The quote above is the actual words from my friend Jen. She talks like that - in pure poetry always and not at all trying. She is a poem, through and through. I texted her this afternoon and said “I’m sad and my insides are aching and I just wanted to say that to someone. Thank you for being available.” She responded with that ^. Annnnnd cue tears.
This weekend was a tough one for me. Conversations that were too long, words that cut too deep, emotions rising to an intensity that prevented two people who care about each other a lot from really hearing one another at times. I came home from a weekend away wrought with an indescribable exhaustion. Each one of my bones was tired. I could hear them. All of them. Begging for rest. For quiet. I cried like I haven’t cried all year.
You know when babies cry because they’re tired? I felt like that. Like I was weeping not only for my emotional pain, but for how unrelenting my exhaustion was and the distance at which rest seemed to wait. I posted a photo of my face swollen with tears saying not a whole lot more than “I’m so tired” and “I’m so human”.
I’ve been getting messages about it ever since.
“What’s going on? You ok?”
“I love you.”
“Me too lately”
“Feeling for you”
“Hope everything is okay love”
“Are you ok? Do you need to talk?”
“Squeezing you with a hug from afar”
“You okay Stef?”
“I hope everything is okay Sauce! This too shall pass.”
“And beautiful” (in response to “I’m so tired”)
“Sendin’ you the lovin’”
“Need a chat?”
“If you ever need anything, I’m always around.”
“Sending you light!!!! Lots of shifts & shit happening in life due to eclipses and new moons & all that jazz. Hang in there and value all that you'll learn. It serves purpose.”
“Love you, Stef.”
Some of those are from my best friends and some of those are from people I hardly know and everything in between. The intention of the post wasn’t to trigger this response. I was more or less saying that I hadn’t been posting anything like I said I would and offering some indication (that I don’t actually owe anyone) as to why. But man, did I need all the love I got that night and the love I’ve continued to receive in the days that followed. Considering that this month’s theme is connection, it’s a lesson that is naturally - right on time.
It’s easy for me to forget how wide my net is. Leave it to a moment of such resounding humanity, something as universal as emotional pain to remind me that I am held in community. Everyone might call me Sauce, but it’s a tremendous gift to be tapped on the shoulder in moments of such searing discomfort, by the sound of my own name.
I tend to prefer not to be given advice in moments like this, and I tend not to offer it to someone else when they’re moving through their own stuff. My belief is that what we seek is so rarely a solution to our pain, but to just be witnessed in it. To have someone give a damn about your heart. Or to simply be reminded that we are equipped and strong. Or that we don’t have to be that at all and that there are couches to sit on and shoulders to cry on when that’s where we’re at. I needed that.
The day I got home I went almost straight to my friend Steph’s house. I called her when I picked up my car and she asked if I wanted tacos. I did. I loved her for that. For knowing me and not asking anything harder than “do you want tacos?”. When I got there her husband Joey had bought a giant cinnamon roll - he asked Steph what I liked for dessert. I loved him for that. For not needing me to say anything at all and just offering care and safety in the form of something as pure as a cinnamon roll. We watched The Office. I didn’t talk a whole lot. I just sat there and laughed when I felt like laughing and ate tacos and a cinnamon roll and let myself be held in my sadness by my friends.
Never underestimate your potency when someone else needs witnessing.
Never underestimate the power of tacos.
Or a cinnamon roll.
Or an emoji.
Or a couch.
Or a space for starlight to twinkle, if they need it.