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Life Is Tough, but so Am I

Note: It's ironic-- as I'm about to post this my eyes are filled with tears for the third time this morning, and it's only 11.30am. So, I don't feel so tough right now. In fact, I feel like a raw nerve. But, this will soon pass and the pendulum will swing back to steadier ground.

This morning I got an overwhelming feeling to write a blog post. I haven’t written one in almost a year— partially because of time, and you know… pandemic and all that. But, I also haven’t had the urge to write in this format in quite some time because writing about the overwhelming grief we’ve all been experiencing has seemed superfluous. But, I also know my words provide comfort for some, so here goes:

Since I’ve last posted, so much has happened. Getting divorced (a major life change) right before a global pandemic felt exactly like the tidal wave I previously described. But, when everyone is “lost at sea,” I realized not only am I an excellent swimmer (thank you, previous trauma!), but I also had a ton of lifeboats in the form of multiple jobs that kept my raft at sea, opportunities that kept me going, a best friend who stepped up in unexpected ways— moving in with me during the early quarantine, and then eventually the two of us finding an amazing house for all of us to live in with my growing toddler, and countless other moments and people who reached out when I needed it.

And, perhaps the most unexpected and wonderful thing of all: I fell in love again with someone who has been in my orbit for years. Navigating a new relationship is always a challenge, but navigating a new relationship as a single mom to a toddler in the middle of a pandemic brought new meaning to the word challenge. And yet, this is probably the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in. It’s brought me clarity and healing, and I honestly don’t know how I could’ve gotten through the past year without it.

Oh, and I also got a dog who is perfect.

As we approach the one-year mark since the first shelter in place went into effect, there’s a lot of complicated feelings— exhaustion being the most resounding one. I feel it in my body at the end of the day when I’ve run of steam and I feel my patience waning with both my toddler and myself. I’ve felt the envy nag at me every time I see someone get vaccinated, or the frustration and fear as I sign up for another waiting list while patiently waiting for my turn. And I feel the anticipation and anxiety bubble at the thought of what the world is going to look like in a couple months as we all re-enter society again.

Some days I feel invincible— who else could get divorced, work 3 demanding jobs at once, raise a toddler who is dealing with personal and global difficulties, co-write 3 episodes of television— a goal of mine for the past 15 years, while also developing a dream project, find and move into a new home that provides comfort and eases a bit of financial burden, and take control of mental health issues that have been plaguing me since I was a child. And other days, the magnitude of this year, as well as the pressure to continue to support myself and my child in the middle of all this muck feels so unbearable, a wave of grief will wash over me and it becomes so intense, I find myself in the middle of a panic attack all over again. But, the panic attacks are subsiding. I recognize my anxiety for what it is now, and can still be in the wave of emotion without it letting me explode or knock me out. That’s progress. And huge progress at that.

The light at the end of the tunnel is slowly coming into focus. As we all continue to navigate feelings that will come up, I urge everyone to slow down a little and remember to be kind. Life is tough, but so are we.


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