Today, I watched as a car drove over my cell phone. It escaped the first two cars that went by, only to succumb to the third car. Frustrating, yes, but not the end of the world…much like a paper cut, no?
Also the girls didn’t want to go for a nap, when I just needed a moment to pull myself together. And my son ignored an instruction I had given 4 times, because, well, he is 7 years old. Annoyances like these add up when you aren’t in a place to let them go.
Most days the annoyances are accumulated on a fresh slate, like nothing had ever bothered you before. They run off your back while you post another cute kid photo to Instagram. Often you don’t feel the sting of the small annoyances as all the good or all the busy just keep you from even noticing. You just carry on.
And some days these paper cuts are compounded by the annoyances, hurts and paper cuts from the days, weeks and years before. There are days when the stings reverberate deeper. Like your blood now has the acidity of lemon juice and each annoyance, like a paper cut, is amplified from the inside out.
I feel like today is that day. I feel all the disappointments and hurts of the past years, pushing through my skin and making contact with the acid below. I feel the raw, the compounded hurt, the weight of all the past paper cuts.
It isn’t just one small wound that dominates the sting. It is not only the ups and downs of this complicated pregnancy we have been lucky enough to experience, while balancing life with 3 kids. It is not only the disappointment of a house gone a year unsold. Or 5-year plans made and then laughed at by the gods. Or the mourning of once-treasured relationships sacrificed at the altar of “things better left unsaid”. Or the next bill you know is playing peek-a-boo with you in your mailbox. Nor is it the phone, smashed to hell because you left it on your roof in the busyness of getting your horde of kids safely buckled into the car.
What this is, is the simple enormity of life. Not fixed by an Instagram filter or bottle of wine. It is the mucky, hard shit. Now, I concede that being 7 months pregnant right now does leave me prone to hormone-induced emotional extremism. But this is my today. And today is just part of life. It isn’t death. It isn’t cancer or whatever affliction you can think of that far outweighs my gripes. But it is my life today. And today really hurts, like heart-breaking, ugly-cry kind of hurt.
Go-to coping mechanisms like venting with a girlfriend over a bottle of wine, stuffing the feelings back inside unacknowledged, or just pretending all is well and applying a pithy hashtag are not options I can entertain today. And so I here I write, hoping to cosmically connect with other paper cut victims survivors; through osmosis, hoping to absorb some of your resilience.
I am hoping to awake tomorrow with this tidal wave of hormonal emotion and hurt having receded, even if a little bit. I want to live with my million paper cuts, not die by them.