Doing hard things 31/31 #SOL

This has been very, very hard for so many of us. And, I know that I have put myself in situations without considering just how difficult they might be. But, this. This March has been really, really hard. The hardest by far.

It’s been the kind of hard when you lie down at night, and stare at the ceiling without a sense that you will sleep. The kind where you wonder if you’ll be able to ignore the thoughts in your head, the fears for your family. You wonder if you’ll just toss all night, race into work the next day to teach, and then mark, and then teach, and then mark without a day between one week and the weekend. They are really the same – the beginning and the end blur into an amorphous period of time – morning, night, morning, night.

It’s been the kind of hard where you notice your neck near the base of your skull is so tense it’s hard to turn and look left or right and then you notice a stye developing near the corner of your eye, a little flutter of the heart, and you wonder about your body responding when your brain refuses. You see your students dropping, missing, falling, and you kick into another gear, restore the composure to be there – for them – lift them up – the adult in the room, ready to help, all the while pushing that pain somewhere else into the future – the summer, maybe, when it can be owned. For now, it is unacknowledged and I refuse to go there.

It’s been the kind of hard where your heart squeezes and you learn how to secretly release a whiff of suffering travelling on air moving up the throat, expelling enough of a gasp through the mouth to release just a bit of the grief without displaying tears. I’ve actually become an expert and masks are helpful. Besides, only one other person here, in this school, knows about what is really hard for me right now, so when they ask, I just smile, and mention something light or funny to keep me from dipping below the surface of functioning.

It’s been the kind of hard where writing about another world, another experience, another person was the best kind of therapy. Yes, writing here was hard, harder than last year, and really hard this March. But it did give me a place to create another world, to imagine other experiences, and to delight in colours, in chords, and in collaboration. Thanks to everyone who read, and most of all, thanks to Tobi and Amanda who help me consistently do hard things.

15 thoughts on “Doing hard things 31/31 #SOL

  1. Melanie, I always appreciate your posts and the way you string words together so beautifully! I appreciate the effort you put into commenting. I’m grateful you showed up, even though it’s been hard. It helped one of the hard months seem a bit shorter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow– I found it so hard this month to read as many slices as I normally do, and I wish I’d made more time for yours. Your ability to express truths and connect is so powerful. Yes, the base of my neck hurts. And yes, there are nights when I’m like were is the sandman? I appreciate your reflections and your being there, even though it was super hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Melanie – it really has been a hard month, hasn’t it? Here’s to building a team from our strengths; here’s to letting our bodies relax and letting the suffering out in a great big whoosh. Here’s to writing through it all and believing that something better will come. We’ve got this.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dear Melanie, you’ve said so much and left so much unsaid. Yes, “this is hard,” but it’s even harder when the hard world is one we can’t seal in ink, when we must create an alternative world in lieu of going public w/ the other hard one. I often sense a subtext in your ethereal posts. I want to give you a big hug and ease the hard corners of your world. Since I can’t, I’m sending peace and light to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “It’s been the kind of hard where your heart squeezes and you learn how to secretly release a whiff of suffering travelling on air moving up the throat, expelling enough from of a gasp through the mouth to release just a bit of the grief without displaying tears.” This description is so damned heartbreaking and vivid and familiar. Thank you for sharing your suffering in such a beautiful, honest way. As hard as all of this is for us, in all the different ways, the community here just dives deep alongside us and then is there to lift us up on the other side. You CAN do hard things.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The really hard thing, that you haven’t written about here, I do hope you will write about it for your own self. Won’t it help? I hope so. Meanwhile, your writing is so strong and beautiful. I wish I had been able to read your more regularly. I hope to see you here in future.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Melanie, I’m stuck on this part: “…knows about what is really hard for me right now, so when they ask, I just smile, and mention something light or funny to keep me from dipping below the surface of functioning.” And I’m reading this now almost a week later and this nearly knocked the wind out of me. Suffice it to say, I feel this deeply right now and it helps me to see it written here, someone else’s words that speak a truth I hesitate to say myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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