I have a whole folder on my computer full of blog posts I never posted. Some of them are fully written, while others are just fragments of thoughts or poem or short stories.
I have folders full of these small excerpts of my brain, dozens of random thoughts I quickly jotted down in my Notes app, and pages and pages in my journals of poems with beginnings and no endings.
I’ve been doing this thing for months, maybe even the entire past year, where I sit down to write but can’t bring myself to post something. I type and delete and type and delete, over and over again until I finally just exit out of the screen and forget about it.
Even as I write this, I keep pausing to reread what I written, trying to polish it as I go instead of just letting myself write.
Growing and growing anyways
My brain has been in a fog for the past year. Like everyone right now, I’m just trying to survive and get through the pandemic. I’m trying to finish school and find a job. I’m trying to settle into this new normal that the universe has given us.
And it’s all exhausting all the time. There are so many days that I feel so over this season of life and just want the next one to be here already. I get caught somewhere between wanting to appreciate this time and wishing it all away.
But despite all of the unknowns and exhaustion, looking at the past year, I can still see how much I grew and grew and grew.
That’s the thing about growing, it doesn’t always feel good. Sometimes it even hurts. Sometimes it feels like anxiety and nausea and like all the bad feelings you’ve ever felt. It happens even in the sleepless nights or in the tears or when you’re hoping to just make it through each day.
It’s only after you’ve done all the growing and felt all the pains that you realize you’ve even grown. And that is the real joy.
This joy comes in shades of light you might not recognize, because joy doesn’t always mean happiness. Sometimes joy is just the content you feel when you look back at all the ways you did love yourself even when you didn’t want to. It’s in therapy sessions. In car rides singing your soul to an empty, open road. In long phone calls and talks with the people you love. In days the sun comes out after it’s been raining for a week. It comes in the words you scribble down on scraps of paper—even if they don’t make it anywhere, even if they don’t make sense.
And that’s what I’m trying to remember now. That just because I haven’t posted a blog or finished a poem doesn’t mean that I’m any less of a writer or any less myself.
It feels weird to put out a blog when there are so many terrible things happening around us. But for me, words are how I’m getting through this season of life. I have to take what I have and count it all as joy, or I’m afraid I’ll stay in the fog forever. I also keep in mind that a first draft does not have to be good, it just has to be written (as you can see from the Post It on my computer).
So, although this post is a little aimless, I’m hoping to pull myself out of the writing rut I’ve been laying in. And if you’re feeling the fog too, I hope you find your light soon even if it’s just here and there.
You are worthy and deserving of finding what brings you joy in a dark season of life.