A couple of days ago, someone gave me a gift. A two-inch tall action figure. Then we had a conversation that took me into spaces that I never share with people I barely know. I went with it, fought the discomfort and had an ok enough time. It brought up stuff for me that this person knew nothing about. It had been an effort but well worth it - I came a little closer to making a new friend. But I had no idea how exhausted it made me.
This last month has been a longer version of that day spent with the new person. My closest friend, my sanctuary in many ways, has moved cities, my professional life has taken me into spaces that scare & challenge me and bring up old things from the past, I have man problems (always fun) and I have run out of places and people to run to when I'm going stark raving mad.
Through it all, I have not cried a drop. Not even when my best friend hugged me goodbye (I got teary but no big sobbing). I have thanked the universe for keeping me busy. I have hung out at film festivals for hours on end, alone or with a bunch of people I vaguely know from work. I have made an effort to penetrate the shells of people who normally I would have left to themselves. All so that I could feel a little normal. All so I could clutch onto a little piece of the familiar.
Then today I had a really shitty day professionally - the ONE goddamned space where I am not confused, the one part of my life where I don't feel incompetent and ill-equipped - and it shook me to the core. It was the straw that broke this trying-to-be-sunshiny-happy girl's back. I felt the final facade of my well-meaning bravado fall apart.
I clutched that two-inch doll like it was my last ally and sobbed my heart out.