On the Brink

Cousins Galore!
Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” goes the famed quote from the movie Network. A movie that’s as relevant then (30 years ago its inception) to now. I named this blog a balancing act because sometimes that’s all it is: an act. I don’t know how I “do it all.” I know I don’t do it all well. And sometimes, it feels like I’m teetering on the brink of madness.

A friend, who I haven’t seen for a while, commented on how it seems we’re all just so pushed to the edge — for her, it was evidence that now, more than ever we need our communities. She commented on really anyone’s situation, but she could have been speaking of mine, how we move away from our families, and we really have to start new in these communities. My thoughts continue how we move to these communities for jobs or ideals or whatever, but our personal safety nets are gone, and instead they are an expensive plane ride away.

What happens if we fall of the edge?

For whatever reason, I am not getting the introspective time I need to refresh. I have longed for a solo vacation for nearly a year, without being able to get that except in small snippets. As an introvert, this refresh time is vital to the health of my well being and subsequently my family’s. Things I do that hinder that process include taking on too much without a good concept of when to say no. I accept projects because they are interesting or fill a niche I want to learn more about, and then it’s compounded because I do it without a good understanding of the time commitment and how that will work with my family’s needs. Then, suddenly, I find myself on the brink of … madness, sadness, feeling overwhelmed, inadequate. The list, really, goes on.

It seems like we need more “real” moments where we can express our vulnerabilities to friends. Where we can explain why we yelled at our kid when we did even though we had other voices parroting that might not be the best course of action. Where we can exchange stories of desires and wants and needs. It goes back to the community strings my friend mentioned. In order to express those vulnerabilities, we need to be in a place deemed safe.

If you find yourself on the brink, I hope you can honestly talk to someone. If I find myself on the brink, I will try to find courage to express my vulnerabilities. (Please, NVC, give me the tools I need!) I must continue to remember that we are imperfect beings trying to live.

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