Being Fully Human

Picture of a flight of ice cream with napkins that have a smiley face and the words Sorry not Sorry in cursive.

Yesterday was a day.

I started writing this post about all the things that happened yesterday, but really this is a post about my humanity so I want to write about the feelings instead.

Yesterday was the memorial service/ celebration of life for a dear friend and church brother, Dave Lamondy. Dave was someone who constantly could make you laugh because he didn’t take himself seriously, who would give you the shirt off his back (or come over to do any home repair job you needed), and who didn’t need to draw attention to the things he did because who he was spoke volumes. He left a legacy of love and care that was celebrated by family and community. I learned during the memorial service about how fully human Dave was, and it didn’t particularly surprise me because often such generosity comes from a knowledge of how much undeserved generosity we’ve received through the blessings in our lives. I will miss Dave, his smile and way of being, his kindness and humor, and that he was the only one with rhythm more off than me in our gospel choir 😅.

Following Dave’s service, I took my little one for a follow-up appointment to the endodontist, after her fall from a few weeks ago that chipped her front tooth. She ended up needing an urgent root canal which left me simultaneously grateful for an amazing Endodontics team and for the ability to provide nitrous oxide for her to keep her calm in the midst of severe phobia of needles and dental surgery. This, however, was a lot to hold for me, and it activated a sense of stress around sudden, unexpected expenses which there are a lot of, in this moment.

Because my daughter and I both needed a treat following the unexpected procedure, we drove to a local ice cream shop. I got a text from my friend, Leah, asking if she was in the right Zoom room for the virtual book talk that I was supposed to be hosting IN TWO MINUTES that I had completely forgotten about. Cue extreme guilt. While Leah and my equally amazing friend Jung, jumped in to pick up and we hosted a wonderful book talk with the incredible Joanna Ho and Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, I felt terrible about my very minimal bandwidth for this event and about literally barely showing up for an event that had been my idea in the first place.

Once I arrived home and we closed out the event together, I realized that I had pretty severe stomach pain, almost certainly a result of a stress (+ diet) induced flare up of IBS. I sometimes forget that I have chronic health conditions that don’t bother me until they do, and then come at the most inopportune times to remind me that, despite my best efforts, I am fully human, and fragile at that. This morning, the pain is better, but still present and accompanied by the start of a migraine or tension headache (I can’t quite tell which).

So it was a lot: grief, joy, stress, pride, joy, stress, guilt, exhaustion, pain.

It is still a lot.

Am I sorry not sorry for my humanity? Sort of.

Am I deeply aware of my humanity? Definitely.

I am working on being where I am, on being present, on being alive, at learning from my body, my humanity, and from my limitations rather than resenting them. I am learning to let go and to ask for support. These are hard lessons for me.

I am so tired. I am not wanting to disappoint anybody.

But if I cannot show up for myself, I also cannot show up for anybody else.

It is a time. A very fully human time.


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