How long has this sadness been here? Has it just been this year or longer?
When was the last time I felt joy? I can't even put my finger on it.
I remember being happy when Calvin and I were fixing up our old house. So happy.
I remember sitting around the table, eating breakfast with my friends, and laughing over the fun we had the night before.
I remember camping trips and cookouts. Days at the creek with the kids.
Having a second family. Getting along with everyone and not having so many enemies.
There was just constant joy. That feeling of magic and sisterhood. Living intentionally.
Days were slow and not much got done, but our children ran free and we laughed.
And then it all changed and I keep grasping for that joy, for things to get back to the way they were. For things to be normal and for my child to be ok. Before all the chaos and the wreckage that I let go on for far too long. Before the death of everything I loved. Before my death.
I've been told that this death is normal. That it's the period before true transformation, where nothing makes sense and everything feels like a loss. But it's awful and it's never-ending and I can't quite grasp which direction to go to get that joy back. To create a new life, like the one I used to love. To get unstuck. So instead I keep scrambling and undoing, never quite taking the actions I need to take to create the life I want.
I've done the meditations, the journaling, and the affirmations. I've found my center, my patience, and my spirit is back. I'm not depressed. I suppose I still feel calm, content, and connected. I am back to the mom I used to be. But where is the joy? It's gone.
Can it come back after loss this deep?
All I can think about is how much I miss the past and the memories. And how the hell do I get that back? That feeling?
The stress of starting over. Grasping and running in circles, trying to make something work, trying to get back to what I had, but feeling dead inside and not wanting to do anything. When will I be able to smile again and not hear that inner voice of worry about the future or what direction our lives are going. What if I never get it back? What if this is the breaking point and we end up in complete devastation, living on the streets, and stuck in poverty forever? What if the virtual world isn't possible for me and my business swallows me alive.
Do you remember the last time you felt joy? Not just happiness, but complete, utter joy. That joy you felt as a child, when everything was magical. When you felt free and life was an adventure. Did we get so distracted by bills and responsibilities, by stress, and society, that we don't even know what that joy feels like anymore?
That magic was felt when I was collecting turtles by the creek in my backyard. When my cousins and I wandered Prudence Island and made up our own adventures and independence. When we played flashlight tag and had talent shows on the deck. When I would eat popsicles and watch my mom garden. When I would sit on the Kermit rock in my front yard and read books.
I refuse to believe that adults can't have that. I refuse to believe that life has to be stressful, burdened by bills, and living for the weekends.
Maybe this transition would be easier if my life was similar to everyone else's. But it's not and it never has been.
The alternative is going against everything that society tells you is normal and forging your own path, doing the things that really matter, finding your community, and living intentionally.
This is THE ONLY life we get and it's so beautiful. Our children get older each year and we mourn the child we knew before, that no longer exists. We strive to slow down, but our responsibilities and priorities revolve around picking up messes and keeping houses organized. I refuse. I refuse to let this life pass me by while I move messes around the house, mindlessly scroll on FB, or stress out over my business, instead of stopping and building minecraft pick axes out of sticks, rocks, and washi tape with my little boy.
Work and stress is not all there is. There is magic and joy. We just need to remember how to find it.