This past weekend we traveled to Oklahoma for my family reunion. It’s funny because Todd usually looks more forward to it than I do, because it’s usually crazy and hilarious and we have several …unique family members.
This year wasn’t quite as fun as in the past, but I think it was due to several factors. We were lacking in several of our close family members, and my personal extended family stepped forward to do the bulk of the work so we didn’t get to spend any time enjoying each other. Oh, and apparently I’m included in the work. Official photo-taker. Holla!
Also, we didn’t win any prizes. (Hey, prize-winning is important in this family.)
Even though the afternoon wasn’t as laid back as we personally wanted, we had a good time. I was able to spend some time talking to my cousin Alicia and being able to have someone to talk to in person… that’s not something you take for granted. Especially when you live hours away from the bulk of the people you know. She lives about 5 hours away from me now and time with her is very precious to me.
I shared with her the sentiments I shared in the last post on here (but in a more personal way), and she said something to me that stuck with me.
“When you feel like you’re hurting and you can’t get out, you need to find your people. Have a list of your five people, and email or text them. People who will understand. People who are your safe place.”
Find your people.
This struck me as more revolutionary than it may sound. I have a tendency to reach out (subtle or not) online when I am getting sad. I know that I write more on here when I have thoughts I want to process, and while I write when I am both happy and sad, I write more deeply when I am feeling a struggle. The problem is, I’m writing out to the “great unknown” and I don’t receive the response I am searching for. I do this because I don’t want to burden anyone, or perhaps I don’t think anyone will understand. I also have this incredible talent for deciding that my problems aren’t worth anyone’s time.
This blog should be about filling my enjoyment to write, not about what I’m hoping to get out of it.
I have a few people I have automatically put on my list. People who get a random message from me when I’m hurting so bad I can’t see my way out. People who are the kindest, most empathetic souls I know. I told my friend K that she is like my sponsor and this is Depressives Anonymous. Poor girl. I don’t know if she wants to bear my burdens, but she’s never turned me down and I’m thankful for that.
For the most part I don’t tend to reach out personally, but I believe I will begin.
It’s when you reach out personally that you receive the connection you need. I will say this though, you need to be careful in choosing your people. This is your personal life and you need a safe place. You need someone who won’t judge you tomorrow, someone who will listen, and someone who will tell you and remind you of your worth.
You need someone who will look you in the eye and say to you, “Say it out loud. I am a good mama.”
…And will sit there until you say the words that you need to say. The words that fight the demons that tell you otherwise.
I am so thankful she is one of my people.
This week, I’m going to take some time to soul search and discover who my people are. Who my deep-down, ugly-cry people are.
Do you know your people?
(Sometimes quick cell phone pics are the best ones.)