the pressure to see the silver lining

george does not see the silver lining of me leaving for rehearsal...

george does not see the silver lining of me leaving for rehearsal...

these days i often feel like i am essentially writing the same three things in three different ways.

i hope that doesn't bore you.

yesterday was a hard day. there are a bunch of reasons why it was hard. we can blame PMS, dreary weather, end of the semester, post-race blues, anxiety, depression, etc.

take your pick.

and as i was walking to the subway, i was feeling pretty craptastic. like i'm about to cry on the subway craptastic (full disclosure: i ended up crying on the subway). 

and i was thinking about how just a few days before i was talking to someone and discussing the last few months. and the person was super well-meaning and mentioned that there must have been a good side to everything that has happened. and i smiled and said, "oh yes, of course" and then proceeded to list all the wonderful things i've learned and experienced.

but as i was walking to the subway yesterday, i was thinking about how--while all those things are true--the other truth is that it is still hard for me to see the silver lining. it is still hard for me to see the positive for the negative. it is still hard for me to not feel like the emotional scarring is all that matters. i was thinking about how while i myself can list all the good things about the last few months, i often pressure myself to do it.

because i worry that i've been negative and sad for too long.

because i worry that still feeling shitty is bad.

because i worry that i can't go on dates and still feel this way.

because i worry that being a sad sally, negative nancy points out some character flaw i have.

and so i put the smile on my face and discuss all the good.

sometimes i truly believe the good.


sometimes i am spouting all the silver lining, bright side bullshit because i feel like i'm supposed to.

there is a pressure to tell the story and end in a happy place. to say "this thing happened to me. it was crappy. and now i'm in a better place." there is a pressure to find the silver lining.

believe me, i like me a silver lining. i like the "i get knocked down, but i get up again" mentality. i like the i'm gonna turn these lemons into lemonade. 

i do.

its awesome. its encouraging. it gets us off the couch. it pushes us.

but all too often i think we force people to accept the silver lining, to see it and like it, before they need to accept it. i think we push people to "not dwell" and "get over it" and "move on" before they are ready.

and i think we do this because we love people.

but i also think we do this because we don't like awkwardness and sadness and we don't know what to do or say so we try to turn the conversation to happier things. instead of just dealing with the sadness.

for example: "i know it sucks now, but soon you'll have a harem of guys" is something i was told only weeks after having my heartbroken as a response to me explaining how shitty i felt by multiple people (in some way or another). anyone who said that to me is lucky to have their life because all i wanted to do was push them down an elevator shaft. i wasn't ready to hear that then. i'm still not. mostly because i've never wanted a harem of guys. that's another thing...we push the silver lining we want on others (one woman's harem dream is another woman's harem nightmare). (but also because where is this harem you promised me? still fucking waiting on that)

people were trying to make me feel better by pushing me to see the light. and that's good. we need the friends that remind us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. but we also need friends who also let us sit in the tunnel and complain about how dark it is. we need friends who will take our hands and walk with us through the tunnel, giving us a push when need be. we need friends to understand we all have different speeds of getting through it.

we also need friends to tell us when we are wallowing. but there is a difference between pressuring us to accept the silver lining, forcing us to speak to it even when we don't feel it,  and helping us see that the silver lining is there and helping us see that the end of the tunnel is super close. it is subtle. but it is there. 

as i dip my foot back into dating, i think about this a lot. because i don't want to be the girl on the date still heartbroken. i'd like to be "over it". i'd like to see how "it was a great thing for me". i'd like to say "i've really come into my being since it all happened and now i'm just living my best life". 

but the truth is healing takes time. and while i may be ready to embark on a new relationship (assuming this harem appears) or at least ready to attempt to find a person who may convince me that embarking on a new relationship is worth it, i may also be dealing with the emotions and pain and scarring and depression these last few months have caused and brought to light. and because these things were and are linked to deeply rooted beliefs about myself, it may take months, years for me to finally be able to wholeheartedly say "i see and love the silver lining i was given". (unless chris pratt or nate parker end their marriages and show up at my doorstep...then i will accept that silver lining so fast...)

but, really, being in the dark tunnel for a while is fucking okay.

it is okay to not be okay with it.

it is okay to not be all "i've learned so much and am so grateful for the shit that happened".

it is okay to be somewhere in-between.

i'm tired of feeling the pressure to smile and say, "i'm doing great".

because some days i'm not. and some days i am. and sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is super bright and other times its dark as fuck and we should be able to tell each other the truth about that. 

and we should be okay with the fact that some tunnels are 3ft long and others are 3,000mi long and the light, the silver will be there when we need it.