Friday, November 6, 2015
When You Feel Weak
I have a writing prompt book. Sometimes I feel like writing but I just don't know what to say, so the book kind of helps along, you know? It makes me think about topics that I might not otherwise, it helps me think outside the box.
We've been in our new home for three weeks tomorrow. Upon arriving we literally just had our suitcases with a week's worth of clothes for each person, some camping chairs, a squashed loaf of bread, some apples, and some cheese that we'd forgotten about in the now thawed cooler. Eep.
The washing machine was broken when we arrived. So was the dishwasher.
The first day we were here we set out to to shop for a new washing machine and until it could be delivered we had to make due with trips to the laundromat which fortunately is close by.
When the delivery men came to install the washer I heard one of them say, "Oh no. Oh no. Noo..." Apparently the hot water valve was completely corroded. There was no way to hook up the washing machine without a plumber coming out to do the repair necessary.
Fast forward a couple days. In addition to the corroded hot water valve, we also found that the valve where the dishwasher was to be connected was corroded, so was a pipe in the basement, there was a leak in the master bathroom shower, the hot water heater was leaking, there was a sewage pipe leaking (yuck), and when the plumber came out to repair everything the shut off valve at the house broke. He ran down to shut the water off at the street and the shut off valve at the street broke too. Water was gushing everywhere and nothing could be fixed until over 150 feet of new pipe could be removed from the yard and replaced with new copper pipes. We were without water for I didn't know how long.
All I could do was cry. Right there in front of the city water employee and the plumbers I cried and said I wished we'd never moved to California.
In the midst of trying to get settled, maintain a positive attitude, find new places to go, meet new people, but also in the midst of missing so very much I found myself on empty.
I hadn't really cried yet. I hadn't really given in to all the emotion that this has brought about. I hadn't realized the weight of everything and I felt completely crushed under it.
Seeing my friends continue on, hearing about get togethers, all the while trying to move on, move forward, and live life like everything is just grand I felt an exhaustion that stole my breath and I let it pour over me and I just cried until I couldn't cry anymore.
And you know what? It was necessary. I needed to cry. I needed to allow myself to grieve, because this is not easy and to wipe it away by saying things like, "Oh well this is an adventure, you know!" or, "We're loving everything!" or in response to someone asking how we are, "We're great!" is disingenuous.
On the flip side, only focusing on all the things I miss about our old home and not looking at all the beautiful new things we're experiencing is not fair and doesn't allow for living life to the fullest.
When I opened up my writing prompt book it begged the question, "In your opinion what is strength?" I would be lying to say that at that moment I didn't roll my eyes just a little bit, because really?
And that's when I realized that strength isn't always obvious. Sure, a tri-athlete, any athlete for that matter is strong and they *look* strong. A tall, straight tree looks immensely strong. There is obvious strength, but there is also strength that you can't see. The mother who faces a pregnancy alone. The young adult who has endured mental and physical abuse their entire life and finally says "Enough." The child born with learning disabilities who proves all the doctors wrong. The couple that decides against all odds to piece their crumbling marriage back together.
Strength is pushing through when something is hard. Strength is working and working until you get to where you want to go. I might cry, I might have a hard time, I might look and feel weak from time to time, but I'm pushing through. One day at a time. One step at a time.
I have strength.