Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Masks We Wear

Most people see me as upbeat, perky (maybe annoying). I don't mind this perception because the truth is when life is going really well I feel like that's me. And life seems to go well a lot. It's when life starts unraveling that I find my mask to wear. I had to go through a ton of crap as a kid...well it was more like pre-teen/early teen years. More crap than someone that age should have to deal with. I think I learned back then to adorn this mask, to not let people know the real me when things weren't peachy. I learned to be good at bottling up my emotions. Of course when you bottle up your emotions, eventually the bubbles start moving and the more you add the faster the bubbles move. Anyone who's shaken up a carbonated drink knows what happens if the lid comes off...KER-BOOM! That's me after I let things get to me for some time. I know it's not healthy, but it's a habit I've had for so long it's hard to change.

Lately I've had some of these little things creep up; things that don't seem big enough to spend time worrying. It's especially hard when people around you are dealing with much bigger issues. You don't want to whine about minuscule issues when someone else is going through something much bigger. It's like complaining about not having shoes when the person next to you doesn't have feet. (I heard this comparison recently and it stuck.)

So these issues start collecting because you feel too petty to actually confront them. Someone says something that hurts your feelings, your toddler decides he's not your biggest fan (or straight up wants nothing to do with you), work gets more and more stressful, etc... These may not be your exact baggage, but these are a few issues that have been piling up on me.

This week I started missing my sister, really missing her.  She joined the Peace Corps and will be in Morocco for over 2 years. She's been gone since January 13, and I haven't talked to her in what's felt like ages. I have been so strong about her leaving because I want her to know I support her choices. I think I was really pushing down the feelings of how crazy I'm going to miss her.We are close...super close. We went through that crap I mentioned earlier, together. I feel like a piece of me is missing when she's gone. We have secret phrases so no one else will know what we're talking about. She was my maid-of-honor. She was the only other person in the delivery room when I had my son (besides my husband and hospital staff). She has thrown every shower for every special occasion. She's helped us move and paint rooms. The list goes on and on.

So Friday morning I start thinking about the thing that is on my mind the most these days...the upcoming birth of our little girl. I think about how she won't be here to help us get ready. She won't be here to have a special celebration before her birth. She won't be here for the delivery or for the difficult weeks shortly after. All of these thoughts (along with stress from other things and pregnancy hormones) bring me to tears. And I cry all the way to work. Once I get to school I just can't get over all these feelings, but I have to put my mask back on. One of my best friends saw through the mask and made it a point to stop by and ask if I was ok. That helped a lot; just knowing you're not alone always helps.

I will get through this. Even though I feel alone right now I know in my heart I'm not. I'm surrounded by people who care about me and love me. Just spending time with my toddler yesterday helped. I will start to feel like me again and I can put the mask away...until I need it again.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully put. I know how hard it must be missing Elizabeth. I would be missing Sarah like crazy to.