I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have these “funks” that happen. They tend to happen after a huge rush of events and emotions in the stillness of relative calm. Throughout my life, I always tried best to block emotions out and distract myself with whatever fancy and it was only in the onset of working in the “real” world, that I discovered that coping mechanism was a huge problem.
It could be because when you start work and get married and have a child, basically when you start “adulting” through whatever new phase in your life, there’s the bit where you need to somehow navigate through life with the proper tools of emotional intelligence and self-management. You’re just not a kid anymore and you will get a lot of shit like criticism and judgments for anything/everything you say or do. Sometimes, it’s not because people who love you won’t catch you when you fall but you also need to know how to heal yourself of the bruises of your own falls. If you literally fell, you would need to show the doctor where it hurts. He/she helps you get over the pain, but you too must get over the pain. I learned it a bit late, but I could not pretend the falls never happened or that it always was “never a big deal”.
There was a lot of self-reflection I had to do within the time I was given to get just a bit closer to who the person inside of me really was. I never really knew who she was. Why some things angered or saddened her and what helped her feel at peace. And because life happens so fast, it was like grasping at whatever straws there may be to try and get a grip on her. To maintain a sense of control. Though control doesn’t really mean love, does it? There were many instances I should have let her heal, let her cry as much as she wanted to and to be in her “funk” instead of dismissing whatever she was going through as something trivial.
I don’t regret putting others’ interest and care first, but I do wish I had also cared more about her and let her speak her real emotions and thoughts out more often. For it would not have weakened her, rather it would have made her stronger than the bundle of insecurities and fears she kept hidden. I wish I had let her be more of her instead of who I thought she needed or should have been. Her happiness was just as important as others’ were and I wish I realized that that self-validation was important.
Funnily enough, God did an unexpected number on me by bringing the people and situations He did into my life. For someone who felt worthless, I used to worry about what I had and had several nights waking up in fear that His blessings were a dream. (Yes, that’s how sad it was.) There was that strong fear of waiting for the ax to drop or I would mess all of it up royally again. I felt He gave me more than what I deserved and that because I did not deserve any good things, these things would be taken away from me and I’d forever be feeling unfulfilled.
What helped me was patience. Not just from me, but the others around me who accepted me broken pieces and all who were real, who helped me heal. From the situations that simply demanded patience and acceptance that you can’t change things at the click of a mouse. Coupled together, I learned new habits, different ways of thinking and most of all that it was okay. It was okay to feel whatever you feel and while nothing is ever permanent in this world, it truly is a journey and not a sprint. What you feel today may not be what you feel tomorrow, but even if it is, it’s okay. Our pain, our brokenness is not a band-aid you can rip out fast and forget about instantly. Everyone has some form of loss, some form of struggles and it takes more time, more understanding and a whole lot of kindness to get through it. Aside from faith and a healthily positive disposition, surround yourself with people who are real and lovingly so, don’t kid yourself thinking you can go through everything alone.
It takes real courage to look at yourself for who you really are; your flaws and ugliness and accept that you are still human. Not that that should be an excuse to self-destruct or be a pain to others, but merely to give yourself strength to continue in your journey. To remind yourself that you may not be as perfect as you may want to be, but you are some steps closer today than you were yesterday. God also has an ironic sense of humor, where He will give you different tests for those lessons you have not learned so really, take your time and really learn it instead of skimming through the pages, trying to finish the chapters.
When AK grows up and she faces challenges in life, Mr Grumpy and I would not be able to protect her from everything; from disappointments, heartbreak, failure. It’s still a process but I try to remember that when she’s older, what she will need is faith, our love and our patience. All the hard things we have to go through, the struggles are what will help shape us to give her just that. Provided we try consistently to give her that love and patience and hopefully when she’s older and she goes through dark moments, not only will she have our love but she will always remember she is never alone. Whether we are still around or not, she will have the love and lessons we left for her to lean upon.
“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.” — Jodi Picoult
That also keeps me going. Not that being a mother instantly omits bad days, I still have days where crap all is all I want to do and I am so tired or depressed that all I feel like doing is being difficult and screaming but the small things like wondering what to make for her lunch/dinner, what videos she is watching on Youtube or if she is comfortable also keep me going which somehow helps me out of the “funk” too.
I don’t have as many “funky” days, though they are indeed cherished when they come by and I rot on the couch alone in the silence of my house akin to The Grinch. I just try not to plonk that crap on her since she’s all about Bruno Mars, sharks and dinosaurs right now. It’s also hard to maintain a bad “funk” with catchy music, I challenge you to try it. And boy, that girl has a loving heart especially when she spontaneously hugs and kisses you and follows you around the house screaming “Mama what you doing?”. So you know, my being sprawled on the bed face down with her curious mantra in the background can only go on for so long.
At the end of the day, I don’t wish to control her, I simply wish to love her and I hope I will still be given that opportunity for as long as possible. I hope for the same privilege with Mr Grumpy and the true blue real awesomely loving people in my life. Hope we have good times and also times with ugly crying for balance and to remind us we have each other. To remind us to be grateful, I hope we will always have it all. Regardless of how bittersweet life may be, I will keep trying to improve not just as a mother, but also in the other social roles I like adhering to. That’s all, I’m not going to be as easily forced into doing or feeling things I do not want to do. The girl in me gets to decide more now, she gets to decide when she wants a “funk”.