Thursday, August 1, 2013

August and Everything After

I have dreaded August.  It should be a month of celebration.  When I think of August, I think of starting my "grown up" life together with my husband 12 years ago.  I think of all the years I taught school and the excitement (and anxiety) of those first days.  August 5th is my birthday.  More importantly, I was blessed with my daughter three years ago on August 10th.  This should be a joyous month, a time of reflection and gratitude for the life I have.

But last August everything changed.  After an especially difficult first half of 2012, I was not prepared for the emotionally and physical stress which August would bring.  Looking back now, I realize it was the month my life--not just my own, but the life I've built for myself--began to crumble.  August was full of tears and grieving and anxiety and anger.  Every few days it seemed I was awakening in some terrible alternate reality where people I loved were suddenly taken and people I had tried to love finally began proving that they weren't worth that emotion.  After the year we'd had leading up to that 8th month, I thought surely things will get better from here.  We've endured two deaths of loved ones.  It won't get worse than dying, right?

I realize now I was tempting fate to show me how much worse things can get.  

I won't go into details about the events that have transpired since August, including what is going on currently in my life.  I will say, though, that my life finished crumbling and I feel like I'm trapped under the ruins of it. There are many days when hope alludes me and faith is something I had as a child.  

But I haven't given up.  Not yet.  I'm still here, desperately trying to be a mother and a wife, struggling to figure out who I am, what I believe in, and what purpose I serve in this life.  

When I saw that there was a blog challenge to write each day in August, I thought about my poor, neglected blog.  Something that once brought me a sense of freedom and release has become just another chore that I can't bear to do at the end of a long day.  I felt it was time to step back up and write again.  This time, I'm not writing to entertain or provoke or to ask for feedback on a piece of short fiction. I'm writing for my own sake, hoping that writing can once again be a source of solace for me, a place where I can leave my insecurities and fears on the screen and walk away.  

I'm also hoping August can be my "new year."  I tried to convince myself that 2013 would be a chance to start over, but things only got worse.  So maybe it's time to try again.  Life fell apart last year August.  Perhaps this year I can begin putting the pieces back together.  I can let go of the pain and make the conscious DAILY decision to focus on the good in my life.  I have a beautiful toddler who needs a healthy, happy mother.  It is not her job to comfort me and then cry beside me when she fails to cheer me up.  August needs to mark a new start, a new year.  I know this is easier said than done, but hopefully this blog will hold me accountable to do what I need to do.  

So please, offer encouragement and words of wisdome and constructive criticsim.  I'm opening myself up and hope that some of you will join me on this journey.  

My favorite album is August and Everything After.  Sadly, most of the music has provided a soundtrack for me this past year.  And while I love my Counting Crows, it's time to move on to happier music and to find a new soundtrack for my new life.  I'm ready to sing a happy song.  

1 comment:

Elisa said...

The best thing I ever did was to participate in the FB November "thankful every day" challenge last year. Each day, I found something that I genuinely was grateful to see, to hear, or to have near me in my life. It went a very long way towards easing not only the burden of pain, but also the inevitable selfish introspection that can overwhelm anyone and cause a sort of blindness to the acts of love, decency, and courage that happen every day. More than anything, I was able to step back, look into God's heaven and realize what a tiny speck I am in this great creation, and that no matter how overwhelmed I feel, I can always look up, take a cleansing breath, and thank God for another day. You can do this, too. You know how; just make the conscious effort. I sounds trite, but it's not. It is powerful healing.