Adulting is hard. Today I broke down in the car, and not the misty eye movie type of cry but the good full-blown one. You know the kind that blurs your vision till you must stop by the side of the road to gather yourself or you’ll ram into the car ahead (not always a Toyota nowadays therefore a considered expense). I haven’t had one of those moments in a while, and come to think of it, I’ve not cried in a long time. Don’t get it twisted, the no crying has only happened because of this year. I choose to call it “The Waiting to Exhale Year.”
I won’t lie, it’s been a hard year on so many fronts, from our changing family dynamics of my husband moving countries to being pregnant with our third child. From managing a household of two rambunctious growing boys, and a housekeeper; ensuring we all managed to eat the required number of meals a day while staying within budget in this ever-rising expensive city.
Then not that the first quarter of business helped at all! There was not one iota of business that came my way; which meant my creativity and bank balance suffered. It also meant that I was forced to pivot my thinking in regards to where my company was going to go for the rest of the year. You have no idea how glad I was that I hadn’t hired talent as planned last year when business was booming! I would have been responsible for other people and that would have killed me even more.
So back to the year of waiting to exhale, it’s been one thing after another, and only recently did someone put it so well – “Not Today Lord!” I have said that statement in my head more than I care to remember! It has come to me while in traffic and someone decides his or her hurry is more important than mine. While at home and one of the boys decides to approach me with either a philosophical question or a monumental tantrum.
When the car window refused to roll down when it was hot or up when it was freezing cold. When an email came in laden with an invoice requesting for payment. When my phone rang and I wasn’t sure what the conversation would be about, so I just sat there staring at the screen in dread. I’ve been holding my breath asking God that it not be today when the ties the bind all come unraveled.
Recently, a dear friend applauded my friends and I for our seemingly effortless ways of juggling our lives as they are – running homes, being mothers, demanding jobs or running a business. I was really happy when I read it as it felt like a strong pat on the back with someone saying, “You’re doing great girl!” I took it and ran with it to the bank. However, I was sad that I was here making it look effortless while in honesty it isn’t.
It got me thinking that as wives and mothers we rarely talk about the good things we’ve achieved that day, week or year. We instead speak about the hardships – the straying husband, the annoying child, the rough week and the daily harassment that we face on these streets. I don’t know if it’s a function of using that moment to exhale but it’s become such a necessary evil as it leaves one feeling better than when they woke up that morning. If you end up missing a few of those sessions, you realize just how helpful they are when you wake up, the world is crashing down on you and you can barely breath – refer to crying in the car incident above.
However, from an outside-looking-in perspective, I can see how it all looks somewhat easy to do even though nothing in life is easy. But I’d just like to clarify that there is a depository for all our woes among our peers that frees us to take up more and handle more (sometimes without even thinking).
Therefore, don’t take offense when a friend doesn’t share with you everything they are going through, as it’ll take a lot for someone to do so. Personally, I would end up feeling that I have burdened a friend unnecessarily and that I would have killed any hope of them wanting to be married and to have children of their own. I don’t want to take that responsibility so I’ll just smile and wave.
So don’t feel that you’re not a good friend because I can’t come to you with my woes, just look at it as me sparing you the behind the scenes drama going on in real time behind the curtains. Kindly watch the show and enjoy, and when it’s your turn I promise I will be there for you to deposit your woes with me. Until then a quote that’s been giving me life of late: “I sometimes act like nothing’s wrong. It’s called dealing with shit and staying strong.” Anonymous.
As for how I got over the streaming tears earlier on, apart from a soaked hankie and loads of pulling mucus back? I remembered a verse I had seen on Instagram the night before. Psalms 61:2 “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” It is good to know that despite whatever the situation there is a rock higher than us, than our circumstance, than our situations and we just have to accept the shepherd’s guidance to it. At the end of the day, we do our best and God does the rest.
This piece was first published in Femmolution (2016) by Creatives Garage.