I spend my time in this space collecting moments. I’ve expressed my adoration for the countless sunrises and sunsets, gratitude toward my morning runs and my ability to appreciate the ordinary, whether it is picking out vegetables at the grocery store or basking in solitude. A large part of this practice is innate and chosen. My gaze is focused on dovetailing into the seconds of my life, honoring the beauty of each moment and acknowledging this grace by saying, “Thank you.”
But there are countless times when I don’t feel like I have it together. Last Friday, I hurried toward my daughter’s school, running late, missing an important luncheon. When our eyes met, I saw her tears. The what if’s darted across my mind, “What if I left earlier? Why didn’t I check the traffic? There was an alternative route – why didn’t I opt to take this road?” The point is, I didn’t do any of those what if’s and ultimately disappointed my daughter. She got over it quickly, as children usually do, but these seconds ticked in a way where my emotions weren’t together and I was not honoring the gratitude in this moment. I realize it’s a minor infraction, a first world issue, but what if there are several of those kind of moments? What then?
In the last few months, I’ve experienced hurt feelings over various situations. I may come across strong, but I am porous. I’ve always felt things, deeper than I reveal. I am not a moody person, so I choose not to broadcast these emotions. My overriding philosophy is to make an effort to believe in the best people have to offer. My default is kindness, but lately, I am wondering if this is a weakness. Do the offending parties feel any of the hurt I am experiencing? Are they even thinking about what I am feeling? Do they care? These are of course inquiries which lead to the abyss of speculation, a place where you can continue to circle for countless moments and never receive an answer. It’s in those periods, where consternation, doubt and sensitivity reign. And not one of those places make me feel like I have it all together. It conjures up one word: impostor.
Oh, the countless moments of self-doubt. The manuscript which is still undergoing revisions. The publications in which I don’t have a byline. The few extra pounds which, I fear, will never melt away. All of the questions that make a life – Am I a good daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend or person?” Do any of us feel like we have it together? It’s an inquiry which solicits uncomfortable feelings and a vulnerability difficult to excavate.
I’ve come to realize I am less than zen in many areas of my life. I don’t have the answers. I fumble over and over, never quite keeping the momentum going in the way I intended. The cadence speeds up, I lag behind. I hesitate saying whether it’s “good enough” – Can I even say it out loud? The growing mantra, is, yes, it is good enough. But, I am here to say, some days living a haphazard life doesn’t rise to level of my expectations. I don’t feel together. And it isn’t enough.
I have the option of shrugging my shoulders, saying it doesn’t matter, but I’d be lying. All of it matters. Maybe that is why I am here today, not highlighting flowers and asking that you pay attention to what is in front of you, because some days it’s difficult to harbor this kind of gratitude. I’ve always believed, to be swallowed by any emotion requires you to acknowledge the spectrum of every feeling, even the seconds that make you feel uncomfortable and gnaw at you piece by piece.
So you heard it here first, I don’t have it together. But maybe this is the point.