It is probably the huge dive of the stock market or the cooler-than normal morning, perhaps her motherly concern. Looking directly to my eyes, I was asked by P, "How are you?" "I'm fine," I quickly replied but I saw that she was not convinced by my answer. Due to my vulnerability and sadness, I conceded and confessed wholeheartedly my real psychological state -- depression.
Uncontrollable like a lost young child, I sobbed and blurted out how I feel. Without editing. I, unashamedly, exposed my heart -- raw, open and wounded, like a piece of meat left in an open field for vultures to feast on. The tears came flowing out of my eyes like water from overfilled dam. P was probably caught off guard by this display of emotion. However, she is very supportive and empathetic. Of all people at work, she understands how I feel because she went through this kind of emotion but our circumstances are totally different. She, in her 50's and single, struggled for quite a long time to fit in the society where expectation for people is to get married and procreate. According to her, it's just now that she is finally at peace.
Concurrent to my melancholic state, I finished reading the Italy part of the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is an author's memoir of her 1 year journey to 3 countries -- Italy for pursuit of pleasure; India for the pursuit of devotion; and Indonesia for the pursuit of balance. But prior to these trips, she undergone a very long and bitter divorce. She has chosen not to be married and not to have a baby. She also chronicled her fight with depression. Anyway, here is a passage from this book (page 95) that really resonates on me:
Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow
of a sword." On one side that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition
and order, where "all is correct." But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy
enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion.
Nothing follows a regular course." Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow
of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet
it will also be more perilous.
I have not yet chosen the "other side of the sword." My hope of following "the convention and tradition and order" is very much alive. But I know there is a high possibility that I might not belong to this side. And I am scared of the uncertainty.
Yet, not all is peril. P and I agreed that there is beauty in feeling down, blue and uncertain. I am much more empathetic and more in tuned to other people's feeling. Genuine concern is more evident when I offer my shoulder to cry on for people and I offer it unashamedly and more often.