Tabatha Wharton



I mentioned this yesterday, so here’s this story.

Last week, pretty much without warning, there was a significant ice storm and I lost power (and thereby heat) for almost 48 hours.

On the first day, I relied on my Girl Scout instincts to hunker down and wait out what I mistakenly believed would be a short outage. I went to Starbucks for coffee (because no power=no grinder and no coffeemaker) and walked around Target in my PJs, even being so bold as to by perishable grocery items. I made grilled cheese in my cast iron skillet on my outside grill. I layered clothing. I took the contents of my fridge out and into coolers and out on the porch to keep them from spoiling. I had a handle on it. I even had the gall to take a shower and use the last of the hot water because I truly thought at any minute the power would come back on.

But the power company said it wasn’t a wide spread outage, but a ton of little outages from downed wires and tree branches and it was potentially going to take the entirety of the weekend to get everyone up and running again.

It was a Thursday. THURSDAY.

So as the sun began to set, I realized that staying the night in below-freezing temperatures with no end to the outage in sight wasn’t going to cut it, and if I were going to mobilize my small family unit, I needed to do it before it got dark (which these days is approximately 4:45 in the afternoon because pre-solstice Midwest winter). And I went from capable scout to near-panicked refugee in a matter of minutes.

Luckily, I have both friends and family willing to make space for us last minute, and we ended up at my brother’s house for the night, which is this new location and unfortunately subpar lighting. Until my brother called I wasn’t entirely sure where I’d end up that night, so I went for comfort with a bit of edge (but also, warmth, as this is one of my heaviest sweaters and my thickest leggings) and I 100% slept in this very outfit on a couch that night for a whole hot four hours before having to get up extra early to corral our lives into normal school and work and pet care while living out of bags and figuring out where we’d be spending the rest of the weekend.

There are not a lot of things that immediately phase me anymore. I’ve had to deal with so much insanity and traumatic shit over the last decade (plus, really) and have done SO MUCH GRUELING WORK in therapy that most of the time I can look life-altering, terrifying things in the eye and power through, often only realizing the gravity of things after they’ve long passed. I just don’t scare easily, anymore.

But the idea of not having a place to sleep at night, to not have a home base to start and end each day … that still triggers some very real shit for me. And I had already had a pretty shitacular week at school that has me questioning pretty much my entire life … and then I had to start living out of my car indefinitely while it began to snow and everything was covered in ice and visitation was inanely cancelled again and it would just be really awesome if one of these days life would stop testing me and making me prove how very strong I am under pressure/fire/the world falling apart.

Because with being so strong comes being so damn tired.

And I am exhausted.

Black cable-knit hooded sweater: Victoria’s Secret
White cotton tank top: Gap
Black faux leather panel athleisure leggings & grey knit infinity scarf: Old Navy
Amethyst geode pendant necklace: my childhood
Octagonal hoop earrings: Target
Purple tortoiseshell cats eye glasses: Kate Spade
Black knit pouf hat: H&M (… kids)
Leather convertible moto boots: Dr. Martens