Thursday comes along and I do everything else but the one thing I am supposed to do. I turn my gaze away from all the piles of blank pages and rows of pens that sit on my desk. They all look pitifully at me, as if they know something I don’t. I have been avoiding writing. I have been avoiding breathing. Sometimes it hurts to breathe. Sometimes it hurts to be alive. And I want to escape myself – to stealthily crawl out of my skin and take some time out from feeling everything and nothing.
“Don’t ask me to be okay when I know other people suffer” I say to God. “Don’t ask me that because I don’t know how to do it.” “Don’t ask me to break my own heart.”
So I stop writing because I am afraid of what will show up on the page when I do. Things on the page have a way of arranging themselves in unpredictable shapes.
But here I am. It is Thursday and I am here, sitting amongst my white pages and countless pens. I’m chewing pencils and coiling my hair, out of habit, out of necessity. I want to soak myself right through my lilac gown, to become part of it. I want to become the warmth that it is. An escape into a nothingness that is all heat and delicious.
My belly is full of dinner. Of sweet potato and spinach. Kalamata olives and honey flavoured sausages. Isn’t that what bellies do? Hold dinner? But as I sit here feeling the perfect roundness of my belly, I’m reminded that food is not the only thing that bellies hold. Anxiety can perch there when it is looking for a home. Bursts of exquisite excitement can spring from there too. Even jealousy and envy can make their home there if invited.
I am in awe of my belly just as much as I am of my restless feet that keep shifting beneath the desk. Feet that want to go everywhere and nowhere. The body I live in is beautiful. I don’t always see it, and I don’t always tell it but it is.
But the beauty does not cancel out the turmoil. That too is real, and ever present. They co-exist. The demand to be an adult overwhelms me. Because I still very much feel like a 12 year old girl. A girl I want to wrap my arms around and protect with every ounce of the strength in my body. But I am not a little girl anymore. I am a woman. And since there is no technical manual of how to handle myself eloquently sometimes I break things and sometimes I break myself. Then I fumble through fixing the broken things and I fix the parts of me that I can fix. And I keep moving forward. I don’t have the answers for why life feels harder and colder to some more than others. I don’t have answers for much else in life really. What I do know is that I am here. You are here. And over here and wherever there are people, there can be love. That is a beauty I think I can count on.