I listened to Lil' Wayne and cooked dinner. I was indeed "feelin' myself", as Nicki would say.
But there was a quiet nagging. I noticed the Bible on my kitchen chair - left behind from weeks-past of good intentions. Choices, choices. 1) I could sit in silence, and in honesty; or 2) I could blast Lil' Wayne and attempt twerking for the 1000th time.
I hesitated for a moment, and then I paused the philosophical repetition of "A Milli". I took all the oxygen in my body hostage; my chest tightened; my veins went purple...er. For that moment, I decided to stop running. I sat and clasped my hands together, completely alone; eyes filling, like a forgotten faucet-drip; lips quivering like your grandma's last breath; chest shattering, like your witness of grandma's last breath.
I was not strong here.
The silence beat me bloody with fists and kicks of everything I had tried to forget; I sobbed; scratched out the words "Sorry" in short breaths to a God that I questioned cared, or listened. But I repeated it, "Sorry. [sob]. Sorry. [sob]." I said it with a mouth full of thick, regretful, stuck-in-my-throat emotions.
I suffocated my pride on Saturday night.
And in the suffocation - and silence - I felt weak, and honest, and not okay. The pride had grown into Vin Diesel, and the problem with Vin Diesel is that he can run me Fast and Furious, but right now I need none of that.
When my grandma died, there was no hand to hold or number to call. My heart was a forest that most people had grown too tired to journey through - and for the first time, in my own heart, the high trees and sporadic sun (which usually comforted) felt anything but safe.
This was a lonely - laborious and prolonged - journey, and I couldn't skip to the end. For the last two months, I wanted to be strong; not cry; be the kid without a chink in their armor. I wanted to soar, and love without pain, and do everything I could to forget that I was using a stranger's cape (ten sizes too small).
We're all running from something. The places where we feel most inadequate, guilty, hurt, unworthy, unable to mend. For the last few months, I've been running from God. On Saturday, I sobbed at my kitchen table for forty-five minutes, and I stopped.
Because the thing about "running" is that we assume it's taking us somewhere. Usually though, we aren't running in any good/sustainable/real direction. For me, I was on a metaphorical treadmill, and my emotions were being recycled every few seconds; my steps were no more advancing me forward, than my heart/soul/mind were healing. Forward motion cannot take place until you recognize where you currently stand. I can't move from pain, or hurt, or loss, until I look at it and feel it; know what it is; and only then can I step from it.
What are you running from? What's recycling itself in your heart and mind and emotions? Because treadmills aren't backcountry trails. And you're no more climbing a mountain on a treadmill, than you are swimming across the ocean in a pool.
Acknowledge the treadmill and pool you've been running on or swimming in. And once the crying ends and the dinner is eaten - once you step away from the repetitive lies - Lil' Wayne and Nicki will always be waiting for you; your friends will call (as if on cue) for a late-night IHOP adventure; they'll remind you that truth extends beyond your kitchen table/fear/crying.
And it's then you'll realize, the secret in that Saturday night wasn't that you broke down; it's that you sat down. And that was a fearless, and brave, and true thing to do.
You are strong. Even when (and especially when) you fall. You are strong.
And the pain is not your end; the pain is your starting point.
Now. Back to my music.