There are bumps in the road.
And then there are the brick walls. The ones that, quite literally, stop you in your tracks. Not slow life down. Not adjust the weekly schedule. But put everything else in your life on the shelf while you deal with what is in front of you, so impenetrable, that you must figure out an alternative route before you can go anywhere.
The brick wall that makes you fervently hope that you’ve earned enough of a solid reputation at work that you can, emotionally and physically, check out in order to manage it (I have). That your bosses are kind enough and supportive enough to green light it (they are).
The brick wall that necessitates immediate care and trained professionals and mountains of paperwork with legal mumbo jumbo and very, expensive. fixer uppers.
The brick wall that steals sleep and erases appetite and brings day to day functioning to its barest essentials. When breathing feels like a victory.
The brick wall that makes you feel so incredibly alone because it is so scary, and stressful, and overwhelming, but you are the one in charge of taking it down, piece by piece, brick by brick. Only not really, because it is someone else’s wall. So you feel completely, 100% responsible, and wholly, utterly helpless, simultaneously.
That kind of full stop.
That’s what it is going on in my neck of the woods.
If this seems vague, it is. Because it is both my story, and not my story at all, to tell. I want to write it out, because writing is my therapy, and not write a word, not utter a syllable to anyone about any of this, because speaking of it makes it real.
I have all, and none, of the words about this.
I am hurting, on the most profound, basic, instinctual level, but also surviving. Taking care of business and doing what needs to be done. Because that is what I do.
I can say that my muses, for whatever rhyme or reason, this week have been my badass writer friends. I am an English teacher, and a writer, and a lover of words, so when I need strength, it is words, and mantras, that come to me.
This is my letter to the world that never wrote to me.
I don’t know why this is the Dickinson phrase that tolls inside my brain. The poem it draws from does not particularly apply to my current situation. Certainly “hope is a thing with feathers” would be far more appropriate – but there it is.
Grace always bats last, and the lightness always overcomes the darkness.
I am not a Christian but Anne Lamott has gotten me through more dark times in the past 7 years than I care to admit. She has a way of making the dark and twisty and messy human crap seem beautiful and noble and essential. We need more of her in this life.
I can also say that, with all due respect to Gretchen Rubin, who seems like a perfectly lovely human being, that her Happiness Project book appears to be my own personal doomsday. Remember the first time I tried to blog the Happiness Project? Round two is NOT GOING SO WELL PEOPLE.
I’m not overly superstitious but I’m also not blind to signs from the universe. Consider this my official resignation from that writing project, round two.
I have a triathlon on the docket in 13 days. Suffice to say I’m not in training (and have not been for several days). Full stop, and all. Right now, it is very. very. very. far down the totem pole of priorities. Maybe I will show up, if I can manage to run for more than a couple miles without feeling lightheaded and nauseated (I attempted an easy run the other day in the interest of self-care, and discovered that running after not eating or sleeping for several days, even at an “easy” pace, is not so “easy”.)
In the meantime, I know grace bats last. And I know lightness always overcomes darkness. But if that “last’ could come sooner rather than later, that would be fantastic.