The Big One. That’s what we heard about all the time growing up in California. We did earthquake drills, huddled under our desks with our clasped hands over the back of our necks. We each had our own earthquake preparedness ziploc bag in the classroom each year, full of mylar blankets and granola bars. We knew to go stand in the doorway when we felt one come on. Or, more often, just continue on with what we were doing.
I lived through a lot of earthquakes, but not yet The Big One.
Lately, in looking around me at people I love, I’m seeing lots of personal Big Ones. My dear friends just lost the pregnancy they’d been dreaming of for years. My mom is selling her home to finally finalize the loose ends of her divorce from my dad. This uproots my siblings, who all live with her.
I cry over these things; for their hurt, for the ways my heart has been hurt.
Lately I’ve been mulling over my firing, even though it’s a year and a half hence. Reprocessing some of the embarrassment, confusion, frustration. I don’t know why. It moved me to a better place – I no longer dread going to work each day. I love my job. Life is much better now. It wasn’t The Big One. It was just some plates moving, crunching as edges scraped against each other. Rearranging my life.
We’re thrashing about in the decision about having #2. Friction. Plates shift. It hurts. But in all that, it’s so….good. Which feels sadistic to say, but yet… the possibilities, the hope for the future, the ways we’re changed and softened as those rough edges are worn away with the scraping… it’s beautiful. It creates a mess out of what we’ve known, who we’ve known ourselves to be, and yet it opens the way for something new, better. A chance to rebuild.
And this is what I’m holding in my heart for those I love.