For the first time in a long time, I’ve been struggling with what to say. It’s not so much that I have nothing to say but that I have no aim. Usually there’s a topic floating around my brain that I just want to share, so I do. But this time, I feel like I’m at a loss for words. Maybe it’s because there’s so much I want to share. Or that the world keeps changing so quickly that my brain hasn’t quite processed fully. In time, I’ll share the questions I have from my history of Christian ethics class or why I like my contemporary essay professor so much or everything I’m learning in sociology of the family. Right now just doesn’t seem like the time, so I’m not sure what to say. (Do you always know what to say?)
Which is weird because I’m still saying something. My brain is ~wandering~ around so I’ll just take you with me. I’m in my third year of college, which means the end is a little in the distance but it isn’t so far away anymore. I can’t pretend that I’ve got years until graduation. I don’t. There’s only have one. So I’ve been contemplating what I want to explore before I graduate. Do I want to join any more clubs? Am I satisfied with my college experience thus far (there have been hiccups, but overall)? Is there anything I want to do before this whole thing is over?
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The answer to that last one is yes. I so badly want to create a podcast, a place to memorialize the voices of my friends, their experiences, but also to capture the stories of those I don’t know too well. I just want to hear people out and edit it into something amazing. That said, I’m not considering abandoning the blog. I love it here. I’ve made this space for over 2 years and I think I’ll keep going until I have a reason to stop.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this blog is for me. Yes, it’s for the people who want to reflect on life or look into my college experience or learn about personal development. But ultimately it’s my space where I get to bring my whole self, no judgement and share what I’ve been studying about in my life. Even if I’m not always sure what to say, I always want to put words to the page.
I haven’t started on my podcast AT ALL. No contacting anyone for pre-interviews. No writing questions. Not even a general plan for working on it during the next few weeks. But considering that UVA just made even stricter restrictions for COVID, the perfect time to sit down and hunker away at the podcast is now. I’m not going to reveal any details about its specifics, but it’s likely to be a mini-series, not a full length episode every week type of podcast. I don’t have the margin in my life right now, so I just want to start strong. And I figure telling all of you, you who are reading, that I’d be held accountable. I want this, and it’s time to make it happen!
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The next sort of question I’ve been holding onto is this question of grief. Last week my supervisor at work (we’re reading Prayer in the Night, so that’s why this question was relevant) asked if there’s a space in my life for grieving. We don’t get this question enough if at all. But we need it right now. We’re all in a collective holding-our-breath stage. We want this to be over.
And it isn’t.
And so we sit on our computers and work. Or we take care of the children. We’re far past life before COVID, but it doesn’t seem like we’re any nearer to life after COVID. So do you have this space? This space to process the grief? The small kinds that are missing your favorite coffee shop? Or the big ones like missing out on a tradition because it wasn’t safe this year?
I am an avid proponent of reflection because I think if we don’t sit with these things and process, they will come up. They’ll come up in our emotions when we’re short with someone and easy to anger. In the moment when you drop the glass and tears come to your eyes. When you’re all choked up at a dumb movie on a Friday night.
The grief shows up but sometimes it doesn’t look like it’s supposed to.
I have my journaling, but I wonder now if it is enough. If I actually sit with my grief or if I avoid it in favor of looking back on the “good times.” There is nothing wrong with being grateful right now, but there is something wrong with forced positivity. We’re all a little weary and it’s okay to long for what isn’t. It doesn’t make you ungrateful or pathetic. It makes you human.
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To get more personal (sometimes I feel like I’m too scripted on the blog. I need to get deeper with you all), there’s an ache in my heart that keeps returning and I’m not so sure what to do. I thought I processed it and that time would heal the wound. It’s just that sometimes I forget healing isn’t linear. I wish it were a little more black and white. What does it look like to make space for grief that returns? A grief that lingers?
One answer I’ve found is silence.
I kind of hate that answer.
I’m allowed to say it. Silence sucks and it’s uncomfortable and I don’t like the thoughts I have when the world gets quiet and I’m all alone. Because I feel alone. I get into this space where I feel forgotten and unseen, and I hate that. (I said it so you don’t have to). My next step, or next right thing as Emily P. Freeman would say *wink*, is to wrestle with that more.
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My last question is what does it mean to always be left with more questions that answers? To settle into the ambiguity and uncertainty that always await us? In my first year, I took a class. The class was unimportant, but I read this story about a woman who lost her husband after he went out to sea. She had this ambiguous loss. The type of loss where there aren’t any clear answers. There are only questions and pain. Maybe in some small doses that’s what it feels like to always be uncertain. When the future is so unclear that it looks like a black hole. Just when you’ve solved one problem, another props up in its place, and you’re right back to square one.
A concept that I heard when I was listening to Beautiful Anonymous (I totally should do a What I’ve Learned for my fav podcast!) is moving with instead of moving on. And it showed up in someone’s IG post too later that week.
There is no way (at least I don’t think so) that we get to a place where we’ve got it all figured out. But right now, we can sit in the tension of what we know and wait for more. I don’t want to diminish how hard that is. I’m still learning to figure out what it means to look for arrows instead of answers to all my questions. I just want you to know that I’m right here with you. Even if that doesn’t seem like much.
Thanks for reading. And for commenting. And for liking. For just showing up to this space. You are always welcome here.