journal

Tea for Two?

Never Complain and Never Explain ~ Benjamin Disraeli

Almost 100 years before the government brought us the motivational poster, “Keep Calm and Carry On”, it was headed by Benjamin Disraeli , who delivered this no nonsense quote that epitomizes the notion of the British stiff upper lip.

keep-calm-and-carry-on-1

While I blame my Italian blood for denying me the composure required to pull off the former, I do my best to live by the latter. I try not to make excuses, and if I can’t be positive then I can at least be quiet.

When my body decided to betray me, I was not going to be the person that dominated the conversation with her tale of woe. Besides, I never forgot that everyone has a story, and mine was certainly not a tragedy.

So I plastered on a smile to cover up the gritting of my teeth and I went about the business of working and raising a family.

Unfortunately, true friends see the pain a beautiful smile can hide and I had no desire to burden anyone with problems that had no real solutions.  I knew I had to make the best of the situation and I started to seclude myself until I could figure out exactly how to do that.  The unintended side effect was an isolation that fed on itself and added depression to the list of symptoms that I was trying to shield the world from. As well, I’m sure I hurt the feelings of the very people I was trying to spare, who couldn’t understand why I had disappeared from their lives.

It all came to a head when one of those wonderful friends reached out with her own heartache.   I didn’t know how to respond. I had no well of optimism to draw from but I also knew my problems didn’t compare so I couldn’t commiserate .  I needed to say something, I just didn’t feel I had anything to offer.

If I couldn’t provide light, I could at least hold her hand in the dark so I poured everything that I had been battling into an email.  I apologized for being distant, and then I complained and explained and then I apologized for that as well.  Before I could over analyze what I had written, and worry that I was unburdening on someone who already had more than enough to deal with, I signed off with love and pressed send.

Suddenly I felt a little lighter. The day started to take shape and I was able to tackle things that earlier had seemed insurmountable.  By getting everything off my chest, I was able to put things into perspective.  The walls I had erected to protect my friends had unwittingly become my jail cell.

I started toying with the idea of a blog where I could direct all my negativity and complaints and then ship it out into some unknown corner of the internet. My health had arrived at a point where there was no cure that I could work towards.  I had always been results based so although the verdict was definitely not devastating, I think I got lost without a finish line to cross.  Creating a blog gave me a goal and something to work towards even when my body refused to cooperate.

Deciding to write in an online format meant choosing a theme, creating a name and designing a logo. Dee Hock once said “create an empty corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.”  By the time I got to the point of actually writing my first entry, it was not just a vessel to pour all of my frustration and pain into.  Suddenly my outlook wasn’t as dark, so my subject matter was able to take a lighter tone.

I was also introduced to a community that reminded me that I was not alone.  Blogging helped not only to empty a corner of my mind, but also filled me with inspiration.

By being quiet, I had lost my voice. If it hadn’t been for a friend who I felt was lost, I would never have taken those first steps that ultimately gave me direction.  Maybe someday something I write will strike a chord in some future reader and help them begin their journey.  As Leonardo Da Vinci wrote, “An arch consists of two weakness, which, when leaning on each other, becomes a strength.”

Or maybe, all my musings will disappear in the internet never to be seen again.  Either way,  I will write because as I said, everyone has a story.

This is mine.

T

We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering ~ Brené Brown

 

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4 thoughts on “Tea for Two?

  1. Wow! Yes! I just followed a link which I saw posted on Blogging U and without expecting I found someone I can identify with – the way you describe how you “retreated” and isolated yourself from others with the intention to spare them a burden. And you say it so elegantly – it must be your Italian blood 😉
    Anyway, you’re not on your own and you will be surprised how many of us are out there. And blogging is the golden key to connect.
    I wish you luck on your journey! Vilina
    https://vilinachristoph.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by. This entire experience has been so wonderful and beneficial. I don’t think I realized how much I was missing connecting with others until I started to find people within the blogging community. *mwah*

      Liked by 1 person

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