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[13] way less sad.

(or, tl;dr listen to AJR’s “Way Less Sad” – that’s about where I’ve been lately)

My drafts are full of things I’ve been wanting to talk about for almost two years.

It isn’t that I haven’t had time to write. It’s that I often don’t know what to say.

Though I adore the way words can capture so much and want to be someone who can chronicle everything perfectly, I tend to roll things over in my head so much and talk them through to the point of exhaustion, several times over. I figured that since everything I’d been wanting to talk about was all fairly recent stuff I’d said so often that by this point it’d be easy to articulate into some kind of relatable post.

Not so.

And honestly, I don’t really want to talk about it any more than anyone else wants to really hear yet another rehashing of what we all are experiencing as an ongoing crisis.

That’s why none of what I’ve spoken and messaged about for literal hours (let’s face it, probably days at this point) to at least dozens of people has yet to make it into blog form. What can I add to this experience that hasn’t already been said? Is it worth talking about?

What is worth talking about these days?

That continues to bug me. Like, I know there’s an increasing amount of people who have finally had the time and space to privately struggle, contemplate, weigh and reflect just as much as I have, if not more, whether we’ve wanted to or not. It feels like everything needs to be talked about, now that we have time to, before things return to the “normal” of deprioritizing what tenuous new growth we’ve managed to cultivate despite the strange, weird, unprecedented climate.

This “era” hasn’t been pretty, or easy, or comfortable, but I hope this time with ourselves has at least helped some to close old wounds, or do the work to start the healing process on any wounds that still hurt, regardless of size. We all deserve more time to regularly check in with ourselves in meaningful ways, and unfortunately something these last years in limbo have brought to light is how many of us hadn’t been able to carve out real time for ourselves – and how needed it’s been.

Personally, I’ve committed to making change happen, starting with re-enrolling in therapy last February – this time, going into it for myself, my issues and my well-being. It’s hard for me to admit vulnerability in a world that long ago had established its own speed, set its own bar and often showed disdain toward humility, grace and acceptance – while also touting them as the “right” outward qualities required to be deemed societally acceptable. I think there’s a real fear of profound loss that hangs in the air the longer we live in this state. I don’t know how to mitigate that dread properly, but I do know that there is real possibility for joy to still bloom while despair also looms large, and that it will continue to happen despite being surrounded by darkness. It doesn’t wait for a chance to be seen – it operates independently, on its own time, and it doesn’t care how long it’s been since the last time you last interacted. There’s no judgment, no grudges, no baggage – just joy, always accessible, and always possible.

I’m working on being more openly vulnerable; the days of suppressing nearly everything for the sake of keeping a little peace have to end for me. I have been working on acknowledging that issues tend to pick at me at different rates and speeds, and they rarely move on from my brain without taking way more of me than what “should” be needed. I’m working on accepting that none of this makes me weak, but instead more knowledgeable of the areas in which I could use a little more care and support. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to know yourself better as you mature. Something about you is constantly changing – it only makes sense that it’d be a good idea to take note and act accordingly. And…it’s way past time for me to take more of my own advice. I’ll nearly instantly have some form of kind word, or speech, or resource at the ready for someone else, but when it comes to me… (It’s something I’m actively working on, promise.)

This ongoing, seemingly never-ending state of semi-crisis crashing into the work to redefine what the new normal will be is cacophonous. It’s jarring, unfamiliar and frankly terrifying in its affecting all classes, races, nations and peoples with impunity. This wasn’t something that only affected certain swaths of people, nothing we could observe from afar and comment objectively from a safe distance.

Of course, no guarantee can be set to ensure improvement to follow anyone’s plan, but I have hope for eventual relief, and I also have the power to create joy. It’s an awkward fit sometimes, juggling multiple emotions simultaneously, and there’s no one way to do it that’ll work for everyone…but it also doesn’t have to be huge, grandiose, sweeping and opulent to be joy – just acknowledged, held, and appreciated.

Stay hopeful, and keep your heart open.

By rainbwlitebrite

a variety content creator & community cultivator
a mental health & social connectedness proponent
a burgeoning voice talent & actress
an abstract & impasto style painter
an occasional writer & voracious reader
a rusty & super self-aware soprano
an avid pursuant of vibe-sharing music
& your new bestie.

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