Self Care & Dealing With Loss
This is a blog post I never thought I'd write. As someone who has grown up online, I've shared a lot of personal things over the years. I celebrated the birth of my daughter with my first official "blog" (a side project aptly entitled 'For Lorelai' that is now cringe-worthy but also very sweet to reflect on from time to time), discovered my most enjoyable hobby and lived the year leading up to my wedding with you in real time. I have chronicled my journey from adolescence to adulthood and most things in between. I arranged run-on sentences about discovering your style and my obsessions du jour. These pursuits all seem so painfully trivial (minus any Lorelai ramblings and a marriage that holds me up in every way) in comparison to what I sat down to share today.
My mom passed away nearly two weeks ago and although it seems that life has continued to swirl around me just as fervently as it ever did, my whole world has changed. It is as if I exist in a bubble and everything inside is labored and languid while everything outside is exactly the same. I'm bowled over every time I head out into the world and no one else seems as shaken as I am. Although I'll probably never go into detail about our relationship within this space, the bond my mom and I shared was complicated (just as most mother-daughter relationships are) and her very being is interwoven into every aspect of my own. At 46 years old, my mom left this world and I am just trying to navigate what seems to be an entirely new planet.
As with all loss, these feelings come and go in crashing, bubbling waves. Some days I'm surprisingly okay and others are hard to get through with much sense of normalcy. It's been both a blessing and a hardship that, for lack of better phrasing, the show must go on. The morning and afternoon school runs don't stop for your grieving. Trash day comes once a week like clockwork and those bins must go out whether or not you'd rather stay in the fetal position. Work continues on, phone calls 'just to check in' lessen and your usual routine beckons like an old friend.
It's strange how loss changes and shapes a person so quickly. How it solidifies your priorities and negates all of the other things that have somehow manifested as 'important' in your life. How it reveals your true friends and weeds out the people that were never truly there for you to begin with. It makes you grow up overnight (even if you're squarely in your twenties, a mother, a wife and thought you were already grown up...). It exhausts you. It makes you angry. It makes you bitter. It makes you grateful. It makes you cherish the moments that you were able to have with the people that you love and helps you look forward to the moments that are yet to come with the people that you're still lucky enough to have. Loss is the most complicated emotion I have ever had to experience and I'm learning that I'll greet it and deal with it every day from here on out.
Over the past couple of weeks I've thought many times of returning to this little corner of the web. Of creating something frivolous to pass the time or to help take my mind off of bigger problems but outfit posts and things that once stuck my fancy just seem vapid. I know I can't continue here without first sharing this new season of life. I've had a lot of time over the last two weeks to think about all the ways that my world is different; all the ways that I should be or could be processing this information. What I've arrived at is this: I'm in need of self care unlike any I've ever had to give myself before. With every memory or fleeting thought I feel a pull to turn inward and be gentle with myself. I couldn't possibly entertain a schedule or self-inflicted deadline right now if my life depended on it.
In those long stretches of time in the wee hours of the morning that I spend tossing and turning while the house sleeps sweetly, I've constructed a very loose plan to dive into a period of extreme self care and simplification. I'm letting go of pressure and self-judgement. I'm working on getting past feelings of should. If I don't feel like vacuuming, I won't. If staying in our pillowy bed and re-reading a book for the third time sounds like the thing that will get me through the day, that is what I will do. This space may look different (although I do look forward to continuing to share the same flights of fancy that I did before) and posts my not come as regularly as they have in the past. I will feel honored if you choose to stick it out and ride this wave with me but will not be offended if you were only in it for the OOTDs either. Inspired by a dear blogger friend, I'm working up the courage to scrub my social media channels and start fresh.
It is never a good time to part with the people that you love but this period of change comes on the heels of some very big news for my little family. We are moving far from the comfort of home within the next couple of months (more on that another day) and it seems like the perfect time to make big changes all over my life. You see, loss has shifted the very definition of who I am as a person and that means that nothing in my life can stay the same. I am a woman in the making.