I sat on a bench this afternoon for about fifteen minutes with my eyes closed feeling a little sad and down. I was trying to find that place inside of myself where I could be okay with not being okay*. Sitting there, trying to breathe deeply both emotionally and physically, I noticed as the sun came out from behind a cloud, it’s rays momentarily illuminating my eyelids. The wind blew, chilling my right cheek and lifting my hair so that it brushed my lips. A person walked by in flip flops, smoking a cigarette and my senses were so overwhelmed by the smack of her shoes and the stench of her smoke, that for a moment I got out of my head. I headed back to my desk, feeling just a little bit better about feeling kinda crappy.
*Being okay with not being okay is the state of mind I search out when all the little things I’ve spent a lifetime not liking about myself mount and become nearly overwhelming. When all the shoulds, seemingly missed opportunities and disappointments become almost unbearable. When the life I lead now seems to be, in my own harsh estimation, dull and unsuccessful. In those moments I can’t do anything but slow down the tape that plays in my head, the one that beats me up for feeling bad and judges me for judging myself. I try to give myself a little space to accept the fact that I feel these things, reminding myself all the while that feelings aren’t necessarily reality. They may feel deeply real, but they don’t have to be. That reminder lights a little spark, which enough to guide me back out and onward.