In my mid-twenties when everything was a mess and I didn’t know what to do or how to get control over the rollercoaster of expectations of how my life was supposed to be, sometimes I… would just run to the restroom and have a little cry.
No one, not even in HR, wanted to confront a young woman who claimed to be pooping for 15 minutes and that’s why she wasn’t at her desk when you needed her today. Not if it was only once or twice a week at most.
The job I’ve got now, I could take a three hour lunch break and no one would even notice. So when it came time for the damn to finally break, I took a walk to the restroom. And I cried.
I can’t say it’s the first time I’ve done so since those early roller coaster days. I’ve been in the same stall, 7 months pregnant and trying to psych myself up to prick my own finger and check my glucose levels while crying hysterically because I was obviously a terrible mother for having gestational diabetes. I’ve been here at four months postpartum and suffering from postpartum depression, trying to keep myself sane by reading Riverdale fanfic on my phone and crying because Betty and Jughead broke up again.
And I was in there today, composing a blog post in my head while freaking the eff out about money and work and childcare and healthcare and trying to explain to my White Man Privilege boss that I can’t just change my schedule on a whim because CHILDREN and SECOND JOB and PITIFULLY POOR PAY.
Not quite two decades later and despite all the progress I’ve made emotionally, financially, mentally, career-wise, lifestyle choices, everything EVERYTHING I’ve done, I’m still running to the bathroom to cry.
I’ve seen Parenthood. I know the roller coaster goes on forever. I know you can get off once in a while to puke it out and regroup before you get back on. But you have to get back on. You have to keep going. Because if you’re not in the arena with Brene Brown, well then you’re just not living your life.
I’m telling myself to revel in the bathroom cries. They are a much deserved break in the facade of keeping it together. And no one–at work at least–will interfere with your Me Time as long as they think you’re pooping.