The Messy Truth
Routinely, I struggle with depression, confusion, and overwhelm.
Many weeks it’s hard as heck to write an uplifting post when my life is falling apart as it has been for 6 years. I hold back on expressing my feelings because I want this blog to be a place of inspiration, connection, and thriving.
Today, I’m going to share some messy truth, feelings, and fears.
The last few years have been very hard, maybe harder than any other period in my life. I’ve lost a partner, the joy of a new life I was starting to build in Madison, and then my money (again). Upon returning to Fayetteville, I bought a house knowing I was about to lose my job. Then the reality of being back in Fayetteville set in, without my joy or an income, but committed to a house I didn’t love. That began a long spiral into depression, from not knowing what to do with my life, and not liking Fayetteville, my house, or my lack of direction. This was further compounded by poor choices that vaporized my life’s savings that I had just rebuilt from the wipeout after the tech boom and crash of 2001.
I tried to move forward, but couldn’t seem to make decisions and take action.
I built gardens and love blossomed in my yard and my heart, but still, I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t find a decent job and was afraid to try new things that might have helped me figure out what to do with my life. Finally, a year ago I sold my house to keep afloat financially. I didn’t mind giving up the house, but I had a hard time letting go of the gardens and the special bond with those gardens that I created from scratch. The gardens were my sanctuary and my joy.
I’ve been trying to figure out my life purpose and direction since I was a teenager.
At 58 I still don’t know the answer to the question of what I want to do with my life. Whether we are talking about work, family, geography, or lifestyle, I seem to be perpetually tossed about by the waves of passing ideas and desires, but never settling into one and committing to build something. I’ve tried to figure it out in my head, only understanding in the last year that I won’t be able to figure it out in my head. It’s going to require taking action, being willing to fail, experiment and keep trying until I find what really matters to me.
My fear is that I’ll never figure out a direction or make a meaningful impact in my life.
One of the only things I’ve stayed with over the last years has been this blog. As I written many times, this blog has been a great comfort to me. It has been an outlet for my feelings, photography, prose and desire to inspire others to better lives. I don’t believe I’m a great writer, nor did I ever set out to be one, but maybe I’ll stick with this writing gig because it’s the first thing I’ve stayed with in my life and it feels good to see the results. And I really enjoy connecting with people around the world and hearing that my stories, photos or words have touched a heart or two.
I’m grateful for this growing community of readers, and the satisfaction of seeing a history of posts and connections over 5 years on this blog. I’ve never stuck with anything else for 5 years; no job, relationship, or passion.
This post was stimulated by the realizations that:
- I want to be a better writer, learning to both write and live from a deep soulful connection. I love the writing of Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, and Rumi who make nature and the soul come alive in vibrant and powerful, yet subtle, prose that touches my heart.
- I want to leave something behind that says “I was here and I made a difference.”
- I want to bare my soul, and maybe touch a few hearts along the way.
- I want to make better choices, as discussed in this post called Bitter Medicine.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about. ~ Rumi
And as I close, I want to remind myself of my higher calling (dare I call it purpose?) to live in peace and flow with life. Here’s a pretty good post on Finding the Flow.
Thanks for reading. I’ll meet you in those fields.