People are tangles; thousands of woven, knotted strands. How ridiculous to pick one frayed end and say, "THIS is the whole of what you are."
I'm extra frayed lately. And I feel like that's all people can see. The worn out bits on the surface. The dark circles. The weight. The deer-in-headlight moments when my mind spins out of control because I can't remember how to "people" anymore.
But I'm more than my the sum of my weaknesses.
There are strands of me that are hilarious, compassionate, fierce, loyal. I have knots of generosity tied tight around my heart, and snarls of ambition and passion looped around my mind. Some of my strings are on fire. I can be brilliant, bright, incandescent.
But the tangled pieces closest to the surface tell a different and far more visible story. There are shredded strands of poor health, and poor choices, and not-holding-it-together-not-even-a-little-bit. The "I miss my dad" string is particularly glaring, and tells a "Not doing so great" story I would really love to rewrite.
And all these surface strands have voices. Loud ones. They shout, "This is a weak woman. She could be so much more. She could do so much more."
And they're not wrong.
I am weak. I am faltering, failing, crashing, flailing.
But just because that's the loudest story in my life, doesn't mean it's the truest one. Doesn't mean it's the most important one. Because I'm also strong. I love so fiercely it hurts. I am sometimes witty, sometimes wise. I am sometimes so many amazing things.
I'm tangled. I think we all are. We are too many things to call ourselves only one.
I am grieving and thriving, faltering and finding my feet, failing and progressing, falling and being caught. All at the same time. Which is why the question, "How are you?" is so damnably hard to answer properly.
There are far too many possible answers.