As a woman, I’ve been through enough crap in my life that I’ve grown a thick skin. I’ve earned it, and I wear it well.
As a mom, I am responsible for the health, happiness and overall wellbeing of two other people I chose to bring into the world. And I do my job well.
As a wife, I made a promise to be an equal partner, love my husband above all others and nurture the family we create together. Check, check and check.
As a writer, I’ve honed my craft to the point where I can unapologetically write without doubting my own skills.
To achieve all the above takes year of practice, diligence and complete focus. My past isn't perfect, nor am I. I will never deny the mistakes I've made. I have a few notches on my belt, and take responsibility for each and every one of them. My past has helped me become the person I am today. I can help my clients achieve success, be the doting wife, the rock star mom, and run my household like a mofo.
But every once in a while, life kicks me square in the jaw, leaving me breathless.
When I was 18, my paternal grandfather died. I was absolutely heartbroken. This was the first time I had lost someone close to me, and my reaction was complete devastation. My level of pain was unparalleled, pulling me into a depression I’ve never known.
10 months later, I lost my maternal grandfather. This time, I didn’t allow myself to cry. To grieve. To…..feel anything. I thought that if I did, it would pull me into place I couldn’t recover. I attended the wake and funeral with a stoic front. My sense of denial was at an all-time high.
Until this past Sunday morning. I woke to a text from my Mom that my beloved Uncle Tom had passed away. He had been in failing health for a while, so it wasn’t a surprise, but still shocking to hear nonetheless. After I re-read my mom’s text a few dozen times, the sense of sadness overwhelmed me. He was always a positive, consistent presence my entire life, and now he was gone. Slowly, the tears came and eventually my body convulsed into a fit of sorrow. After a few minutes, I called out to my hubby and kids, sharing the news and allowed them to see me in a raw state they rarely witness.
For the first time in a long time, I gave myself permission to cry. To grieve. To relinquish control. And it felt good.
It won’t change what has happened, but it had given me a sense of peace, of closure. And at this point, I can’t ask for anything more.