So, Mom says I’m facing a post-traumatic cloud. I have this tiredness that’s not so much physical as emotional. I’m tired in my soul. And while some troubling things just don’t matter at all after facing such an enormous trial, other tiny ones seem monstrous – like if the laundry piles up or I face more than one day in a row in which I can’t find time to create.
I like the idea that it’s a cloud, because then I know I can’t help it and it will pass. But I’m terribly afraid it’s not that at all, it’s just plain old selfishness. When it was cancer and chemo I faced, I knew the most troubling things in my life were things that were out of my control. But the troubling things in normal life are almost totally within my grasp to change. When cancer threatened my serenity, only God could really rescue me from that. When the thing that threatens me is selfishness or impatience or discontent, it’s pretty much on me.
I feel so grateful to my mom for giving me the cloud thing. It’s lovely to be validated like that. “I know you feel rotten sometimes, but it’s the cloud. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Trust God, hang in there, and it will pass.” But I’m also so grateful to her for all those times in my teen years when she taught me to change. Sometimes she asked me to do it immediately. If we rolled our eyes, we were told to change our attitude. We weren’t allowed to storm away or slam a door. But sometimes she sent me to the quiet of my room and gave me time.
And through it all, I learned me and what it took to help me rise above. I’m still learning me, of course. And since chemo, it does seem like there’s a whole new me to discover. She’s quieter than the pre-chemo me. She feels alone more often in a crowd, which is weird. She doesn’t know what to say. And real life seems so loud.
But one thing that’s the same, is you. I read a book once called the Gift of a Letter, and ever since I knew that if I never did anything else with my writing, it would matter every time I wrote for someone else. I started this post a hundred times in the last few days and deleted. I didn’t want to put my grouchy into the universe. So gone went the sentences that really meant “I wish” or “I’m angry” or “Darn it all”. But I also didn’t want to lie, so gone went the sentences that really meant, “I’m inspiring” or “Look at me” or “I have all the answers.” Every time I write here, I’m wishing I could give you something. Something of myself, something of God, something bright and outside of your noise or monotony. And the thing is, every time I try that, I step outside of mine.
I’ve answered before why I blog. But lately, you’re the only reason. I know it’s not ever life-changing for you and that sometimes it’s nothing much at all – like the dandelions Jake picks for me, having no idea they’re weeds or that they won’t look pretty even thirty minutes after I’ve put them in water. Like that, I just want to give you something. And this is the thing I most know how to give.