I wanted to start writing by 10 tonight. It’s 11:30. I really, really wanted to write a sestina today. I will. I will write more poems. I will push myself to write more for National poetry month. I will write more in general.
But tonight I really need to cut myself some slack. My heart is heavy. My head is spinning. I am not in the emotional place I need to be to write about the day with some emotional intelligence. I need to be detached enough to pick up the feelings of fear and despair, write about them with honesty, but also be able to analyze them, with at least a little bit of distance.
I too often feel like I am drowning in a wading pool. No one is holding me down. But I am holding my breath. Laying, heavy in the bottom of the pool, with the rocks I have picked up, lining my pockets: This one is for going to school for 8 years, borrowing nearly 100 thousand dollars from the government that I’ll be paying back for the rest of my life only to give up on ministry. This one is for failing at marriage. This one is for yelling at my kids. This one is for rarely saying the things that need to be said. And this one is for too often speaking in haste, saying things out of anger or depression that I truly do not mean.
This is about not giving up. I have so many books half read. I have so many writing projects started and not finished. I said I was going to write every Monday – Saturday for the 40 days of lent, and goddammit I intend to fulfill that obligation to myself. It is a sign of change. A sign that I am learning to catch my breath, even after a day spent feeling like I was losing oxygen.
If you have ever struggled with depression and anxiety, you probably know a bit about what I mean. Even if I am being nearly as vague as possible about the specifics.
I do not believe that everything happens for a reason. But I do believe that we can dig in, inspect, and find reason, many reasons to put our head above water and empty our pockets.