Heart: Show us your heart. Let it all hang out. When have you thrown yourself into a challenge, or shown/received love?
The last few months have been chaotic. And strange, and scary, and even a little sad. This is maybe even true of the last few years.
In my group of friends, over the past three years or so, we have experienced the following: cancer, unemployment, baby loss, divorce, MRSA, infidelity, visits from financial regulators, betrayal, serious injury, several major surgeries, infertility, moving house, and so on and so forth.
We have also experienced: engagements, marriage, pregnancy, career success, dream jobs, new relationships, incredible joys, and so on and so forth.
The last few years have been…A Challenge. A joyful, horrible Challenge.
Infuriatingly, no one tells you in advance how hard this stuff really is. TV and movies make it all look like your thirties are a goddamned piece of cake. Like you’ll finally have a little bit of money, and you’ll be married, and settled, and working on being a homeowner with your 2.5 kiddos in the ‘burbs. Like there will be some sort of upbeat theme song playing you through. No one prepares you for the fact that your thirties will actually be a constant stream of airports and meetings and doctors’ offices.
At least, this is the experience I am having. As I write from an airport lounge. Again.
What I am saying is that this is not Leave It To Beaver, folks. This is War.
There is no instruction manual for divorce, or cancer, or how to be kind when you would really rather be a jerk, or how to say a gracious “yes” when you’d prefer to say “no.” And no one tells you that you just have to throw your heart into whatever you get, and that whatever you get is what’s meant to be, and it’s all perfectly normal, and it’s going to be Okay.
No one holds your hand when all your friends are passing around the Great Job Today, Momma! Facebook posts, and it sort of breaks your heart, because there is no special, congratulatory post for Great Job Today on Not Being Ready or Able to Have a Baby. Or, Great Job on Having That Tumour Removed.
Great Job Today on Being in the C-Suite By Age 30 And Actively, Thanklessly Promoting the Careers of Other Women Instead of Just Re-Tweeting Jezebel/Nick Kristoff/85Broads links about The Status of Working Women and Waiting for Something to Happen.
Great Job Today on Being Enough — Whoever You Are, Whatever You Are.
I don’t begrudge anyone anything, but I am here to tell you that there are other hearts that are tender besides your own. There are hearts that need encouragement and a special Facebook post set with Comic Sans on a cheesy sunset. I am here to tell you that Absolutely No One has it easy. None of us.
But what I am really saying is: Even if it hasn’t been easy, on the whole, it has been very, very Good. I have had it So Good.
If that isn’t Heart, I’m not sure what is.