I don’t know if you are there, but these last few weeks have not gone well. A week and a half ago I made a momentary poor choice that destroyed my not very old and very expensive laptop. Two days after I did that, I was nervous and upset and scratched the bumper of my brand new car backing out of a parking space. A few days after that I learned a medical test did not come back with good results and I had to start taking a higher dose of medication and add a second one. Today the passenger side mirror on that brand new the car I just made the very first payment on was shattered. Tonight my mouth is vacillating between medicated tingling and throbbing nerve pain from dental work I have finally have the insurance and money and time to have done. I feel like I’m watching the money I make every day float out of my bank account before I even see it, and there’s some difficult transitions at work, and I have had a lingering cough for a few weeks that is making it harder to sleep at night and and and…
These trivial things. THINGS. Fixable things with tangible solutions that I can address.
I work with people every day to help them solve real crises: lack of access to basic food and water, lack of a home, lack of support systems. They are going through the serious shit storm and I get to be one stop on a long journey to righting the vessel and I’m not always convinced I’m the best at it. I sit in on committees and hang flyers for activist causes I support and these people leading them tell their stories of being treated less than human. I am dumbfounded by their grace, and honor, and dignity, and ability to channel their anger, hurt, and doubt…the true darkness…into these gorgeous and messy moments of shimmering light.
As I sat tonight in rain-soaked traffic, really a drizzle akin to the severity of my problems, I realized I’ve forgotten how to feel about my own life. I feel like I don’t know how to be in this world anymore.
God, I’m kind of a mess right now and I don’t think I deserve to be.
And like, here’s the thing… I’m playing the comparing game. I take the crap that is causing my sadness and fear and frustration and stack it up against the crap of the people around me. As if our crap is bricks of gold with a set amount of worth. As if measurement is as easy as putting all that crap on a scale and seeing whose weighs more.
And I just don’t know anything anymore.
Okay, that isn’t completely true. I know a few things:
1. There is darkness in the world. Call it what you want: the devil, humanity, sin…WHATEVER.
2. That I have seen darkness in many shapes and forms. One is “dark night of soul” type shit that leaves a person shattered, completely exposed, a naked raw nerve.
2a. This is not one of those times. Perhaps I am a little undone, strewn across too many commitments and problems and not sure where to start picking up the pieces to put things back together.
3. I want to counter darkness so hard. I want to expose it to light like it’s being tortured by a laser boring into it, a shriveling strip of bacon evaporating into the atmosphere.
That’s about it. That’s what I know of myself and the world right now. I can’t fix the darkness. I don’t always even know what it looks like, and I physically can’t turn on the light in every room for every person. I don’t even know if the piddly little weak-ass beacons I’m trying to flash out there are going to cause someone to crash into the rocks or get them to safety.
God, this isn’t one of those times of self-reflection that end confidently. It’s musings on my floating — on my doubt and unknowing. Sometimes I just have to be okay with not knowing what is right. Sometimes I have to do some more reading, and maybe just stop feeling sorry for myself.