full confession- i am tired. there. i said it. my tiredness comes from several different places. but that’s not important. because the real issue is that when i get too tired, i tend to be in pain. that’s how my body handles fatigue. the exhaustion seeps into my muscles and into my frame and i enter this period of time where i am tired but also weak and struggling to manage the pain. last week, i worked over sixty hours. closer to seventy if anyone’s counting. and as i crawled into bed at the end of it all, i found myself unraveling the stretch of days that i had just finished. sixty six hours of work. and all i wanted to do was rest. my body was literally begging for me to slow down and stop. but my mind. for a girl who doesn’t have an internal monologue, my mind never stops. i began circling through everything that might’ve slipped through the cracks. any texts that went unanswered. any emails where the reply just didn’t happen. a collective spiral of all the possible ways i could’ve let someone down. not being enough for those around me. not checking all the boxes on my to do list. because the reality is, i am a pretty intentional person. i invest in my relationships as if they are forever permanent. i don’t expect it to be that way in return either. it’s just who i am. i put a lot out on the table and hope for the best. and everything kinda began to feel like it was slipping right past me. i was carrying this tray piled high with everything imaginable. being a good person. being the best in front of my students. crafting emails. writing a weekly newsletter. making dinner. scheduling meetings. buying birthday presents. remembering broccoli at the grocery store. juggling appointment reminders and remembering to restock on vitamins and pay rent. but also texting back. and checking in on my friends. and existing. for others. and for myself.
and if you know me, you know how i feel about anything slipping through the cracks. how critical it is that i stay afloat. how much i need to do right by everything and everyone. and i have literally stayed awake all night unpacking it all. trying to find the moments where i just didn’t hold my hands tightly enough. so that the sand wouldn’t slip through the cracks between my fingers. trying to find the moments where i forgot to hit send. or opened a snapchat and didn’t reply. where my inbox became a little overcrowded. or i didn’t hear my phone buzz. moments that slipped through the cracks. not for any reason other than my hands were too full. not for any reason other than i was carrying way too much. on my shoulders. on my mind. on my heart. on my plate. i guess what i mean to say is that i am trying really hard. to find myself. to center myself. to claim the life i had, which definitely isn’t what it is now. i am trying to find meaning. i am also working the kinks out. there’s a lot to be said about who i am and what i have been through. and i myself am trying to see that there is so much more to me than just the last three years. and i am also trying really hard to be me. to manage everything that is happening in all the areas of my life. without the slips. without anyone feeling like i am not. without anyone feeling like they slipped through the cracks. because i spend a large part of my existence sealing up any gaps. i really do.
and today, i did something that i absolutely never do. and when i say never, i mean NEVER. in fact, i can count on one hand how many times i have done this. today, i cried in my classroom. in front of my students. i cried. with eleven year olds in my presence. and it had nothing to do with them. but everything to do with me. and how much i want the world to understand me. and how hard i am trying. to be everything. to everyone. how broken my heart feels when people in my life think i am not trying hard enough. when someone compares me to someone else. when the cracks show. when i tried, and something still slipped. because at the end of the day, there’s little left for me. i have given a large part of myself to the best souls in my classroom. and a large part of myself to my incredible teammates. and a large part to my friends and family and husband and dog. a part to the laundry. the emails. the dog food order. the bills. sending a quick venmo to a friend or two. checking in on friends via text. and when the clock strikes ten and i am all by myself, i always wonder if i was enough. if i did enough. if everyone received what they needed from me. because that’s who i am. and i really am trying. trying to hold it all. in two arms. while also balancing on two feet. but also kinda sorta doing that on a bicycle. on ice skates. and it felt super uncomfortable and very vulnerable of me today. to cry in my classroom. because i began to just feel myself split. the pressure. how burdensome i feel. how it feels to disappoint people. how much it hurts to know that some people might think i am a fake friend. or a friend who would walk away from a friendship. or to compare me to a former friend- one who broke my heart years ago. i began to split into fragments. slipping through cracks. i began to feel like i wasn’t doing enough. that i am not enough. and that i am letting everyone down. i began to feel lonely. suddenly. that everything was for nothing. that the cracks were so wide; it was too far gone.
i am trying so hard right now. to be a lot of things. a teacher. a leader. a friend, wife, sister, coworker, dog mom, daughter, community member, a role model, an aunt. i am trying so hard to be enough. in all of those roles. be authentic in all of those roles. nurture all of those roles. put real time and effort into the people that are on the other end of those roles. there’s little left for me. at the end of the day, there’s very little left for me.
because what’s left is stitched together to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. i mean it.