Sunday, January 3, 2016

I refuse to jump.

When I was little, I had a hard time starting sentences with the words "I feel." I don't know if I could have explained why that was, but it hurt somewhere inside my own body to say those words.

Then I went to college. There was a summer that I changed. It was 2011. I remember how freeing it felt to realize that I could talk about my feelings. I became an advocate of doing so, especially for women.

The pendulum has swung back slowly, and here I am at the other end again. Feelings seem too risky. Hipsters don't care about anything because caring isn't cool. Because caring hurts.

Caring hurts. It's as simple as when someone doesn't like your favorite restaurant. A lot of my friends think Panda Express is gross, and that makes me sad. I'm watching The Office for the first time (yes, ever), and there were people on IMDB saying that Jim and Pam are bullies. That hurt me. Caring hurts.

You're supposed to power through the fact that caring hurts and not let it stop you. Brene Brown says that you have to show up and be seen, no matter the outcome. Get up when you fall. Keep jumping off the cliff into the lake every time, because that's the only way to live.

I've done that. It's the only way to live.

But then once, I walked to the edge of the cliff and stopped. I'm still there, and I refuse to jump. It feels like every light switch to my heart has been turned off, one by one. It feels hard to say "I feel."

This is not an "I was having a hard time, but now I'm better" story. I'm tired of hearing those, because they make everything seem too easy. It ain't over till it's over.

This is an "I'm having a hard time" story. And that's where it ends. As if in the middle of a sentence.


  1. I will come to Utah and go to Panda with you and talk about all of this with you because I am feeling the hardness of feelings myself. I just started rereading Brene Brown's book the other day. Feelings are hard.

  2. I think it's an important experience to not feel or not even want to feel. That's part of being human. And being human is important. We were sent here to be human so that we will learn stuff to help us the next time around. I don't know if you've seen Inside Out, but I know what's it's like to have headquarters shut down and the control board freeze and turn black and not be able to feel anymore - but (as the movie points out) THAT is a beautiful human thing as well because then it makes the opposite that much more amazing.

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  4. There are so many specifics I need to hear. Too bad this is the internet and you can't speak candidly to strangers without implicating those involved. (sigh)

  5. Ah this was beautiful and just what I needed to read right now. I love you, Rachel! And someday you will be able to jump and it will be worth it. And you know what? Standing on the edge of the cliff for a long time is okay. I think we've all done it at some point.