Oprah’s Golden Globes speech– it’s a must see. I wish I had written it. I can’t imagine that you would enjoy reading about the things I have to say and not appreciate her words. You’ll find the video here.
In other news, remember that I was feeling under the weather on Friday? Well, something noteworthy happened this weekend in relation. Do you recall my mentioning in a few posts that I used to work for a preschool, and that losing that job was rock bottom? Can you also recall from my post on moving to Chicago that I mentioned panicking when I think I’ve spotted my ex? Let me add to that– I also carry a great deal of fear for run-ins with the administrators of my old preschool. As much as I wish that wasn’t the truth, it absolutely is. I wish that I could look all of those people in the eyes and express my pride and gratitude for their roles in shattering my security. If I continue on the track I’m on, I’m sure I will be strong enough one day. Sadly, that day isn’t quite here.
So this weekend, my friend Ali (old co-teacher and roommate) took me to Panera when I wasn’t feeling well. Because we sat on opposite sides of the table to catch up, I had a clear view of the ordering line behind her. I noticed the shape of a too-familiar person standing there. I’m enormously grateful that this person’s back was towards me because I quickly realized who she was and that she was not alone. In the moment I recognized these women, Ali asked me who I was looking at. How’d she know that I was in the middle of a crisis? This girl has seen panic on my face more than any other person– plus, I’m notoriously bad at keeping a straight face. Seriously, if I’m happy, you’ll know. If I’m confused, you can tell. I can’t lie, I am an open book in all the ways.
She asked me who I was looking at. I told her that it was two of our old administrators, that I wasn’t ready for this, and asked what I should do. How quickly we reverted to our co-dependance and I relied on her instructions. Once again, she guided me while I was frozen and told me to wait in the bathroom. I grabbed my phone and slunk there.
Because Ali’s back was to them, she tried to give me the play-by-play based on what she was hearing. Guys, I sat in that bathroom for ten minutes– hiding. As much as I would like to joke about this and make fun of my cowardliness, I can’t. While I sat in that stall, I remembered all the times I ran to the bathroom of that school for a break. The times when I was too overwhelmed with training new teachers, reassuring worried parents, advocating for sick babies, the times I had to work through my own illnesses, or when I couldn’t hold back my tears. Then, I was hit with the memories of the times I hid in my bedroom to escape a fight with my ex. I remembered when I realized that he had broken the lock to my room from busting through too many times, and pushing all of my furniture in front of the door to keep him out. I remembered failing every single time.
As I sat in the bathroom of Panera, I forced my mind back into survival mode and depended on Ali to tell me when it was safe to leave. As soon as I saw “go now” on my phone, I walked back to the table, we grabbed our coats and left. We avoided them successfully, and let me reiterate, I wish I could have had the bravery to face them. The truth is, for as much as I talk the talk and interact with people like I don’t recognize the pain inside of me, it’s still sitting there. I’m able to acknowledge that it’s living there, but it’s no longer feeding on me. Now I know that it’s able to come back as strongly as the days it was active. My body still knows the autopilot of living through fear, and it was a relatively disturbing realization.
I spent the rest of the weekend at home– not wallowing, but recovering. It had been a long while since I’d had my own time in my own home, and it was nice to revel in it. I had some friends over, ate pizza, continued to process my inability to be unattached in a relationship, and here I am back at work– fresh and ready to go. I’m happy to report that last week ushered in potty training success for my sassy three year old, and so far she’s continued crushing it today. Like many milestones in my life, I thought this day would never come.
Ps. WATCH OPRAH’S SPEECH