Life is so beautiful. Life is so hard.
Life is so beautiful. Life is so hard. Both of these things are true, even though at first glance you might think they aren't. I love this new mural in Downtown Durham because it speaks to exactly how I feel today on my 33rd birthday: happy and hurting.
Happy AND hurting. I've defined those feelings as binary until recently. But they're two sides of the same coin for me, at the moment. I've never felt happier, more authentic to myself, more free, than I do at this exact moment in time— and that is BECAUSE I've chosen to acknowledge the pain in my life instead of pretending it's not there.
There were dark nights in the year after my dad's death, when I felt so alone and trapped in my marriage that wasn't working, where I questioned the beauty in life. Sometimes I didn't think life was worth it. I felt like I couldn't talk about my pain, though it was completely consuming me. No one knew.
Today, I'm in a safer and healthier place. It was almost exactly a year ago that I decided to end my marriage. It was about six months ago that I decided to leave my job so I could focus on myself, my feelings, and my grief. These are the two best decisions I've ever made, and probably the only decisions I've ever made, with my own wellness as the number one priority.
Now, I'm spending my time learning about grief, writing about grief, and—most importantly— doing the grieving. I'm surrounding myself with people who love and support me. I'm engaging in experiences that are helping me better understand myself and how I feel. I've never felt happier, AND I've never felt pain like this. I feel incredibly privileged to be here, feeling both of those things for another year of life.
Grieving is so beautiful. Grieving is so hard.
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