In the last two weeks, I’ve sat down a dozen times to find words I deem worthy to share in this space. Every attempt leads to a saved draft of several sentences and then a few hours later, I dump my words in the virtual trash. Everything is hard right now. Especially writing. When the rhythm wavers, it is a call to pay attention to what fuels this struggle.
Part of my angst stems from my lack of buoyancy. I am inept at dealing with uncertainty and struggle to float when external outcomes push me toward anger, sadness and disappointment. This past spring and summer I’ve experienced a number of rejections, both professionally and personally. Some were completely unexpected like a sudden gust of wind on a still day. Other disappointments, expected, but until I know, I cling on to a small hopeful something, like a young girl hanging onto to the last shiny golden coin in her pocket.
In midlife, it is harder to pick myself up and listen to the phrases I say to my almost ten-year-old daughter. “Try again. It will work out. Don’t give up. You can do it.” Those words don’t land in me the same way. Maybe because I know too much. Or it is easier to identify the things which won’t happen no matter how hard you try. The truth – as much as I bundle up all of the threads of hard work, good intentions and a willingness to keep attempting, it won’t always translate in the way I expected or intended. There are far more foul balls zigzagging everywhere and the home runs feel like they are timed with the errant meteor zooming across the sky.
Yesterday my frustration reached a peak point. I received news which forced me to question and reevaluate certain choices. Uncertainty flashed its neon sign in my head and I let my emotions swallow me. I burst into tears and sobbed. This reaction surprised me. I don’t typically cry after disappointment, but the culmination of several months of receiving less than ideal news took a toll on me.
Afterward there wasn’t relief. I sat with the discomfort, felt sorry for myself and cursed the process. Perhaps it is realizing I don’t have the luxury of youth to take my time and figure things out. Maybe its acknowledging my approach isn’t working as well I hoped. The vacuum of uncertainty reminds me to never get too comfortable to any one certainty. Because I am surrounded by circumstances which are constantly in flux. To be reminded over and over again of this truth, l felt overripe, undone and lost.
Now what? I don’t know the answer to this question. Maybe in my twenties I’d dismiss my disappointment more casually, roll up my sleeves and put up my arms with a brashness only youth affords. In my forties the answers don’t appear like a butterfly emerging out of a cocoon. It is more messy. You realize you might not find the answer. You are forced to sit with the dejection or anger or despair or sadness and try to let it teach you something. What that is, I don’t know.
I am still trying to figure it out. And maybe that it is the whole point.
Image: A musical note by Matthew Fang via Flickr
Oh Rudri, many many hugs to you. BIG hugs. I’m not sure what the nature of your disappointments have been, but I *do* know that you are a lovely, amazing writer, and your thoughtful consideration of – oh, everything – is something I look forward to and always enjoy. I want to say “what does your gut say?” because I find that when I am disappointed, it is often something that I think ultimately, was better for me and my personal development. But… that is just me. And when we have hopes and expectations that fail to materialize… well, I think you should be gentle with yourself. Knowledge and inspiration will come. HUGS.
Thanks for your virtual hugs and the reminder to be kind to myself. You are right when you say to look inward, listen to your gut and move forward. Sometimes it is hard to get there, but with some gentle nudges it can happen. xoxo
I’m so sorry it’s been a difficult time. I’ve been in what feels like a similar spot (no idea what the specifics of your circumstance, but the emotions you describe are familiar) and I have concluded that the being lost IS the point. It’s not fun at all, though. xox
Thanks for making me feel less alone. It means so much. xoxo
I’m so sorry things feel dark and heavy right now. I have felt that way, too. I just want to say how much I love reading your words…every time I see an update from you I come over to read. I truly appreciate your honesty and your vision. Rest, maybe mope for a little while, watch some fun movies, call a friend, then keep going. Your words are reaching peoples’ hearts.
Oh, Asha, thanks for taking the time to let me know you’re listening. I am going to take your advice and do exactly what you suggested – rest and seek comfort in the things I love. xo
Hi Rudri,I am sorry to hear, I knew the emotions you have described. I had been there and being and may be too. This phase too will pass Rudri. Take care and be kind to yourself.
All of us have experienced the emotions I’ve described – it certainly doesn’t feel great when we are in it, but it helps to know I am not alone in my struggles. Thank you. xo
I struggle with rejections and bad news and criticisms and foul balls SO MUCH, that often I don’t even try at all.
I suppose I’d rather be sad and a bit rhythm-less, with the knowledge that a perfect center ball is heading for my mitt, but I don’t seem to get there often.
You’re pretty awesome, and I’m sorry for any situations you described. Good ones are so coming.
Thanks, Tamara. I love how you wrapped your comforting words around the baseball analogy. The foul balls are definitely daunting, but not trying at all seems like I am missing the point. We all gotta get back into the game, right? I truly appreciate your encouraging words. xoxo
I’m sorry you’re going through a troubling time. I wish I had some good advice, but I guess it’s figure out what you can do to change things and what you can’t do to change things. Hmm, this is starting to sound like AA advice, but maybe it’s good advice. It comes from the serenity prayer.
Agreed… focus on what is in my control to change. Let what I can’t alter, disappear into the ether. Thanks for the advice, Luanne. xo
Everything is hard right now? I’m sorry. I appreciate, though, your honesty and vulnerability because I can relate. And by being relatable and authentic – we touch and help others. Your writing is so pure; so poetic. Although I don’t know the specifics of your disappointments, I have known that feeling – over and over again. And angst coming from a lack of sense of buoyancy? I can see that – which is part of what makes you such a rich writer. I keep an image on my writing desk of a wave cresting and the encouragement, ” Ride the wave. You’ve got this.” Here’s to your cork floating. Lightly and vibrantly.
Thank you for this thoughtful piece of praise and encouragement. I love your image of the wave cresting and what it means to you.
I know my feelings are temporary and with time, I will move on to the next emotion. Your comforting words make the transition a little easier. xo
Oh Rudri- So sorry you are feeling sad. Sending hugs!
I am so sorry you are going through a difficult time. If you ever need me I am here. Sending you hugs and I hope you feel much better soon. xoxo