Saturday, January 07, 2012

Be Careful With Me

I love people. For as long as I can remember, that’s who I’ve been. I make friends easily and I keep them. They’re important to me and I let people know. I’ve gone through periods of time where I was too social. I typically wouldn’t recognize it for a few weeks when suddenly I’d realize I was exhausted. I wasn’t even giving myself time to breathe before I’d be making more plans. I was afraid to just stop and be with my thoughts. I know that I was trying to outrun those thoughts that come when I would be by myself. I found self-worth in the people who loved me. I found self-worth in knowing that I loved people well. Then the last three years happened. The last three years brought a lot of pain. There were brief moments of joy in the midst of all that pain, but there were definitely periods of time where the pain blocked out so much of the sun. There were heart attacks. There was cancer and mental illness. There was a move away from the people I loved most in the world. There were broken marriages. There were months on crutches. There were degenerative diseases. There was rehab. There was distance. There was pain. There were weeks of the hospital food and fold out beds and hours and hours spent in my car driving. There was death. I want to be on the other side of all of that. And there are moments when I feel like I am. And then there’s tonight. I find the effort to be pretty damn exhausting. I know that I need to be available. I know that I need to be social. I know that right now in my life I need to be seeking community. But I’ll be honest, I’d rather just be alone. I’d rather spend the day reading a book in the sunshine of my living room. I’d rather spend hours among paper and songs and silence. This is the me that I don’t really quite know how to deal with.-this sudden turn around to being an introvert. The me who finds that if you’re going to ask me to explain myself or do anything more than just breathe, I just don’t want to even begin. I long for community. I long for relationship. But somehow the thought of the work that’s involved there just seems too much. I find myself justifying an entire weekend where I don’t spend time with a single person. I tell myself it’s healthy to enjoy time by myself. That this is the grown up Liz. But is it? Is it me adjusting to what life looks like as a single 30-something whose family and closest friends are hours away? Or is it me afraid to try- afraid to love anyone else when I know that’s opening the door for more pain? I know that you can’t have love without pain. You can’t be vulnerable without risk. And in my head, I know that it’s worth it. I look at the people that I love and I know. But right now my heart is just really, really tired. This version of me- I just don’t where to begin.

Be careful how you bend me
Be careful where you send me
Careful how you end me
Be careful with me.
p. griffin


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