“She said to go ahead and feel the feelings. I did. They felt like shit.”
In the morning, all the things I worried about last night seem silly and ridiculous. I'm outside. There's sunshine, kids' voices, trees, birds, traffic. Everything seems doable. I’m walking, moving forward literally and metaphorically.
But tonight may bring back the feeling—as it often does so—that everything is wrong and I am wrong and the ways I am wrong that I can’t quite see are the ways that will fuck everything up the most, and it could happen anytime, and it will, and it will come without warning.
There’s another feeling which is like, I don’t know, existential dread bathed in loneliness and then given a shiny shellac coating of guilt.
I try to remember that the feelings come and the feelings go.
Purpose is a context. It’s the difference between chaos and growth.
Change without stability or clarity or direction, change without purpose is chaos. I've had enough of that.
Change with purpose, even when it dips and loops and shuffles and circles, goes up and down, one step forward one step back, may feel like nothing but it is something. Something significant. It’s going forward, maybe slowly slowly slowly, but still: forward. Out of one thing and into another thing. Growth.
The thing is to not try to look ahead. Not too much. I'm going somewhere. I've hung my hat on it — on being okay, by myself. On getting out and staying out of the mud. On not being stuck. On walking my path. On going forward.
I teeter between hope and grief, between looking for positive signs and trying to prepare myself for the worst. But I think, no matter what, I've already been through the worst in many ways. Not that the pain is over (life is pain, princess) but I know I'll be okay even through the pain, whatever pain, and that makes a huge difference.
Part of me grieves and shudders and wails. Part of me says, practically, Well, okay then. Let's put that narrative to rest and see what better thing we can write.
🥪 The kids are back in school next week and I may or may not be counting down the hours. Yesterday we went to a New Family Welcome for Lily’s school and I remembered how much I don’t enjoy those sort of events. Here’s a remix of a great song.
About dreading nights and loving sunshine: "Clocks and Spoons" and older John Prine tune.
breaking down in order to rise up