I’m trying. I really am. –K

2020 has been absolutely wild so far.

I already spend a ridiculous and probably narcissistic amount of time lost in my head, but good lord the layers I have been forced to look at so far this year are uncomfortable and mostly unpleasant. I can’t shove any of this into neat little folders in the filing cabinet that is my compartmentalization. It’s hard to know where to start. The procrastination and anxiety of this part of gathering my thoughts is why I usually choose the easier way out and just mull it over in my head at 4am for hours until I exhaust myself and move onto something else.

I have been a terrible friend. I have not made sure everyone in my life knows how much they mean to me. I have been lazy, in both my thoughts and my actions.

I make excuses. I hide the things I don’t want anyone to see. I edit my reality.

I feel like I have nothing to show for it, but I’m trying. I really am.

I made a promise that I am going to do better and be better. I make a lot of proclamations, and they depend greatly on my mood and the time of year and even the number of glasses of wine that I’ve had, but this one is different.

I lost someone that I always thought would be there whenever I decided to do and be better. I’ve never experienced a loss like this. Never anyone my age, and never someone who was without a doubt one of the best human beings I’ve ever known. It has really torn me open in a way I also haven’t ever experienced. I never knew I could feel so much regret. I don’t think I actually understood what word even is until now.

Maybe it’s a combination of every crazy life event that’s happened even in just the last six months coming together, but this really broke me in a very unexpected way.

I was still trying to figure out what this loss looks like, how to deal with it, how to heal and grow from it, when this pandemic began. And then more severe storms. Seriously, Universe, I get it. You have my undivided attention.

There’s a moment I keep thinking about from Stephanie’s funeral. I mean there are soo many that are etched in my mind forever, but one specific one. I’ve always been a big believer that the truth comes out when drinking. At the burial, after several visits to the Trunk Tavern, Myronda walked away and Devin and Chasity and I were hugging goodbye. We were making our promises to do better, and I told them that I promise to let them into every ridiculous corner of my life and to stop hiding. Something like that. I remember the feeling more than the exact drunken words, okay?

Shame has always been a huge chunk of why I hold back or push people away. I fear rejection, I fear not being loved and understood. I fear being judged, of letting people get too close and then they realize I’m too much. I fear being an inconvenience, a burden, some annoyance that everyone would be happier without. So I tend to build up walls and eventually a hardened exterior that I tell myself is for my protection. I convince myself that I don’t really have anything to offer. I start to convince myself that I don’t have any real responsibility to show up and be there because I’m not missed, anyway. I can trace these feelings back to my childhood, I just can’t figure out where exactly they stem from. Another work in progress.

All it took was one moment, one friend being taken away, for me to really see how fucking selfish and stupid and twisted and pointless that has been.

I will do and be better. I promise.

Sooo, dear Universe, if you could please get rid of this virus so that I can start to figure out how to make that happen, I would really appreciate it.

-Kaley

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