When I was in college, I was a counselor at a summer day camp in Ann Arbor. In our daily routine, we would play and do crafts in the morning, then go on a field trip somewhere around town, head to the park for lunch, and then to the pool for the afternoon. By the end of the day when we finally made it back to the child care center, most of the kids were pretty wiped out.

One little girl, Hannah, had a bright white towhead and a speech impediment reminiscent of a Boston accent. She was darling. But at the end of the day, little Hannah had had enough. Occasionally, she would have a total meltdown, crying and saying, “System overload!!!”

That was me this weekend.


Saturday was moving day. Which should be exciting, right? I mean, I got a great new job, was able to move back to Michigan to be near my family and friends here, and found a fantastic place to live. I should be happy!

feel happy

Instead, I had a total meltdown.


Yep, all the changes that have gone on in the last 3 months have been positive, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been a little tough. Even when it’s good, change is hard.

This weekend marked the final leg of the change marathon I’ve been running since July. It’s been a long haul, and even though I’m in the home stretch, I totally fell apart yesterday. There was no method to my madness, simply a chain reaction sort of freak out that went something like this:

Let’s go to Home Goods and pick out things for my new place!

I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to decorating. Can’t I just buy all seasonal décor?

I’ll just get a cookie jar.

Maybe I’ll have more ideas when I put my furniture in the space.

My furniture got totally banged up in the POD—it’s brand new and now it looks like crap.

I don’t even know where to begin at this place.

It’s been cleaned multiple times and it’s still dirty.

There’s a distinct cat smell in here.

What was I thinking moving into such a big place—this is way too much space for me.

I don’t even have a work space, and I have to work from home. How am I ever going to get anything done?? I need to get office furniture.

I don’t even have a friend I want to call to go shopping with me.

I don’t fit here—I don’t fit anywhere. All of my friends are married, they have kids, and I have no one!!!!!!

And so on.

sorry for yourself

So, yeah.

That’s how that went. Thank God my parents were there to tie my straight jacket and put me in a padded room help me get settled. Otherwise, I would probably have ended up in someone’s bushes, a la Anne Heche.


Basically, I’m just overwhelmed. And thinking about it, it makes sense. Let’s look at the last few months.

First, I started a new job which was a complete departure from my previous career. It’s a great job, and I really do love it, but it has been a huge change.


Then, there’s the move. I did want to move back to Michigan to be closer to family and friends, and ultimately, I think it was the right thing to do. But, I do miss Richmond.


Mostly, I miss what’s in that picture above. Not the houses, but the bright blue sky and mild temperatures. Oh, and these guys.


Now that I’m back in Michigan, it’s great having so many friends close by, and I love being able to see my family all the time. But, I don’t feel like I’m as close to anyone here as I was to Danielle in Richmond. And maybe that’s just a result of being away for so long. I will probably have to work harder at developing my friendships again, but I’ve realized that I don’t have very much in common with a lot of my friends here anymore. I wasn’t expecting that, although I think I knew it all along. I’m sure I’ll figure it out, but it kind of hit me all at once over the weekend.

And then there’s this.

awesomely bad


I know it’s going to be fine living here, but it is a lot more space than I’m used to. It feels like it’s a huge job to take on by myself. I know I can do it. I will do it. But I kind of realized that I don’t want to do all this stuff by myself forever and ever. Yep, I’m still freaked out by the whole dating thing because some jerk screwed me up, but I know it does have to happen eventually if I don’t want to be alone when I’m 70.


In the meantime, I have realized that I am pretty awesome. And maybe jerk face didn’t think so, but someone else will. Just the fact that I’ve finally started to believe it again is a step in the right direction, no?

So, yes, this weekend I fell apart a little. But not all the way. I haven’t had a bad day like that in a long time, and I don’t feel like I’m in such a bad place that I won’t bounce right back. I’ll get there. Attitude is everything, right?

Young girl applying lipstick --- Image by © Angela Coppola/Solus-Veer/Corbis

29 thoughts on “Meltdown

  1. It seems like you have a pretty good attitude about things! I’m sorry about your weekend meltdown, but hey, maybe it needed to happen? Like you said, now you’re ready to get up and start moving in the right direction…in all aspects of life and your changes.
    I hear ya though, on adjusting to changes. The last 6 months have included many mini-meltdowns for me, too, so I know how ya feel.
    We’ll power through, though! Have a great day, girl!! :)

  2. awww sweet girl! everything is coming together nicely! unfortunately sometimes we just do have system overload. a lot of changes for you all at once makes for a crazy life~however, once you get settled into your adorable new place, you will probably start to feel less overwhelmed! i am sorry you miss your friend danielle~its so hard to find true friends that just ‘get’ us…..hopefully you will be able to reconnect with some of your old friends and make some new ones that will help fill that place in your heart like danielle! i just went to a meet up group ( for an all girls group, which was a little scary at first because i knew noone….but i need to get out there and live my life and make new friends! so it was like lunch and shopping with total strangers! lol. yes, slightly uncomfortable at first, but they were really sweet and before long we were all laughing. they are a LOT younger then i, but it really didnt matter. we were all there just to have fun. stepping out of our comfort zone is sometimes frightening but i guess it makes us stronger, right?! and poo on jerkface….his loss!! i just read an article in whole living that was amazing. its about finding yourself at ANY age. these women were all over 60 and gave some really amazing advice….now i just have to start practicing!
    happy monday and big hugs to you!!! you are an amazing girl!!

    • Thanks, Terri! So great that you put yourself out there–I think that’s the only way you’re ever going to find people that “get” you. It’s safer and easier to just try to keep the friends we have, but if you need something else that you’re not getting from existing friendships, you have to go out and look for it. Good reminder for me, too! XO

  3. no matter how good change is, it’s still stressful! you are going to settle in and everything is going to come together perfectly, i have complete faith in that! and when things are rough, go for a nice long run and finish it with a glass of wine! ;-) and you can ALWAYS email me if you need to vent! <3 love you lady!

  4. Girl, I have figured you out. You’re a “grass is greener” person. You always see the good on the other side and not the side you’re on. You need to focus on the good where you are. Write down a pros list (and screw the cons, because you wouldn’t be there if the cons weren’t less than your last place.)
    Also, remember – besides a death in the family – moving and changing jobs are the top 3 things that cause the most stress in people. I know because I did a speech on stress in high school and that makes me an expert.
    And I’ll help you with decorating. Post some pics of how you have your place set up and I’ll give you ideas for what you want to change. It will be another edition of Home Blog Makeover Edition!

    • Ah, perhaps that is true. I do have lots of good things going on here, and I think the meltdown was more just a case of being overwhelmed. I don’t feel like it’s nearly as bad today. I’m glad to have an expert’s opinion, though! ;)

      I do like that idea. I will post pics and let the blog community weigh in! Perhaps a video is in order. I’ve decided I need to tackle one space at a time and that will make it a little easier instead of thinking it’s all going to get done at once!

  5. I this is going to sound crazy – but sometimes falling apart is a good thing. It’s carthatic and it helps you realize how much you do have! That said, I hope things even out for you soon!

    And it’s definitely Jerkface’s loss. Screw him – go date your ass off girl :)

    • True. I was actually probably due for a good meltdown, so that makes some amount of sense. I’m sure things will even right back out.

      I just need to find someone to date now. My standards may be a bit too high, but I just don’t see the point in going out with someone I’m not interested in. That said, I do actually need to get out and mingle if I ever hope to have a date again!

  6. Hey, girl! :) With all the changes in your life between moving and the career change, I think it’s totally natural to feel emotional! I’m with Michelle (above), that it it’s HIS loss, and you will meet someone so much more wonderful, loving, and compatible. Till then, just enjoy the ride, because you have a FANTASTIC life! Hugs xo

      • – I started bgngliog not too long after I lost my mother. I was feeling really alone and I had to find a way to express myself more creatively. I never wrote anything until I wrote a memorial piece for my dear Mama’s funeral. Then I got hooked and met so many wonderful women I haven’t been able to stop. I sometimes feel like I have no style or theme like so many of the blogs I visit, but then I remind myself that I can just be myself and not put pressure on myself to be like anyone else. I find reading blogs where the writer is honest and willing to risk being exposed to be the most interesting for me to read.

  7. Moving around the country is certainly not an easy thing, emotionally or physically! You have every right to just let it all out and melt down a bit. I meltdown all the time and I’m not even moving!

    On another note, I love that you are moving back to MI! There are several bloggers in the area (not sure if who you follow along with), and we’d love to meet you for runs, dinners, etc… If you want to hang, shoot me an email anytime!

  8. So sorry that you had such a tough day but as you said it was simply a culmination of all of the big changes you’ve been going through and it’s only natural to be sad about the things you’re leaving behind. You are indeed an AWESOME woman and there will be so many wonderful things to come from this big change. Keep your chin up M! :D

    • Thank you, Jenny! That’s such an important thing to keep in mind–I’m sure there are going to be more good things that come from this transition. Gotta keep my eye on the prize!

  9. Danielle Byard says:

    You are in a GREAT place…and your place is AWESOME!! Stop freaking out about the weird back splash that creeps over for some dumb reason…or the sinks that won’t get shiny…or the crazy colored tiles on the stair case (which, I secretly play it up ;) )
    Your life is what you really have always wanted (even though im not there -sad)… but knowing you the past year…this is the perfect job/place/time for you..enjoy it. take it in. relax. take a bath with a candle and a good book(with wine). I love you! You are living your vision board and you didn’t even know it ;) xoxoxo

  10. Meltdowns are so normal! Well, at least that what I tell myself too. Moves are hard, regardless if you want to move or not! We will get settled, find ourselves hot men, and life the good life!

  11. Christine says:

    Call me crazy – I LOVE those stairs!!!!!! I don’t know why, but they are really cool and funky. I mean that in a good way.

    Everyone deserves a good meltdown now and then. I would be totally stressed in your situation. You have a lot of new stuff going on. You will make it. We all love you in the blog world, so I’m sure you are equally charming in person.

  12. L. says:

    I can totally understand you feeling that way…change, good or bad, is really hard to deal with psychologically and even positive change, in any psych class they’ll tell you is still a stress that is hard to deal with. You are undertaking a lot of those changes!!! :) Nothing wrong with your meltdown…I think it’s totally normal.
    I live here in Michigan and I happen to adore Ann Arbor. I’m a huge frequenter of the farmer’s market, going to hit up the evening one tomorrow after work and see how it goes. I hear they play live music so I am excited. :)
    You are going to be fine!!!! :D Better than that, I just know it. Every challenge is a new beginning :) You decide the depth of your own opportunities and your friends don’t determine your happiness, you do!!

    • Thanks so much, L! I appreciate the support more than you know. :)

      I had no idea there was an evening Farmer’s Market! It sounds awesome. I may just have to check that out!!!

  13. Awww, girl, yes you are awesome! Change is hard, even when the changes are positive. Believe me, I know…..I feel like I’ve been running the Amazing Race since I moved here in March. I had my own break down, tears and all, on Saturday. You’re strong, you’ll get through it and you’ll end up in a better place in the long run. I wish we lived closer. I definitely hang out with ya! ;)

    I’m so behind in reading, but wanted to congratulate you on your new space. Time and your own personal touches will make it feel like home. XO

    • Thanks, Kim. You are too sweet, as always. I guess we have to have little breakdowns from time to time. I wish we lived closer, too! I would love to hang out! :)

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