Last summer, on one of those my-life-will-never-be-the-same-after-this trips to Italy’s Amalfi Coast, I took a BIG ole risk and unbuttoned the way-too-tight-and-giving-me-a-muffin-top pair of jeans I had my soul squeezed into, and I put on the most comfortable pair of yoga pants ever. I had been trying to squeeze my booty into a pair of jeans that simply didn’t fit my soul, and when I finally set it free, I realized that those jeans had never been meant for me to begin with. They just simply weren’t my jeans! I had always needed the stretchy yoga pants that could move and grow with my ever-changing soul, and I didn’t even know it.
Guilt is a driving force. I feel it almost every day. Guilt for not liking it. Guilt for feeling all of this in the first place and talking about it.
What I wish someone had told me seems so simple: I am not my brother, I am not my mom, and I am not my daughter. But what I model will shape my daughter. I want to model self-sufficiency and totally falling in love with your own inner being so that one day she can light that fire for herself.
The exact degree of pain this kind of loss can bring isn’t something that anyone can truly prepare you for, no matter how much they tell you or try to prepare you. However, one thing I saw over and over in conversations I had with people who had encountered similarly difficult things was a desire for more conversation about difficult, taboo, or simply not-talked-about topics. We feel alone and unprepared because no one is sharing their experience with hard things. We are just expected to figure it out on our own.