Day 77: There is such power in words. A practiced speech may sound important but simply be well-rehearsed. Those words that are spoken in staccato rhythms that sound like hail on a tin roof and pile up on the ground, causing you to look for ways to step around and over them. Those words have unrestrained power.
I heard so many of them today.
I’m tired of dealing with this. I’m tired of dealing with the complaints and all of it. How about you take it over completely? All of my practice saying yes to things I want and no to things I don’t want to do stuck in my throat. This is a friend with his head in his hands. I replied with something that got him smiling and nearly tap danced my way out of the conversation. He was able to clearly express his needs and desires and I managed a flimsy maybe.
My son told me he was going to go live with his step-dad and get rich selling drugs with him. I told him he’d just end up in jail. And I told this person they won–my employed son who pays his bills and goes to counselling and is struggling toward a life is a prize by comparison. When I asked them if they believed parenting ever eases up when you have a struggling young adult, they looked me straight in the eye and said No. I don’t think it does. But we’re built to endure more, too. I told them that sometimes I wish truth could always be served with a side of wine and chocolate. They nodded and we hugged one another for a while. I mentioned a couple of resources she might use and we both went back to work.
Why do we feel like we need to pull people back from the edge when they say they want to commit suicide? This world is nothing but a pile of shit. What are we pulling them back to? The shit? Or just so we have company in the shit? I felt like he sideswiped me. It was the first time all day I remembered to really breathe. It’s nearly noon and I’m in a meeting room with these words clanging in the air. I told him this: Not all of the world is shit. The world that I work to create for myself every day is not shit. It’s a good place. And if I pull someone back, it’s to that good place–even if only for a while and I remind them of something I learned long ago–good things grow with only a little nurturing and the layer of shit is just fertilizer. I am unapologetic about this. Anyone is worth the effort and ultimately everyone sooner or later makes their own choice.
It was exhausting. At the end of the day I came home and showered off the grit but saved what I believe may be the beginning of a map.