There are a lot of things I could blog about today, but I find people respond best when I'm authentic and share what's really going on. What's really going on is in this moment I feel like weeping. I want to curl into a ball and cry, and cry, and cry. I don't want to admit that to you because I want to share happy things! I want you to feel inspired after reading this! But, in this moment I am sad. I acknowledge this is also because I'm REALLY tired. I moved last night after a very stressful week — I was in Seattle on Wednesday and then came home to a flooded bathroom at my sublet AND had to pack up my life and get prepped for the move all in two days. Not to mention the actual moving bit.
Moving is enough to make anyone cry, I think. I've heard several times moving is one of the top three most stressful things a person can do. I agree. It's not that my new place isn't lovely, because it is. I'm living in a cottage all by myself where I can see trees outside my window, flowers bursting into bloom, and hear birds chirping. My neighbors thus far seem very nice, helpful, and friendly. For the first time in my life, I know who I'm living around. Not just one neighbor, but all of them.
However, I'm in Oakland so that means I'm hearing gunshots and/or fireworks — we are swiftly approaching the 4th of July after all. I haven't wanted to mention the gunshots because I guess I'm a little embarrassed, as if hearing them says something about me and my economic status, i.e. gunshots mean I'm poor and being poor is something to be ashamed of. I'm not poor — I am so very rich with many, many things, and I know the money is coming. I know all of my needs are being met and I feel very blessed, and at the same time I'm living in a working-class neighborhood of Oakland. The (possible) gunshots are contributing to my tearful feelings because they're stressing me, but here is what I know: 1.) It's good to cry. Crying is a great detox. 2.) Being an adult means understanding nothing is all good or all bad.
Nothing encompasses the concept of good within the bad (and vice versa) quite as well as the yin yang.
You already heard both the good things (quiet, secure, great neighbors, in my price range, near public transportation), and the bad (not such a great neighborhood). But here's the interesting element, the not-so-great neighborhood is the seed that contributes to the pros. The more humble neighborhood is why I live in a gated community, why I can afford to be here, and why the neighbors are so friendly. I've found there is a sense of bonding together that happens in poorer neighborhoods. And yet, I still want to cry, and that's OK.
I'm writing about this because I'm giving myself (and anyone reading this) permission to feel their feelings. We have a tendency in our society to gloss over the bad stuff. We tout gratitude and appreciation, telling people to only focus on the positive. But that's not real life. Real life is messy. Real life means you can live somewhere totally gorgeous and not love the neighborhood. Real life means you can be grateful for all you have and still want more. Real life means you can feel happy and sad, scared and safe, all at the same time. I used to think I could only feel one thing at a time, but the older I get the more I find I feel a thousand different things all at once.
This blogpost may mean nothing to most of you, but I hope someone is reading this who understands what I'm trying to say: That it's OK to cry. That it's safe to express whatever you're feeling. That we can feel many things and no emotion is better than another. That being an adult means there can be so many good things at the same time there are so many bad things. We are living in a dualistic world so it makes sense we'll feel and experience opposites, sometimes in the same moment.
I dream of a world where we know it's OK to cry. A world where we feel safe to express ourselves. A world where we understand just because we're sad doesn't mean we can't also be happy. A world where we allow ourselves to express our full range of emotion. A world where we accept how we feel with grace and love.
Another world is not only possible, it's probable.