By Ryne Hambright

I’ve never had a tougher time trying to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys, I suppose) than I have with this.

I wish I could say it’s been like pulling teeth or banging my head against a wall. While the pain those idioms hold is accurate, they lack a key element that describes my current headspace. And that is the apathy. As much as these last few weeks (or months, or year) have hurt, I don’t have the energy nor the will to even open my mouth or lift my own head.

For as much as I question everything in my life and the world around me, it’s nice to have that rare instance of clarity. The other day I was reading an article and there was something in in that struck me because I immediately knew it was true. It basically wrestled with the idea that when we’re struggling with something, or having a rough go of things, we tend to speak to those things AFTER the fact. After things are better, once the sky has cleared, and the landscape shifts from valley to mountaintop. About how no one writes or talks to the present because in the present we’re usually a mess. We need retrospect and hindsight to feel like we can have a voice that holds any weight. Memiors and biographies are written by those who have risen above and most often speak from a place of comfort or notoriety, not from the trenches.

But I’m still down there. I’m muddy and cold and honestly a little broken. But I want to speak up, even if it’s only to cry out. Even if I can’t be heard over the gunfire.

This has been a rough year, an ugly year. I lost a job. I attempted something much bigger than myself and failed. I tried to move to a new city and it blew up in my face. I wish the end result were something more palatable, more beautiful than it really is. I keep trying to turn it into something else, something prettier that I can hang my hat on. But every time I do it just ends up taking the same form, the same misshapen shape.

Maybe you’re here too, just stumbling around. Not sure how to get out or if you even want to. That’s okay. Maybe sometimes it’s not always about what happens afterwards or how the story ends. Maybe sometimes it’s about the people we meet while we’re down here and the conversations we have before we decide to climb out.

Maybe that’s the point.

Image: Naomi Young

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