I could throw up right now. I am at a definitive crossroads, the kind where you make a choice.

Growing up, I usually veered for not making a choice. You know, when you sit in indecision waiting for others to make the decisions which affect you. I would wait til the very last moment, when hopefully circumstances had mopped me into a corner & then I would need rescuing or I would choose to walk across the floor with my heavy army boots, fishnets, & that purple velvet skirt I made (when I wasn’t in flowy skirts & sandals). I’d then scuff up the floor and be angry with myself. Or maybe I’d just be relieved I never had to really make the decision. I remember relief when I could choose two ice cream flavors. I never did select a favorite color growing up.

Imagine how many crossroads in the route of a snail?

Imagine how many crossroads in the route of a snail? (KT’s artwork)

Anyway, my crossroads is this. I am at the point where I am so emotionally stretched and drained from not knowing the Japanese language. Yesterday, I sat in a teeny wooden chair at my daughter’s school for a special parent/teacher meeting where we watched videos of our awesome kids, listened to some new rules and news, and then shared our own challenges with our child at home. This means I sat for a very long time not knowing what was being said, trying to be okay with that, boosting myself up at moments, thinking of how cool my girl is for being so awesome at Japanese when she is all English at home, etc. I tried to be okay with sensing what parents were saying, being keyed-in by the spirit. Thing is, riding the way of unspoken, indirect communication only gets me so far. Sitting without a voice, brushing off my total need to understand and be understood (for gosh sakes, I’m a great parent & a real teacher! How can I NOT know what the heck is going on??) is wearing. In between moms sharing, my legs and butt got awkward and uncomfortable. My smile wavered. My hair continued to frizz in the warm room, the heavy air of rain accumulating inside.

That isn’t a crossroads; that is just a situation. Yes. And how I respond will color the conditions going forward. I either become more sullen, more emotional. I can choose to fight back, choose to grow my voice, meaning my Japanese voice. Not my too small, always apologising, “gomenasying” voice that is almost a whisper. It is too polite, even for this culture. I can choose to grow a backbone, in this case a foundation in Japanese to hold me up, to buoy my insides, especially when they are drowning in overwhelm. I have to learn to stop bowing and just stand up.

So my next move is acting on the need for change instead of retreating and going back to my comfortable corner to think and brood. I will be all action, not just resolution. I guess, right? Cuz I need my voice. I need me to be strong and feeling tough. It will require giving up some parts of my writing (in English) life. I hope I can be okay with that for the sacrifice of my future voice, for next year’s parent/teacher events and everyday, scheduled, & unplanned meetings when I can either grow small or go big.

Many many deep breaths are required.


Maybe I’m afraid if I make the move, there won’t be any water? Well done, Mr. Silverstein. Poor Melissa.

Please don’t think I’ll stay here in this place of anxiety or emotion. I will use it for motivation. I will give it over to G-d. I won’t be alone with it.

Like any snail, I’ll find my “footing”. I guess. I mean, I better, right?

Love you,


One thought on “Crossroads

  1. So well done Melissa!!

    You wrote a gem. No,you ARE a gem.

    Go on your way and you will reap more benefits than imaginable, on all sorts of levels. You will be victorious, as you told me with my Wendy issue. You will inspire me in my life.

    But you have already gone past the uncomfortable and h ave evolve d. Think of you flying yourself, then with one child and finally two children.
    And one more piece. Remember me telling you that no choice IS a choice. I told you many times and I bet you remember that phrase deep down.

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