It’s bravado sometimes. I do believe the stuff I write. It’s what I tell myself. I would tell you. I tell my girlfriends. It pumps you up and makes you feel better, maybe a little stronger, maybe even a little braver. Necessary stuff. But what about the days when the reality is too real and the bravado slips down to your ankles tripping you up and you can’t even hear yourself talking over the clanging din of the armoured threats marching toward you. Those are the days you swallow the hard lump of tears and your lips quiver when people aren’t looking. You feel small even though you are grown up. You worry people can see how broken you really are.
What do you do on those days? What will you do on the days when you can’t see over the mountains? You can’t imagine how you will scrape together the money, the energy, the time, the smile. There are mornings when you pull the pillow over your head and try to go back to oblivion. There are 2am’s when the darkness is oppressive, sitting so heavily on your chest you can’t breath. Your mind won’t unwrinkled so you can relax into sleep. What will you do on the days you reach back into childhood and time travel forward some monsters, familiar but scary, to live with.
But, I hold on. Open my eyes wide so the tears won’t spill over. Swallow hard so I won’t choke. I look for distractions. Sometimes they work. Sometimes I am too far down in the pit of despair to even be interested in my own diversions.
We all hold on because we are made that way; we are often tougher than we know. Emotions can sweep us overboard and hold us underwater, but we will, right before the moment of black out, burst out on the surface, gasping for air because really we want to live, and thrive, and grow, and give back, and love passionately, and lust after something.
On the surface are usually our dearest friends, our soulfriends–who watch us and worry. They wrap us in a towel and hold us. We are battered, war weary and completely worn out. We think we can not take another step. Amazingly and to our chagrin, we find we are stronger than before. Not unbroken, certainly bloodied. Raw. Like new skin after a bad sunburn.
The beautiful thing about new skin is, you can feel a butterfly’s foot prints on the fresh, raw, exposed nerve endings in that skin.
The gentlest breeze caresses it .
A soft breath tingles.
And a kiss? Exquisitely painful pleasure.