I hold it together. Or I try.
In the months since I last wrote, I hold it together among the changes. The chaos of choices and regrets and joys and challenges ahead.
I hold it together when I take the job standing in the thin blue line. Fight my way, literally and figuratively, through a half-year long training that forces me to decide whether or not I really want to do this.
I hold it together when I move, finally and for real, away from home. Packing all my belongings in my little red car and heading towards DC. Cramming everything into a little one bedroom apartment and cringing every month when one paycheck keeps me there.
I hold it together when I realize that I love a boy more than I’ve loved any other one and he loves me, too. Feelings I’m not used to rock my carefully controlled plans and suddenly change the way I see the future.
I hold it together when I drag myself through one of the worst days I’ve had in a very long time. Where I fail two tests in a row that threaten to damage my future in more ways than one. One test whose outcome still has undetermined consequences for my plans. This day wears me down so far, I swear I am dust and nothing more. But I hold it together. Or I try my damndest to. Don’t let anyone see how far and deep I’ve fallen.
And then I somehow graduate the academy and hit the streets and have to keep holding it together. For my squad, my training officer, the people I encounter, myself. Especially myself. Pretend that I have all the answers and have no fear. Just keeping myself together.
Until I talk to her.
I don’t know what it is but I can hold it all together as long as I need to until I talk to her. Something about her tone, how much she cares and how well she knows me, breaks me to pieces. With her I can let all the fragile things I barely keep together fall apart. The frustrations, fears, regrets, doubts. All the things I hide from the world and from myself come to the light when she gently asks.
And as I dump the pieces, ease the burdens, I think to myself: I don’t know how I could do it without her. Without her, I would surely fall apart.