I don't mean for this to sound ungrateful. But when I hear you describe me as brave or courageous, I feel uncomfortable. Am I really courageous? Because I don't feel that way. Ever since leaving a cult nine years ago, it has mostly felt like I'm clawing my way out of a pit. I always wanted to own a home because I never had that as a child. I wanted to give my children something better. I grasped that dream for awhile. But now it's gone, slipping through my grasping fingers.
Sometimes I think the only reason why I'm pursuing happiness so hard is because I don't want to slide back into the pit.
There are days when I think I've overcome so much and am thriving. But then there are days like today when I feel like I'm just barely surviving. And maybe I'm not doing a good job. Maybe I really am repeating the sins of my fathers--just in a different context.
Those are the old voices, I know. But today, after two solid days of purging my house (how, in just three years, did we build up so much clutter?), I'm weary and bone-tired and the old voices seem much louder somehow.
I feel so weak.
Right now, selling our home feels like a failure. I mean, I know it's not. But it's so odd how that little cupboard door that was irritating me so badly last week now seems entirely endearing. Oh, dear little squeaky cupboard door! Why must I leave you?
So, you see. I'm not really brave and courageous. I'm a soppy, emotional mess who burst into tears when her husband walked in the door tonight.
"What's wrong?" he asked, proffering some chicken enchiladas--my favorite from Trader Joe's.
"Those have meat!" I wailed. "And I gave up meat for Lent. But I'm so hungry!"
"You went a little overboard on the whole Lent thing this year," he remarked.
"Will God be upset with me if I have just one little enchilada?" I asked.
"Oh, yes. He'll be terribly angry," Matt said, dryly. "Eating one enchilada is a big sin, you know."
I ate the enchilada.
And while eating the enchilada, I read a note my neighbor wrote for our family. She listed all the wonderful memories she had of us as her neighbors. That made me cry all over again. People love us? Oh, yes. They really do.
Maybe I'm not such a horrible failure, after all.
I mean, horrible failures of people don't clean their entire house and then fold like eight loads of laundry, do all the school pickups, make lunches, go to exercise bootcamp, work on their book, do the dishes and chat with the crossing guard. Do they?
"Here," said Matt. "Have a Hershey's kiss."
"But I'm not supposed to have dessert! It's LENT!"
"OK. I'll just leave it here while I go fix that shower knob in the bathroom."
I didn't just eat one Hershey's kiss.
I ate two.
Then I watched Intervention on A&E and felt much better about myself.
See? I'm not brave. I'm just a weak woman with an inordinate fondness for chocolate and crap television. Lord, have mercy.