breathe.

this is the third time i have sat down to write this week. the first two drafts are tucked in the notes section of my iPhone, deemed unsuccessful by me. the first one was all about being understood and honestly, i struggled to finish it. the second was about baggage and my arms are too full to create the right words. last week i got a seventy seven on a paper i wrote for this wildly ambitious doctoral program that i am pursuing. if there is one thing you should know about me, my head makes way more decisions than my heart. which i guess is a good thing but it’s also a little exhausting because the head is not always the most rational part of who i am. but anyways, a seventy seven on this paper i wrote. i will be honest, i wrote it after finding out that i would be having a snow day the day the paper was due. in an effort to not have to spend my day off battling my dogs attention and writing a paper, i knocked it out in ninety minutes and hit submit. i received a ninety four on the first draft so i was like ‘oh i got this’. nah girl, you didn’t have it at all. not yours. not anywhere on your receipt.

let me tell you, that sent me into overdrive. i was so ashamed. so disappointed. so mad. i just sat there with it for days. fuming. nearly boiling over. meanwhile, the world is passing by and my cup is nearing the brim and it happens. i am twenty four hours away from the submission deadline of the revision of that terribly written seventy seven paper. and i lost my cool. everything that i was carrying on my shoulders just flooded out of me in the parking lot of the public library. and here’s the thing; all of the weight that i pick up and carry all day; all the things that lay heavy on my mind and my heart; all of that- doesn’t have to be justified or defended to anyone. i literally full fledge melted down. my brain was so tired and so full. from teaching and tutoring. creating a new schedule, lesson planning for two weeks, arguing with every single middle school tween in my life. because middle schoolers argue about the color of the sky, literally. between battling health issues with my dogs, folding six loads of laundry, cooking a dinner that tasted like cardboard and still needing to shower. trying to lose weight. being a student and a wife and a friend and a therapist and a mentor and a tutor and a daughter and a sister and an aunt and a dog mom and stay above water. pass this class, don’t lose your job. get your grades submitted on time. finish report card comments. fold the towels on top of the dryer. pay your bills. take out the trash. reschedule therapy. buy birthday gifts. send birthday cards. book plane tickets. transfer money to the other account. all of the things that make me scream came to a head all. at. once.

if i have said it once, i have said it a thousand times. nothing is harder than being human. and i think that’s why i wanted to write about being understood because it is not okay to ask someone to justify their sadness or their overwhelmingness {just made that word a thing}. i am human and am allowed to suffer through what life is handing me. sometimes it’s unfair. sometimes it’s untimely. sometimes it’s just plain awful. and i have realized that it’s absolutely one hundred percent okay to break down in sobs in your car with your phone on eleven percent as you play the saddest song in your iTunes.

nine times out of ten, when i melt down, the first person i think of is my late best friend agnes. i know what you’re all thinking- ‘ugh here she goes again playing the dead best friend card’ but ya know what? i get to play that card for the rest of my life. i always think of her. because she curbed most of my first year of public school teaching meltdowns. she held me as i cried after being assaulted in my classroom and she talked me through my first all school lockdown for active weapons. she taught me how to meditate and mindfulness. she made me the teacher i am now and i always turn to her when life hands me lemons. but let me get back on track, as my shoulders heaved with sobs, i thought about what agnes would say to me if she was alive. she would tell me to breathe. she would tell me to look at the big picture; the one that shows how far i have come. but most importantly, she would tell me to shove everything and everyone off. all the things that bother me. all the people who make life harder. take a step back and recognize all that’s come before this and all the people who are cheering for you. because that’s it. there will always be bad days. stressful times. tough parts of life. for me, it feels like it’s more often than not. but i am also a pessimist by chemical brain imbalance so what are ya gonna do about it; but it’s about turning to the things that are good. figuring out who is in your corner. breathing.

i have survived worse days. i have seen the sunshine on the brighter weeks. i know rain ends. i know it’s not forever. and honestly, that’s enough for me. i have the best people cheering for me. throwing me a parade regularly. i have a husband who puts up with all of the awful parts of me because he sees the best in me. students who listen to me gripe about my professor {my how the tables have turned}. friends from all over the place texting and shouting me out. i truly am not worthy of such a crew. i am just a human, standing in front of life, asking for a break. and even when i don’t get one; i know i always have someone who has my back.

when the days are dark and tough and long and exhausting; it is okay to cry in your car or scream into a pillow. or blindly vent to your late best friend. or play the saddest song on the radio. as long as you breathe through all of it.

just breathe. xo.

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