“Julie, do you have a headache today?” asked my coworker. I thought she was inquiring because my office was lit by lamp light only.
I nodded, miserable.
“I'm asking because I woke up with a headache too. It must be
I mentioned that I would probably benefit from having a good cry
and the next thing I knew, her arms were wrapped around me. She was
cooing to me as a loving mother sings to her baby. Her kindness
unleashed sobs that shook my achy body.
I don't cry easily when I'm solitary, which means I carry around
the weight of needing to cry along with the usual stressers of daily
life and as well as the heaviness of not so ordinary concerns. My
colleague validated me, honored the sad place I was in, and listened
to me as I said the hard things outloud.
Another colleague offered me some Excederin, which I accepted
curious if it would help. It did.
I sat in the dim light and forged ahead with my work at a slower,
gentler pace than I'm usually capable of.
That's what I'm calling this place I'm currently in.
What's remarkable is that I haven't felt a bout of this sadness
for months. It's been really great. I have felt light and happy. But
the thing about the past few days is that I'm reminded about the
impermanence that is woven into all of life. The bad stuff won't last
forever, but neither will the good.
I haven't been writing lately, which contributes to my low moods.
But I'm navigating the terrain of being a granddaughter without
grandparents. My grandfather's health has quickly declined, and I am
pondering what my life will look like when he is no longer physically
accessible. He provides me with a unique brand of love and support,
and I am mulling over what it will mean to miss it when it is gone.
As I ponder, I have spent most of my free time laying under the
warmth of a blanket on my couch binge-watching a British series on
Netflix. My to-do list has remained unchecked: wash the dishes,
return checked-out items to the library, grocery shop.
I call this relaxation self-care, and I know I have come a long
way in being kinder to myself because I haven't chastised myself for
the hours I've spent doing nothing.
Embracing brief stays in Blueville helps me lean into the
discomfort and disorientation of feeling sad. It reminds me that it's
a human thing to be sad, and that I don't need to be fixed. Some
problems don't have solutions. They just take up residency in our
hearts and minds, and they ease only when we invite them in rather
I have come so far in understanding my life and my place in it,
but this stop over in Blueville also reminds me that I still have a
way to go. There is still stuff—hard stuff—I have to learn. And
the best way to get from here to there is with patience and kindness.
Laying on the couch last night, I realized that while I didn't love
how I felt, I wasn't frightened of these strong feelings like I was a
Another friend messaged me encouragement. I gulped down his
comforting words and belief in my abilities to write, to inspire, and
to keep growing in the direction I want to go like a thirsty runner.
What I also know now better than a year ago, is that the more I
welcome these brief stints in Blueville, the sooner the moment
Twenty-four hours later, I feel the migraine pain receding and my
heavy heart feels lighter. Blueville will soon be seen through the
rear view mirror of my mind. The beautiful thing about pain is the
relief and renewed energy I feel when it eases, as it always does.