There’s apparently no room left in my “emotional spaces” for much else other than IF. My brain is constantly worrying about the “what if’s” and “what next’s;” my heart aches at the sight I wasn't aware of just how much space that "stuff" was taking up until last week. And, even more troubling, I don't exactly know what the "stuff" is.
For example, take last week's job application/interview experience. I had that overwhelming dread about another "guaranteed" no. Another example from last week...on Sunday night, before the job craziness started, I got an e-mail from BFF. For her birthday in September, Hubby and I had given her a giftcard from a local photographer for maternity pictures. Her Sunday night e-mail contained a link to 232 maternity pictures and a request that I look through them and let her know which ones I liked.
Even before the stress of last week unfolded, I knew that I needed to be at a certain emotional place to look through 232 maternity pictures...especially considering the somewhat precarious nature of our relationship at the moment. I thought I'd be able to find that special mental place at some point on Monday. I didn't really want to end the weekend on a sour note if I wasn’t able to keep it together. Of course, that plan was short-lived because on Monday the job craziness ensued. And, after that, I knew I didn't have the emotional space left over to be reminded of our IF while clicking through 232 screenshots.
I mentioned this to my mom and another trusted friend. My mom suggested that I take all the time I needed, 232 was a lot and it was a tough situation to be in. Trusted Friend said that I should get my mom to tell me her favorites and pass those along to BFF saving myself the emotion of looking through them at all. It wasn't a terrible idea. Not terrible, that is, except for the fact that I want to look at them. I want to be there in that joyful moment...to be able to put my "IF" stuff on the shelf and just be a "good friend."
I still haven't looked at the pictures, even though the stress from last week has lifted and there should be more emotional space available. I just can't bring myself to look. I sent her a note last week saying that I hadn't forgotten with a brief synopsis of the week's craziness. And, I said that what was really important to me was that she was happy. Which ones were her favorites? I never heard back.
So, what is this "stuff" that fills my emotional spaces to the point that they can no longer deal so well with the normal (or somewhat abnormal) stress of daily life? It frustrates me that I know that this IF "stuff" takes so much room, but I don't even know what it really is. I want to name it, categorize it, process it and put it away in the emotional archives. There's nothing to archive yet, though. It's too raw, too in the moment.
And, the truth, I guess, is that it's no one thing. No singular feeling or fear that can simply be named and put away. It's some mix of sadness, frustration, jealously, anger, fear and so many other emotions, on so many different levels, all rolled up into a giant ball so big that it leaves so little room for anything else.
The result is that I feel more emotionally fragile now than I have at any other point in my memory, despite the fact that some of the other moments that would make the top 10 list were much easier to categorize. Perhaps it's that unclassifiable nature that's the issue. IF seems to grow and spread like a virus...literally taking over any unaffected emotional spaces until all that's left in my heart, soul and mind is that IF "stuff." It's no wonder that there's seemingly no room left for any extra stress. IF has put up its very own "No Vacancy" sign so that it can infiltrate without interruption.
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