That is a question I have been getting a lot of lately.
After our news, I spent some quiet weeks hibernating in September - spending time with family and close friends. Seeing people only if I had to for work - but otherwise just working through things and life on my own.
As strange as it may seem because of my open little world here on the Internet - I am actually more of a social introvert. I like people. I like talking. I like connecting. But I also like to spend time on my own. Especially when I am struggling.
I tend to be insular. I tend to isolate myself.
I recently read this insightful article about grief. And it articulates something I have felt for long time.
Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.
Grief has been a faithful constant for me over the past few years. I have lost many things. And it is perhaps experiencing this loss after reeling from so many others, that has made this one feel just a little bit heavier.
The last few years have hardened me. I have never let it break me, but it does change you. And as a result, you learn to steel your heart away to keep it safe.
I have been able to channel my pain into positive pursuits. My loss has made me more understanding and empathic to others. But it has also made me more cynical. I can be impatient with people who are unfamiliar with this level of grief. And it is this cynicism that often leads me to seek solitude as I heal.
I know it can't be fixed, and that I alone need to make my peace with it.
I may not be able to categorize myself as lucky in any other area of my life - but I know that I have been lucky in love. I am married to an amazing man and my perfect partner. I have the best most supportive family and I married into my ideal extended family. Not to mention my girlfriends. I am a girls-girl and I am surrounded by powerful, thoughtful, funny, wonderful women. These people are always there. So even when I turn inward, I know how lucky I am to share my life with them.
As the weeks have ticked by - life has been returning to normal.
With that, comes an influx of baby pictures and pregnancy announcements. We are just in that season of life, so it can't be avoided. Many friends have sweetly reached out to me to share their news privately before posting on social media. And people who I cross paths with are all asking the same question,
"How are you REALLY doing"
I am Okay.
And this is actually when I most want to celebrate your happy news.
I want to see your growing bumps and your adorable babies. I want to see your new house. I want to hear about your promotion. I want to see your smiling race pictures. These are all beautiful things and they make me happy.
The hard part of me knows that the world is not always so bright and that it can even be cruel. So I need to continue to see the light and the beauty that surrounds me.
The last few years have left me with much to carry. But I know that I am capable of holding on. With enough time the load always becomes lighter.
The path has not always been clear. And there have been many moments where it has felt unfair. But eventually I find a peaceful place within my grief and I am able to move forward.
I am okay.
I chose to hold on to Hope and remember "everything beautiful in it's own time".
So please freely share your happiness with me and the world, because life often needs a little more of that.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,