Same trailer, different park.
I actually said those words to a friend yesterday during lunch. I wish they were mine; they sound like mine, I think. They're really just a catchy bit of a country song.
I said those words because we were talking about the heavy stuff of life, and–as women tend to do–she started to question whether or not she should be caught up in her own life when so many other people have it worse.
Not long ago we toured a battered women's shelter together. I remember walking through the halls, wanting to reach out and touch the children's artwork on the walls but knowing that doing so would just make it too real. I imagined what I thought those children might look like…strikingly like mine, in their younger years, each face a glorious masterpiece of bright and innocent and impish and eager; but also different, with hints of wary, worried and scared due to circumstances I can truly only imagine.
Completely gratuitous pic of Keith Urban.
Because–hello–it's Keith Urban. Pic from Twitter.
I left that tour chiding myself for worrying about the shit I worry about. I vowed to stop stressing about money, because I can just work harder. I told myself to stop worrying about my weight, because I am free to go to the store and choose my own food and eat what I want. I drove home, convinced I'd stop working in the evenings and instead plan idyllic, Pinterest-worthy nights spent playing old-fashioned board games and reading books and baking bread with my kids because we're home and we're safe and no one is sick and I should never complain about my life again, damn it.
We do this as women all the time, don't we? We don't just compare, we silently place every story, every experience on this hierarchy of good, bad, painful, annoying, funny, blah, blah, blah.
Don't we? I do.
I think that's what killed my marriage; putting someone else's sadness, discomfort and wishes above mine. Saying that I could/should be able to fix whatever it was because that's what we do; we are moms, we straighten up, breathe deep, paste on a smile and make it all better.
Don't we? I do.
Even when we're crumbling inside, seeking solace in sugary bliss and wishing for a lifeline that never seems to stretch far enough we're the strong shoulder, the compassionate ear and the warm hug. All because someone has it worse than us.
I'm starting to dislike that word as much as I dislike the word enough. Isn't sadness sad, no matter how it comes about? Isn't pain pain, no matter who inflicts it? Shouldn't happy be an option for everyone, no matter how many steps it takes to get there?
Same hurt in every heart. Same trailer, different park.