, truly). I cried because of the loss of innocence.
Of a baby, a tiny lost sibling.
Of a baby living now, within me, whom I so want to hold and meet, and whom I worry constantly about.
Even of a cat (I spent time remembering my cat who was lost this summer just weeks after our baby, and recalled telling my husband, ‘Maybe he’s with her somewhere, keeping her company.’ The true trigger of this burst of tears.)
I cried because I’m a ridiculous girl.
I cried because I talk a big game.
But sometimes I still need not to be strong.
And sometimes I still need a hand to keep it together.
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations