“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt because it matters.” – John Green
I’ve had a bit of a rough week. There’s some uncertainty hanging around that’s absolutely driving me nuts and with an impending trip to California for my dad’s funeral, it was just a lot. I also had an event at work today. Though it was small as events go – they’re always lots of work and a lot of moving pieces. But what was jarring about this week was that in between doing everything else for work, I was doing things like…writing an obituary for my dad and looking at houses online for a potential move. Toward the end of the week, I was straight up not having a good time. 🙂 I wished for things that I just couldn’t make happen, no matter how much I wished or how hard I prayed. One of those things I wanted, was to make my feelings cooperate, as I grapple with very mixed emotions and really crazy circumstances right now. Our feelings are complex. So are various events, circumstances, and relationships (or relationships we wish to be in), in our lives. I’ve found myself all over the map with my emotions.
It’s possible for things to be more than one way. It’s possible to feel hopeful about a future with someone you care about, and also extremely fearful about getting hurt. It’s possible to look forward to a trip, but know it will be painful. It’s possible to be hopeful about a change, but worried somehow it won’t work out. Lately, I’ve gotten it in my head that life is one way or another. So dumb. I’m not really a black and white person. So how is it that I found myself thinking I should feel one specific way about any of the things going on?
The beauty in life can often be found in these very different and opposing sides of our emotions. Life is not simple. There are so very many shades and colors. Like the John Green quote (and is the case in my favorite novel of his), things we love can also mean greater hurt. I am incredibly excited about four days and three nights in one of my favorite places on earth. I’m also extremely sad to be going to California because my dad passed away. That’s hard stuff.
Falling for someone you care about, feels good. It feels hopeful. It’s also scary as hell. I can feel anxious that it was never what I hoped it would be. I can feel excited and happy and content at other moments. Sometimes in the same day. These feelings are not mutually exclusive. They can exist all at once (as weird as that sounds).
As I head into my final few days at work before going to California, I’m reminding myself that all of the wildness of this time means I can feel many things at once. Taking care of myself and ensuring I’m present and able to experience all life has to offer, means that I also have to accept all of the complexities of life and our emotions.
I think we can have a tendency to want to insulate ourselves from hurt or hard things. It’s a normal reaction. If you find yourself there, I wanted to share this – as it was quite comforting, though I wouldn’t have thought so.