The sheets that warmly enveloped you now jarringly alert your senses. You're too warm. You're too cold. You're too sweaty. It's morning and you don't want to get out of bed. It's not because you're tired and that makes you uncomfortable and these sheets which masquerade as comfort are now unbearable and unfriendly.
It's morning and you don't want to get up. Your mind is groggy and crystal clear. You don't want to get up, for today is another day for opportunities of failure, at least you've been led to believe. Another day of not doing everything right. Yesterday you spent hours on a new recipe. It didn't matter, though. It was no longer hot to serve when he got home hours later than expected. And, it's not the way he likes his meat cooked. And why was the kitchen a mess when you were home all day? You got the kids to calm down, but their childish hoots and hollers were unacceptable. Can't you control your children? You look like a mess. Couldn't you at least pretend to want to look presentable?
You're a beautiful family, everyone says. Picture perfect. Your house, a magazine spread. Your kids, gorgeous and full of personality. You, stunning. Him, successful. You're the white picket fence. Everyone say so. Everyone fawns, you're perfect. They're envious. You're silent. You nod and smile when appropriate. You speak in gracious tones and acknowledge how lucky you are to those peeking in. Further and further away you recede.
You tell yourself you've failed because you've been seasoned to believe you have the dream. You tell yourself you need to do better. You need to bend more. Your family's happiness comes first. It's your job. You're the glue and you can't fail.
But you're not the one failing. You've never been the one failing. It is not your failure when someone chooses to break their promises to you. It is not your failure that life is full of mess and unpredictability. It is not your failure when someone fails you. It is theirs, and theirs alone.
The breeze from your bedroom window travels across your body. It's a cool jolt. The tiny hairs on your leg prickle. You don't want to get up but you do. Because you're strong. Because it's never too late to take control. Because this is your life and your happiness is out there.
You get up.
*For my friend <3 I love you.