I often give myself time to partake in a stop and rewind routine after I finally come down from a high point of stress.
I give myself space to recognize a few things. I have my health. My family unit is strong. My job and career are established. My basic needs in life are all being met.
I also make sure to acknowledge that compared to the first 38 years of my life, the last two and a half have been ROUGH. Shitty. Really really bad.
I often press the imaginary rewind button back to my big family trip to Thailand in 2019. Although it was so memorable and life-changing in many positive ways, elements of bittersweet were sprinkled in for various reasons.
Three months later, my father passed away. Grief and healing was reintroduced in my life. I learned what a direct loss really feels like.
Covid-19 brought a whole new layer of crisis. If my dad was still alive at the onset of the pandemic, knowing what his health status, I’m sure he would not have survived. The thought was strangely comforting at times as our family navigated through life in lockdown.
Thousands of ups and downs later, we welcomed the most amazing life changer into our lives. We rescued and adopted our first family dog in April of 2021. He changed all of us for the better. It’s almost like he was a magical healer who went back and smoothed over all of those rough patches that still stuck out in our memories over the last few years.
Tragically, the joy and love that he brought ended abruptly. He got out and left through an exit that was unsecured and he was hit by a car and killed while under the care of a trusted and highly reputable dog care and boarding business.
I now understand what it truly feels like to be emotionally CRUSHED.
Life is NOT all good. It’s been a LONG time since I could genuinely use the phrase, “It’s okay” and actually really mean it.
Have I been sheltered my whole life? Why would anyone want to shield me from this kind of pain just so I could find out the true intensity and complexities of real life when I’m 41 years old?
I believe that toxic positivity is a real thing. I have learned the hard way over the last two years that being real and being direct is way less painful than pretending. Although I will always be a loyal fan of the written word, naming feelings and speaking thoughts aloud is highly beneficial in life. It is worth all the risk, especially when you have someone you trust to just let it all out. When real, raw things happen in your life that singe and burn up your emotions on an extreme level, it’s only human to want to talk about it.
I am thankful for all of the beautiful souls whom I trust with my uncharted real life emotions and small moment stories. This oddly includes the ether of whatever audience I reach via this blog.
A safe and healthy outlet for shaky mental health is better than no outlet at all.
Think, speak, write.
At one point, I favored two out of three. I finally realized the true value of them all. They all truly help in the infinite healing process in life.
■ Elementary Educator for Equity & Cultural Responsibility
■ Collector of Small Moments & Thrifty Finds
■ Wife & Mother
■ Bay Area, CA