I don’t know what to write.
And that has been the hardest transition of all, the blankest of the many blanks I face in my life every day.
I “re-opened” this space for myself weeks and weeks ago. And even though I have the kindness of people who would like to hear from me (thank you, Debbie), I still have not found the clarity within me to understand what I have of value to share.
((Even though, as I type that, I instantly feel myself say inside my head, “Don’t be silly. Everyone counts. Everyone’s thoughts and ideas and words bring something new to the table. Everyone is human and alive and has meaning.”))
I do, however, intellectually understand that the ego is a force for putting words down on a page. And I suppose that is why I keep silencing myself. My ego is in a crouched position, hunkered down, unsure beyond reason.
It’s not writer’s block I suffer from, at all. It’s fear.
And there is plenty to be afraid of in our world right now, COVID-19 being the least of it.
What does it mean to be a “good person”? And don’t you think we •all• strive to be a good person? Isn’t that a basic, orientation of being? I presume that the broad majority of people strive to do good, be good. Even the politicians I disagree with? The non-mask-wearers among us? The people screaming in stores and slapping strangers and driving cars into crowds of people? Yes.
How did we get so lost? COVID didn’t make us lost. COVID showed us how lost we had already become.
And I’ve been lost and adrift in my life for more than ten years now, unmoored by the simple fact of work having become a vague and unreliable thing.
I used to be a THINK BIG person, and now I just think small: Live today. Make today’s decisions. Point yourself toward the unknowable future, I think. Try to imagine what choices you could make that would make work more stable.
(Should I become a radiation tech? How much do managers at Home Depot make? Is a masters degree in health care management a good idea? Does having no interest in the work I do outweigh having a modest regular paycheck and health insurance? Why won’t Cornell consider me for a Masters in HR? I’d be great at HR. Could I create the next great gourmet condiment? Could I win the lottery? What do I actually WANT to do? I have no idea.)
Cook delicious dinners. Take long walks outside when you can. Try not to mourn all that you have lost too deeply. Stay light. You still have so, so, so, so much. Even if you have no direction, no certainty.
But I miss writing. I miss feeling like I had something to share. But writing most days feels like an act of ego too big to muster. Who am I? Just a woman lost in the woods trying to find her way, pulling dried leaves out of her hair, slapping the dirt off her palms, looking up to catch a glimpse of the sun, which winks and bobs, but is always up there shining, even on the darkest of days.