Sometimes you never know what other people are thinking or how they are feeling.  Lately, this has been brought to our attention almost daily as we hear of another tragic suicide, another heartbreaking shooting, or with another #metoo story.  At times it all seems to be a bit much to stomach.

You just never know.

I like to think we all have our “ups and downs.”  As much as my upbringing was more positive than negative, I definitely wasn’t immune from life events that would forever rock my core.  Not many know my story, and maybe I’ll share it another day.  But, knowing this about myself also opens my eyes to realize there must be SO many suffering in silence.

A friend told me the other day that “I really handle stress well.”  Me?!? My first thought was that comment was clearly sent in error.  Then I realized it might appear I have my shit together way more than I actually do.  I guess that’s a good thing, right?!

Let’s be real.

I have days where everything seems to be going wrong.  I have days where I don’t think I can gracefully deal with the stresses of adulthood and motherhood.  Recently, I hid in my room crying because I couldn’t defuse the four year old’s temper tantrum, and I felt like I was failing as a mother.

I don’t always feel “peopley” and I have my days where I have to force a smile on my face while interacting with the outside world.  I am 35 and I still get nervous in some social settings.

To me, this is normal.  Some good days, some more difficult days, the endless cycle called life.

With all of this, I also have gotten good at speaking my truth, and knowing when to turn to others for help.  I luckily married the “ying” to my “yang.”  The husband keeps me balanced and talks me down when I start to get worked up over nonsense, or when I forget what’s actually important.  I’d be a very different adult without him in my life; that’s a fact.

It all sounds a bit too real, but it is real.

This is life and we need to live it with our personal truths.  I have realized that I need to check in with my friends and family more.  I need to pay attention to what matters more and less to what is just “filler.”

No one is immune from depression; the rich, the poor, the famous or the “average.”  Hurtful words hurt everyone, and small acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed, even if you think they might.

If you are reading this and we are personal friends, always know you can reach out to me day or night if you are sad, lonely, or just need someone to listen.  If you are reading this and we have never met, the same applies to you.  Shoot me a message, send an email; whatever works and know someone cares and is listening.

If there is one thing I know, it’s that we are all stronger together then we are alone.

I started this blog a couple of years ago when I was feeling a bit down and a bit alone.  I needed an outlet (and a hobby).  What I found was my voice, and a community of people who “got it” and continue to get it.  Thank you all for helping me through some hard times when you didn’t even realize you were.  I only hope I’ve done the same for you and promise to continue to do so moving forward.

Let’s stick together and help our neighbors and friends get the help they might be crying out for.  Here’s hoping we will all start hearing less about tragedies and more about love and unity.