Tears: The Grateful Kind and the Lonely Kind

On my way to Arlington last week, I called Bryan for encouragement about moving up here before him. He responded: 

You got to be in Chapel Hill for 6 years (on campus, as a student) ;
You went straight to grad school to study your passion: speech pathology, pediatric hearing loss;
You accepted a job that plays to your strength AND passion (speech pathology, hearing loss) in a dynamic, innovative way.
You are where you’re supposed to be 

I responded with the stunned tears of gratitude. I’d never thought about my trajectory so succinctly; Actually, now I want to do it all over again. 

Today there were not tears of gratitude. Today there were tears eked out from loneliness and frustration. Nothing went wrong, per say. Just … everything has been happening. This week I met with mentors on how to teach the River School’s unique curriculum, worked to set up our classroom, navigated to homes around DC to meet the cutest kiddos, researched insurance policies, met with our audiologists on troubleshooting hearing aids, met a bajillion new people (heck, EVERYONE is new to me!), and asked a bajillion new questions (“How do you do this?” “Where do you find that?”).

I walked away at the end of today a happy camper (“Bye friends!” Big smile on my face. And, I was happy. I like these people).

Cue: inexplicable, uncontrollable tears.

This is how stress tends to strike for me. I don’t express worry, I don’t notice my subconscious squirreling away anxieties and tensions. Then a few days later, I’m overwhelmed and an explosion goes off.

I’m not sure there’s a solution for my current breakdown or a “Do LESS” mantra I need to take on. I think this is how all the new things, in a new city, in a new profession, without a husband, have to unfold. There will be worry. There will be insecurity in explaining my story. There will be times I know nothing. I need to remind myself to humbly lower my expectation, and to be learning throughout this whole year. Heck, I’m not even licensed to practice speech without supervision yet. What was I expecting? To know how to do all these things?

I’m not sure either.

So I got an iced coffee and walked around Target this afternoon. Also I got an Arlington Library Card. BINGO. I already felt better.  

Today wasn’t the best day from these past few weeks. Just in case anyone thought my “DC adventure” was about ladybugs and butterflies and unicorns jumping rainbows with Barack Obama  … I hope it’s now quite clear how inaccurate that is.

If not for my quiet morning times in prayer and Alli coming over a couple times during the week, I think the tears would have come much sooner. THANK GOODNESS for old friends.

I promise: more on where I’m working and what I’m doing soon! For now: shower and sleep.    


3 thoughts on “Tears: The Grateful Kind and the Lonely Kind

  1. WOW my dear “young sister”! I think it’s remarkable what you’ve accomplished thus far!!! Expressing all your feelings from “way up” to maybe a bit below a “downish”. I think you are an amazing young woman. God has so gifted you in many many ways and you are responding unbelievably in utilizing those gifts . I sense the Father’s smile,,,I trust you do too.
    Lovingly, Dot

  2. From a friend who has been in these lonely, scary places that you describe: know that it gets better. I love you dearly and will be praying for you. Find comfort in knowing you do have friends nearby and friends not so nearby cheering you on. Praying for you today & every day in the little Val Marie journal that we share, friend.

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