Monday, May 2, 2016

Thoughts on tenderness

Every year, in the thickness of spring during the hot transition into summer, I have a little nervous breakdown. I'm not sure if its the warmer weather, or the fact that school is over and I'm changing routine, or the fact that this year in particular I am stepping into so much uncertainty.
This morning, as I set out on the job hunt, I received an email that was particularly discouraging. It was an idea I had put a lot of time and energy into, something I really wanted, and when it didn't pan out the way I thought it would, I got upset. Suddenly the "tone" behind the email was harsh. Suddenly this wasn't a simple decline but an outright rejection of my person. The negative words began spiraling in my mind. (let's just say i'm a wee bit dramatic)
I've never been good at goodbyes. I was introduced to the idea of an Irish goodbye this year, of leaving without saying goodbye, and the idea appealed to me. While I saw the disappointment in the eyes of those left behind, something about the idea of leaving without the long, drawn out farewell appealed to me. Maybe it would make leaving easier. Or maybe, however the goodbye looks, whatever the distance or length between the last goodbye and the next hello, my heart will ache and long for what I have lost.
He left yesterday, this boy of mine, and today I keep looking for his face when I see something funny or sad, keep starting sentences only to remember no one is around to finish them. I've felt hauntingly lonely, like I am missing this part of myself. It's an odd feeling, never feeling quite whole when he's gone.
So when I got the email this morning, everything looked like chaos. Getting out of bed seemed a Herculean task. I flopped into the pile of clothes waiting to be put away and cried.
And I realized in that moment I didn't want someone to come along and fix my problems. I didn't want a solution, or to talk about my feelings. All I wanted was a bit of tenderness. I wanted a reassuring hug, a reminder that everything would be alright.
I felt like a child, acting out to get attention.
I know things will work out, I know this separation won't last forever, I know I can do this. But at the same time all I want is someone to come along and offer me a bit of kindness, a warm touch, an understanding word.
And I wonder if that isn't what we all want.
When shit hits the fan, maybe all we really want to know is that we're not alone, that we're cared for and loved, even now.
Remind me, dear friends, that tenderness exists in this world

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