Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Only Way Through is Through


Hello Invisible Audience,


It’s been a whirlwind for me lately. How have you been?


I’m officially forty now. I start teaching Spanish classes next week. I sent the kittens I was fostering back to the humane society for adoption, left the two I adopted at home, and drove their mother to Seattle yesterday to her new home. This morning I’m going in for oral surgery.


That’s a lot, right? It sure feels like a lot. A drive across two mountain passes with a cat that shakes during car rides the day after she’s been spayed felt like a lot. Finding myself talking a mile a minute to her new family, trying to convey how lovely she usually is and also wanting to make sure I’m not misleading them about her felt like a rock I wrestled with and lost. Trying to convince myself that my oral surgery will go ok when I’ve had terrible experiences with oral surgeries and dental work in the past feels nearly insurmountable. Trying to convince myself I’ll be ready to teach kids next week in the midst of all of that feels like one of those lies you tell yourself because it needs to be true. And knowing the kittens I adopted are fine and in good hands while I’m gone does not lessen the ache I feel being away from them.


Something good has changed for me recently, Invisible Audience. I feel less of a need to be able to see exactly how the future will play out before I lean into it. I feel a growing confidence that I can make it work, whatever “it” is. And yet, simultaneously, I feel this super sensitive part of me rising to the surface—this little girl I buried a long time ago who wants to talk to people about how much she loves cats and needs to over explain things so people understand what she’s really thinking and how much she cares.


This world has been terrifying for me for years, Invisible Audience. It’s felt like I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop; for some new horror to happen; for another way for a person I love to be taken from me or to drop out of my orbit for one reason or another. I’ve found boundaries to be a hard lesson to learn to implement for myself, and a hard one to accept from others. Often, I’ve found myself following through with a decision that I knew was the right one but that made me sick to my stomach to make and left me wondering whether I’d still be standing—and still be loved—after I’d made it.


And now, right when I have decided that I’ve got this, a new wave of sensitivity hits me. Pardon my fear, but what the actual fuck?


Even as I write this, I know the answer. This is how growth works, for me anyway. This is what it looks like to lean in. And for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, I don’t know how to not lean in anymore. When it hurts, I feel it, then I change things. Not always when I want to. Often being dragged kicking and screaming. But it happens. Shit shows up and I deal with it…then more shit shows up.


Today’s shit is an oral surgery. Tomorrow’s will be a drive home. Next week’s will be teaching kids Spanish. In between will be some kitten cuddles, probably interspersed with some kitten attacks while I’m trying to pet them. Because that’s the way life is. There is no sweet without the sully (to badly paraphrase something Cheryl Strayed wrote once.) There’s no way through other than through, I guess.


So here I go. Through. Again.


Love and through kisses,



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