I had the privilege of living in Malibu for a few years. I lived so close to the ocean and I can't even tell you how many nights I went to bed praying "God, if there is ever a tsunami and the water is coming, please just take me before it reaches my apartment" because that’s how afraid I am of water. Maybe its because I cant really swim or maybe its because water and waves are just actually that terrifying. I imagine what it would feel like to be tossed around, to not know up from down, to have saltwater in your mouth, up your nose, burning your eyes (or whatever else saltwater does) and just the thought makes my heart pound and my palms sweaty. Waves have the ability to take you anywhere they want, there’s nothing you can do about it and that is my nightmare.
Well, unfortunately these last few weeks have felt like what I imagine being picked up, tossed around and dropped back down by a wave feels like. I am sitting here, not really being able to tell up from down. Change and uncertainty feel like salt water that is finding it’s way into places that it is certainly unwelcome and it all feels bad.
I am in a season where everything is changing. I left a job with people that I loved and a mission I believed in and now I'm doing some temporary work and things here and there while I figure out what it is that I really want to do in this life. I recently moved back in with two roommates who have known me for a very long time (some people call them parents) I have close friends going through some of the hardest things that I have ever witnessed up close and today, Monday, someone very near and dear to me starts their first round of radiation treatments. The waves are crashing and I am hanging on by a thread.
I woke up today determined to have a good day. I was going to look Monday in the face and tell them who’s boss. But then I checked my bank account, which you should not do if you want to have a good day, but I opened it up to find that I was B.R.O.K.E. (But Really Overdraft Killed Everything) I realized that I would have to ask for help, which I hate, but I was still determined to have a good day. By the time I got to my car I was sure that things were turning around for me. Then, I realized that my car had been broken into.
You remember that thread I was hanging on by? It broke.
It was at this moment that I just gave into the wave of whatever I was feeling and let it carry me wherever it wanted. On this particular morning this wave dropped me off somewhere between crying in my car and cursing out loud for no reason. I tried to fight EVERY SINGLE tear that came down my face because I just did not want to be sad. I tried to remind myself that everything would be ok. I knew that somehow this would all be ok, I was ok and my friends were going to be ok too. I even tried to think of about a thousand things that could be worse than what was happening to me so then I could shame myself into not crying.
But then I remembered what one of my friends used to tell me all the time; "the only way out, is through". I realized that maybe I can't rush myself back to joy or shame myself or trick myself back to joy. Maybe I have to go through this sadness. Maybe it's ok to cry in your car on a Monday morning every now and then.
I am realizing it's actually ok to feel what we feel without quickly trying to turn it into something that we have not yet earned. Friends, I know that we can't stay sad forever and we can't stay happy forever but if the movie Inside Out taught us anything it's that we need both. Maybe you're like me and you cried in the car this morning or maybe you're having the best day of your life. Please let both of those waves carry you where you need to go. Don’t spend happy days worrying about what's not real and don't waste time trying to go around sad days, it will only take you longer - you must go through.
If you are anything like me, you spend weeks trying to go around sadness until something forces you to go through and even though you hate it, you are kind of happy to be crying in your car because at least you're feeling something.
So here's to Mondays, may we all let them carry us to where we need to go.