i remember because, well, i used them a lot and loved how easily accessible they were, popping up first in my "frequently used" section. but also because we had a discussion about it at work one day, and i remember wondering if the fact that the majority of my top emojis weren't happy ones meant that i wasn't happy.
it was true that my job made me roll my eyes more times in one day than i could even count (had the eye roll emoji been a thing back then, it would've been top three, no doubt), but at the end of the day, i felt like the good things about it outweighed the bad things and my top emojis couldn't possibly be used as an accurate representation of how i felt about my life because i was happy enough.
and, as a person who is essentially the sassy hand emoji in real life, i believed my frequent use of the side-eye was more about being dramatic than anything else.
looking back, i see it as a red flag i chose to ignore. which, to be honest, is a pretty accurate way of describing what my life was back then, in general. although, it wasn't intentional. i looked at my top emojis (and other areas of my life) and saw things that were actually called unamused and weary, and i still didn't understand their true implications.
allison fallon writes about why it's not always good to adapt, and it makes a lot of sense (now). i think without realizing it then, i was choosing to adapt until it felt normal instead of uncomfortable.
you might have become acclimated to the misery in some way. you have gotten so used to it that you no longer feel it as pain but view it as normal. pain by its very nature is a signal that something is wrong and action is required. but if you are not making moves to end the dull misery of something going nowhere, then you may have told yourself nothing is really "wrong"––it is just the way it is. you are stuck with a chronic ache and it feels like the new normal. | henry cloud, necessary endings.
a year and a half later, i have quit my job and let go of one thing after another (after another). it's a bittersweet process, involving both a lot of pain and a lot of healing.
it's painful to let yourself be broken apart and vulnerable, aching in places deeper than you ever knew existed. and at the same time, it's healing to reach those new levels of yourself and know that you are okay, that chains are breaking off of you.
it hurts to let go. it's scary and exhausting and makes you want to eat ice cream for dinner a lot of the time. but what happens next is freeing and exciting. you become more hopeful and brave.
and i can see it happening, because when i go to use one of those emojis now, neither of them are are the first ones to pop up. they're still in my frequently used section (because, obviously––life), but i have to search for them among happier ones: the dancing girl, a smiley face, praise hands, a thumbs up.
my hands are empty and i have no idea what i'm doing but i am crying tears of joy and showing love more than i am unamused and weary.