The moment you realize that not even loss itself can stop you, that sadness, despair, anger and fear cannot hold you back, is the moment you become perfect. Perfectly flawed, but perfect nonetheless.
I stumbled upon that quote yesterday. I liked it. I ended up putting it on my social media (Instagran & Facebook) with a photo of me and my dad when I was younger, which looked something exactly like this…
“Should I… maybe its too personal… but why should that matter? Its not like I care what others think… the more people see how I’m feeling without asking, the less I have to explain… Hopefully my family don’t get too upset by it… Should I? Its positive. Its helpful. Its me right now.”
The funniest thing out of that I thought was that I was worried how my relatives would feel once reading the words. Although they words are so strong and so positive, they’re still upsetting. Because all messages about regained strength are a reflection of the weak beginning, and I know some of my family are very much in that category. (***when I say funny, I mean odd/unusual. My sense of humor isn’t that morbid, surprisingly enough.)
When I’ve been at family gatherings, I stay strong, I make jokes and smile and stay positive. I laugh and smile to try and start a trend in which might make those upset happy, maybe not truly happy, but happy enough that they can see that at least I’m not a wreck or a worry. So they can see its okay to smile and laugh even when the circumstances dictate otherwise, because sadness only comes from joy. My father brought so much joy, he always could make a stale room turn into an entertained audience. That’s how my sisters and I have been interacting with people, and it’s because of this that people say, with a smile, “You girls have so much of your father in you. All the looks are your mothers, but all of your personalities are from your dad.”
I like this for a few reasons. Initially, I like it when people smile. Because they’re unknowingly using my aforementioned magic trick, forcing a smile which consequently tells the body to release happy endorphins. Even if they didn’t smile out of happiness, chemicals are coming their way to help mend that. Secondly, because it makes me feel like that my sisters help to keep my dads memory alive. Lastly, because I know that’s exactly what dad would’ve wanted, he would’ve wanted people to be laughing and smiling looking back at all the crazy and funny things he did. He’d want us to celebrate his life like the living god he always joked that he was, he spent his whole life sheltering us from tears and keeping us smiling – he definitely wouldn’t want us to start ruining that now. I like to think he’s watching over us, and I’d hate for him to feel frustrated. I’d hate for him to be any more upset than he probably is at the terrible/horrible situation, just as much as he wouldn’t want me to be upset.
It’s funny the sentences I write that make me feel emotional. The ones that make my chest go heavy, my breathing difficult and bring up tears that rest along the lower lids of my eyes. Just waiting to fall past those protective walls down to my cheeks, but I don’t let them. I wipe them away before I give them the chance, because I feel like the sensation of allowing that emotive liquid trickle down my cheek is the antithesis of the magic of a smile. Because once you know what you’re experiencing is crying, you cant help but fall into a downward spiral of what that tear represents. If a smile brings on happiness, the tear is its nemesis.
I forgot to mention something the other day, because it was in between Christmas and New Years and there was more than enough going on. At work the other night I think I had my first brush with acceptance. I broke down, started hyperventilating. Usually I can hold myself together, but these tears where on a mission and they were brutal. I knew it was going to be the smallest and stupidest thing that was going to make me crack, and it was, junk email of all things.
I was at work, the night was quiet and I scrolled through my mailbox. The title “So Dad, How Do You Like the iPad We Got You?” I think this got me for a couple of reasons; we were given some of his items from overseas that day, one of the items being his iPad which I was delegated as it had his electronic book collection and I had shown the most interest in them. Secondly, it was the realization that I could never say thank you for it, but mostly the fact I could never give him something in return to which he could say thank you for. It was the thought process whilst reading it, where I felt overwhelmed that the internet seemed to know about my new iPad, but accidentally mixed it up and misunderstood that it was my dads gift to me. Which was quickly followed by the realization that the internet didn’t know at all, how could it, the new iPad was a coincidental mention, but that moment of being overwhelmed was the catalyst. It opened the floodgates, and what they were hiding wasn’t pretty.
I couldn’t control it, I had customers but I ran down the stairs to my manager who was currently busy talking to other customers. I didn’t want anyone to see the signs of my situation, my puffy red eyes, saturated with fear, the corners of my mouth stuck in a position where a smile was strategically impossible. I looked to the ground for support and to avoid all eye contact. Finally he was free, I quickly said I was sorry, but needed 5 minutes break if that was okay, and headed straight for the front door. He knows my situation so was more than okay with it, what was odd though was my storming off into the street, mainly because it was raining however I felt like fresh air was necessary. Also the solidarity of a side street where no one could hear or see me. What I experienced was new, it started with confusion and shock because I hadn’t experienced this uncontrolled outburst before. I hyperventilated. I walked faster. I stopped. I cried, I looked up at the sky, it was crying with me.
I said before that I felt like ‘acceptance’ wasn’t in itself a feeling, but a collective term. I think I was right. What I felt was shock, confusion, depression, anxiety, fear and the feeling that whatever I was experiencing was apart of me now and never leaving. The feeling that, usually I can stop my negative thoughts and leave those detrimental tears locked up, but this time I couldn’t and the reason was because of something so real and so permanent that there was no stopping it. It was forever lasting pain. That’s acceptance. It’s a falling sensation in a collection of emotions that are so negative, and so painful but so necessary. I finally stopped, pieced myself back together, held my hand to my mouth and magically managed to smile.
Although it lasted all of 10-15 minutes, it was probably the most insightful 10-15 minutes yet. It was scary, but at the same time oddly exciting. Exciting because I feel like that’s one less thing to be anxious about, one more thing I can prepare myself for. Because there is something perfectly flawed about acceptance, but perfect nonetheless.
Til next time x