Time passes alarmingly fast. Another week, another month, another year, and here we are. The days blur into the months and suddenly the year is closing.
I'm not living on autopilot. It's not as though there aren't little chocolate chips of joy and pain and boredom sprinkled throughout the days, and tears in the shower, and long days and long nights. I taste all of them and try my best to live in the moment, celebrating each one. But they tick on, and on, and they're fast.
I went to the dentist yesterday. It had been seven years but the hygienist was the same. The office was the same. My name, address, insurance information was different, but my birth date was the same.
Things change. Things don't.
I write a lot of blog posts in my head. On my way to work. In the elevator. I think, god, that's funny. I want to share that. I want to let people in. I want to show them who I am, how I think. See me. Read me. Understand me.
When you first meet someone, they're fascinating. You soak them in. Drink up all you can. Read their words over and over, listen to their voicemail again, hang on their words. Google them, friend them, add them. There is never enough, and you are parched. You're dying to know who they are, what they think, how they feel.
When you truly know someone, you can just be, together, in silence, fold yourself in to your partner. Sit side by side with your friend, finish your mother's sentences. You know them. You don't need to ask, you don't need to wonder. You do, of course, but you can predict, and that comfort is deeply satiating. You can stand there, soul naked, in the calm comfort that comes with years and shared experience.
But that in between phase is damning.
You get tired. We're all overexposing ourselves, shouting into a the void, desperate for attention. I ate this! We went here! See, I'm so clever! Love me!
Do you never shut up? Are you always so boisterous? Must you share everything you do? You know, your life isn't really that interesting.
Oh. I see you. You're not perfect.
The illusion is lost.
You struggle. Just like me.
Tarnish rubs off. Relationships deepen and those that stick around become true partners in crime.
So what's the point of all this navel-gazing?
I have so much to say. Sometimes I'm afraid that I'll crack open and the messy bits will spill out and I'll hurt someone, or you'll need to look away. I guess that's ok.
I don't like over-sharing. Pictures of my kid? Cool. Social media check-ins? Sure, you know where I am and what I'm doing, and who I'm with. I'm funny? I want you to think I'm funny.
But do you know who I am? How I feel? I think it's written on my face, but maybe it's not. "I'm fine, I'm ok, I've had better days."
We don't ask why. "Why are you fine?" "What's great, what's not?"
I loved blogging. Because I can throw it out there, who I am, who I want you to think I am, who I'd like to be. But things changed.
I take crappy photos. I'm not interested in presenting a picture-perfect life, except when I am. I'm going through some really tough shit. I'm lucky. I'm blessed. I'm happy and laughing and sobbing and miserably moody, all on the same day.
I went to a therapist.
"You're so well-adjusted!" he said. "You've got a good handle on things, I'm impressed."
Then the receptionist called me into his office and the conversation I was having with him in my head ended, and I had to split myself open in front of a stranger. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
Turns out being well-adjusted and having a good handle on things is not going to help me in my current situation. There is no proactive measures that can be taken to deal with sadness, loss, anger, fear. You can't plot a plan in advance, you have to do it while you're riding the wave.
Maybe you'll stick around with me while I try?