I hung up on my mother this evening. While she was talking to me, I set the phone down and disconnected.
I told her some exciting news about my life and once again she was not excited for me. “How much does the rent cost? Is that a smart idea? Why would you want an office, couldn’t you run your little theater school [it’s a professional contemporary creation-based theater company, thank you very much] from home?”
I learned this trick from my best friend. When her boyfriend (now ex) was annoying or boring her, she would hang up on him and then call back a few hours later to give it another go, “so sorry, my cell batteries just up and died.”
And so that’s what I did. I reset. I calmed myself. I settled down and when I called her back I asked about her how her day was and we planned more of our upcoming camping trip and I even told her (in a kind and loving voice) that it hurts my feelings when she is not excited for my excitement.
She said, “I am old-fashioned, I need all the details first, and I’m hungry and I’m tired and the dog needs a walk.” All of which I can understand but critical is a fairly standard go-to for my mother and it hurts.
As soon as I wrote that sentence, I felt a little angel and her side-kick the devil on my shoulder: “Um excuse me Emelia, we have to concur that most times you are a deeply critical bitch yourself.
And yet, I learned an important lesson today. Hang up on your loved ones once in a while. Even if you know that every minute counts and you are trying to do the right thing for them all the time and you love them so much you are willing to hurt and you are terrified to lose them but you know that one day you will and knowing that almost tips you over, fucking hang up on them. It’s okay.
Because you need to take a deep breath sometimes.
You need to disconnect.
Emelia Symington Fedy is a theatre creator, writer, yogi and storyteller. Her favorite quote at the moment is: “Live the light, spread the light, be the light” (found on a yogi tea teabag). This is probably because she has a penchant for darkness. You can find more of Emelia’s off-best essays at tryingtobegood.com
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Editor: Seychelles Pitton
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