Lately when people have been asking how I am it's pretty difficult to answer the question. A shoulder shrug seems to be the most accurate. It varies from month to month, week to week, day to day, sometimes minute to minute. It depends on what is on my mind at any given second. It depends on how dark the cloud is over me on any given day. No answer seems to be a good one.
I struggle with not wanting to come across as thankless and hopeless, while also wanting to be honest in that moment. We can be totally honest and say that my life could be so much worse. I could be so much unhappier than I am right now. Still, that doesn't seem to be the point of the question, "How are you"?
I live in China. Some days that's pretty interesting and exhilarating. Other days it's frustrating and debilitating. I'm also going through a divorce. There are times that I see hope and a bright light at the end of the tunnel, and other moments I feel as though it could not get any worse. The dark cloud follows me wherever I go, though I sometimes forget that it's there. I look forward to a day when that cloud goes away completely and I can feel whole again.
My brokenness comes from the things that I miss. The things that I long for. I long for the seemingly little things in life. Things like road trips with my best friends, dancing in the living room with my nieces, long talks with my mom in her living room, walking through Epcot at night, cuddling my dog when I wake up in the morning, kissing my cat on the head over and over again until he gets annoyed, listening to my vinyl records while sipping coffee, and driving around Disney World property on a sunny day.
Suppressing my hurt can only last for so long before it all comes out full force. To be honest, what has been bothering me most lately is knowing that people that matter to me have judged me, disconnected from me, and disregarded my feelings without being fully aware of certain truths and actualities. I keep a lot to myself, and for that I am fully responsible. That being said, the consequences of my silence have bubbled up to the surface. My health fails me frequently, both physically and mentally. I'm challenged some days just getting myself out of my apartment.
What I find so interesting is the notion that I "deserve" this pain because "I chose this." I'm fully aware that I chose to pursue things that enriched my life, challenged my existence, and ultimately sacrificed things that mean a lot to me. Life is full of tough choices, and at one point in my life I was given the choice of living a lie forever, or sacrificing things in order to make a better future for myself. There was no way out, and there was certainly no easy solution. There hasn't been one second that I've wondered if I did the "right" thing. But there have certainly been many moments when I've wished for it all to not be so damn hard.
Every single day I'm so grateful that I have Disney in my life. Disney isn't a certain place, character, or movie. For me it's a feeling of belonging and nostalgia. Even on my worst days, Disney has always been this thing in my life that's allowed me to feel hopeful about the future and thankful for the past. What a wonderfully positive way to unite so many people from around the world together. Even here in China where things could sometimes not feel more polar opposite than what I'm used to, there seems to be a common appreciation of magic that is building every day.
As I proofread this emotionally driven blog post I've just written, I've stopped crying and I'm now at a place of peace. Things won't always be this hard. The dark cloud won't always be over my head. Perhaps a year from now I'll look back on this night and be thankful for the darkness, because I'm sure it will help me appreciate the light.