Every time I sit in front of this blank page, with too many fragments of ideas competing to become whole, the fear creeps back in—that I will run out of things to say, run out of ways to say the same thing, that I will fail to capture the unfolding shadows of my mind on paper, that the words will be lackluster, the concepts banal.
I’ve danced with journal entries and short stories, began my love story with poems, learned a million different ways to say that I was broken. And yet here I am, in some ways returning to my roots, coming back to columns, and unable to shake the feeling that the brokenness is simply waiting to steal the words away.
But even though I worry that I am perpetually escaping that precipice only to be dragged back again, rationally, I can see that it’s nothing like before.
Something has changed. I have pulled myself back, time and time again—no miracle of fate, me.
And my therapist would be happy to see that I am coming to this conclusion, perhaps well past when I reasonably should have, but it’s always taken me a bit longer to understand the full picture.
But nonetheless, here I am, realizing that I have made the necessary changes. I have been the one to push through moments that felt hopeless. As much as I feel I’ve lost my grasp on the future, I am in control.
It’s both terrifying and reassuring.
And of course, I’ve accepted help at every step along the way, and I won’t stop accepting help where it’s offered. It’s part of learning what I can’t do and what I can, learning to set my priorities, learning to say good enough is good enough.
And the demons of perfectionism have tried to debilitate me. At times, they succeeded. I will likely never stop grappling with the lies that my worth is equated to the quality of my work. But I’m growing, learning to not put my all into everything until I’m burnt out.
And as the realizations click for me, gratifyingly considering the last several months, I am eager to apply it to my entire future and begin to worry about the sustainability of it all, envisioning a time when I feel entirely at the mercy of my own habits again.
It’s another thing I’m unlearning—letting go of the future and focusing on the moment. I’m learning to be mindful, to trust that this is the path to healing—that what I’m doing right now is setting the stage for a someday that I can be proud of.
For now, I’ll make tea when I’m sad. And I’ll take showers to clear my head. I’ll meditate, and I’ll drink water, and I’ll do what I can when I can.
And I’ll find comfort in the notion that I’m in control of my future.