Mercury is in retrograde.

Every time someone tells me that Mercury is in retrograde, I wonder what I should be feeling. We are always looking for simple answers for our big emotions. We don’t want to feel them. We want to explain them and tuck them into neat boxes to be filed away later by an overzealous intern.

“Ahhhh yes, you’re feeling longing? File that under Mercury in retrograde.”

It’s just what we do. We want the illusion of order and the simplicity of categorization. When we are ill, we want medicine. When we feel big things, we want structure.

Feelings are chaos. We don’t like chaos. We’ve been told time and time again that chaos is bad. BAD chaos, BAD.

So the big things and the ugly things often get pushed under the beautiful area rugs in our mind. If it doesn’t fit, you must hide that shit.

I’m done with that part.

It was the end of the year at my new job. Students were leaving. Staff were leaving. There was exit and newness swimming in the air. There were tears and the emptying of desks and the changing of the guard. It was heavy on everyone’s shoulders.

Watching the timid steps of small feet mourning the loss of a teacher they loved or a desk they’d just grown used to. Or, the holding on so tightly to a woman who has put band-aids on their knees for over 7 years. Just another day. We weave in and out of each other’s lives.

It’s not seamless, but, we want it to be. We put our heads down when we cry. We wait until the last moments to wear our big feelings on our faces. We wait for an embrace before the flood gates open and we turn our insides out.

We are so ashamed of our sadness. We are so angered by our longing.

We wait until the last of all moments to say, “Thank you!” and, “I love you.” and, “I’m sorry.” and, “I’ll miss you.”

I watched the students linger in the hallways; holding papers and books close and tight to their chests. It was as if they were sure that if they moved their protective shields, their bare hearts would be exposed.

And I watched all of this unfold marveling at how much we all just need each other and how much we try to fight it.

Mercury may be in retrograde, but, that’s not why our bare hearts are hanging out.

I love you. I’m sorry. I’ll miss you. Thank you.

I’m not waiting until the bitter end to say it.


  1. When will I ever, ever learn to have a tissue at the ready when I click on your links, my friend? I had myself pretty well put together this past weekend, but it was your face and your embrace that made me cry, in long-awaited greeting and in sad goodbye. But this is not the end of us, dear B. I love you. I miss you. And thank you, for you.

  2. Your writing always hits right in the heart. Love this. Thank you.

  3. To know you is to love you and your heart comes bleeding out of every piece you put out. We are forced to feel all the things. It’s a good thing.

  4. I love your words and thoughts. Feelings are uncomfortable anymore so everyone wants to hide them. I refuse. We are allowed to be happy, sad, angry, etc. It’s human nature and I’m sticking to it. Love this and you!

  5. I don’t think I could ever explain, or put in words, what this weekend meant to me.
    I love you. I miss you. Thank you.

  6. This is beautiful. You keep hanging it all out there. Maybe the rest of the world will follow.

  7. Heather says:

    Your work is beautifully written as always B. You truly have a way of saying things eloquently that many of us never could.

  8. “I watched the students linger in the hallways; holding papers and books close and tight to their chests. It was as if they were sure that if they moved their protective shields, their bare hearts would be exposed.”

    I read that and literally said, “Oh!” out loud – because it’s so beautifully true.

    Love your writing always. xoxo

  9. “If it doesn’t fit, hide that shit.” Seriously, that’s just too bad so many people think this way. You are raw and beautiful and your words paint such vivid pictures. And I love you for it.

  10. I’m only trying to blame my kid’s awful behavior lately on it, is that still in play?

  11. This is why, even though we’re generally the socially inept, curmudgeonly sort, I love bloggers. Cuz shit gets real in posts unlike any other place in social media.

    I hear this post, I feel this post, I love this post.

    Thank you. I enjoy your presence on this planet. I hope people in your life offer you peer to this heart flung open wide.

  12. I am incredibly guilty of this. I hate goodbyes, partially because I feel a sense of panic when it comes time to say all of the things, and it overwhelms me until I shut down. Your beautiful words have given me much to think about.

  13. Who’s the woman? You’re the woman. Thank you for this.

  14. True. I feel that way often – keep it all hidden. And, it’s exhausting.

  15. Bethany, you’ve got a wicked way with words. And nailing the truth on the head–every time. xo

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