a letter.

 

A beginning note: I tried about 5,000 times to write this blog (that is a slight exaggeration). I wrote and erased it so many times in fear that some of this post might sound too negative to people that are waiting to hear how I’m doing. So as I was writing and trying to shape what I was going to say, I ended up writing a letter to myself. It sums up how I’m feeling and what I want myself to remember. It can be scary for me to do this. It is scary for me to do this. I’m not sure yet about how I feel about baring my soul and brain to people, but here we are. So thanks friends, for letting me be honest here. Peace to you…


Dear me,

I know you want people to think you’re fine, so you lie when they ask how your new job is going so they don’t worry (because soon you will feel fine, it’s just a lot of change right now).

I know it feels like someone has kidnapped you from Sanctuary, blindfolded you, spun you around, and released you in Parkdale into the careful hands of Erinn and Joanna. You feel disoriented and confused, like you recognize where you are and what you are doing, but you didn’t know any of the faces or names. I know you cried many times when you said you were just going to the washroom, and held back tears as you set up tables and chairs for lunch. You used to know where the tables went and who sat in each seat. I’m sorry you feel guilty that you couldn’t help mend any broken hearts or quiet harsh words from community – you don’t know yet how to connect with people here (but you will learn). Big rooms feel overwhelming to you… it’s okay to sit with one person to chop vegetables and let them talk when they want to because you don’t know what to say. Soon you will know what to say.

I need to remind you that being in community with people will take a lot from you. It takes grace, selflessness, forgiveness, an open heart, and lots of time and space. It’s okay to feel vulnerable. Everyone is new and different. You don’t know where people sit yet, and how long they’ve been around. You don’t know their sorrows and joys, or how they interact with their community. It takes time to know people, and it will take them time to know you as well. This is part of the journey.

I know it’s hard for you to sit and be. Try. When you sit next to someone in drop-in, don’t look for dirty dishes that need cleaning or things that need putting away. Give it a couple minutes, even if you sit quietly next to someone and read the paper. It’s okay to be with people quietly. You can get to know people in this way as well.

There are good times ahead. I know you see it, kid. When someone remembers your name. When people sit across from you and tell you painful things even though they don’t know you, because they sense that they can trust you (be grateful for that). When you celebrate birthdays with community, and laugh with your new team as you guys carry the heaviest of appliances up tiny stairs. When you look around the room and smile. When you leave Erinn and Joanna and feel like your heart is in good hands. Things are good. They will be good.

God has placed you here right now and some days it will feel confusing. You will wonder if He really knew what He was doing. He knew. You have to trust that this is worth it (because it is).

Keep praying for peace and a friend. The Lord hears your prayer.

Love,

myself.

 

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vulnerability.

These past few weeks have felt especially full of weight.

For the longest time, I thought I was the type of person that adapted well to new things, people and situations. I moved around a lot as a kid, and I thought for sure that situation would have made me the most adaptable person there could be. However, as I get older and try to get to know myself more, I find that change does not do well for me. A change in plans, a change in the weather, a change in a job… I think – I know – that this is because I like to be in control. But I am also discovering that this cannot always be the case. Shocking, I know.

The most recent adjustment in my life is this transition in employment, from my job at Sanctuary to my new job at The Dale. I knew it was coming, and I actively participated in bringing about this change. However that does not stop me from feeling the weight of it. Sometimes the weight feels light and happy. When my friends surprise me with farewell cake and treats, cards that they’ve made and pictures they’ve painted. When people hug me and tell me that I will be missed and give me good wishes for the future. When they ask me to visit and make sure that we see each other again (which we will!).

But mostly, I’ve felt heavy. I think when I feel heavy about one thing, many things start to feel heavy for me. All the combined weights make me feel sad, the tears willing to fall even after seeing a simple commercial on tv. They make me feel unstable, more susceptible to sudden changes in my mood. They make me feel sleepy too, like gravity is pulling me down harder during the day.

The reason for my ramblings about all of this, is that my weights have got me thinking about vulnerability. Past Meagan would have tried (and still does, actually) to hide my sad parts away, tell people that I’m fine and hope that eventually I will feel light again. But I know now that you can’t feel light again without removing some of the weight and putting it down, and doing that means being vulnerable. It means telling people that you love, and who love you, what hurts and trusting that they’ll be there to take some things from you. I don’t know if this can always be done… sometimes you have to be with your sadness, and learn to be friends with it. Learn to acknowledge it and let it leave when it’s ready. But sometimes, you can give some of it to others to hold because they know how to put it down differently than you, or you can let it go when you open the curtains and windows and let fresh air in, or when you cry at the silly commercial on tv.

I have been listening to this band called Joseph lately, and they have a song called “Honest.” It goes, “There’s always two thoughts – one after the other: I’m alone. No you’re not.” I’m here to tell you (and myself) that it’s okay to feel the weight of your feelings, both the heavy and light ones. And it’s okay to let other people in to help you carry your weights. If they love you, they’ll want to be there for you. I promise. It might feel like you’re alone… no, you’re not.

-m.