Mourning

Mourning

I think I’ve always kind of known this, but recently, this thought has become even more apparent to me: women make things so personal. By that, I mean that the men I know just do what has to be done, without worrying/obsessing so damn much about the ripple effects of their actions– be they in the personal arena or the professional arena. For example, lots of my guy buds have left jobs… They just don’t let decisions like that EAT at them in the same way women do; instead, they focus on what’s ahead. Every time I leave a job, I suffer so many sleepless nights, deliberating ad nauseum my decision to leave, and why? I don’t owe my employers anything!! And beyond that, it’s not even the end of the world for anyone! So ridiculous.

So in mid-July, I was in a really bad funk. Professionally, I continued to feel miserable despite having a bit more clarity. Personally, I was feeling super tapped out with multiple relationships. For some reason and all at once with several friendships, I felt like I was giving a lot and not getting anything in return… so I felt really sad for many days– almost like I was in mourning. I cried, thinking about all the friendships that had changed over the last few years– how people had moved away or disappeared (because of new girlfriend) or had lost touch… It took me almost two weeks to get over making this some kind of affront against me, you know? Sure, people are busy, they have their lives, they just get wrapped up, blah, blah, blah… to me, it’s still never a great excuse, but at least, it was a tiny bit consoling to know that it’s not really about me: I haven’t become completely boring or dull or whatever.

So anyway, two weeks later, I finally got over it and decided there was no option but to move on. Life is what it is. At least until the next time people disappoint/piss me off, right?

My friend Chuck died yesterday. Doctors had given him six months, but he lasted 5 years. He was a true fighter. I have written about C and his wife F before. They weren’t really a perfect match (like my beloved Noah and Allie), but there was a fortitude and resilience about them that I couldn’t help but admire. I wonder if C lived out his final years full of great moments… or if it was just this endless battle with experimental meds and treatments and chemo. In the end, was he tired of it all, or did death drag him away still kicking and screaming? C is yet another reminder of the finiteness of life. I don’t know how to make it all worthwhile and meaningful. I know I want to live an empowered life, one full of intention. I know that I deeply treasure and value relationships. But beyond that, how do I implement truly living an empowered life?

Sheryl Sandberg asks all of us, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” For me, the answers run the gamut and so the larger question almost becomes “What wouldn’t you do if you weren’t afraid?” Seriously, how do I fit everything in without running out of time?

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