I want to hear about your dead ends.
The forks in your road. The moments where you followed each delightful breadcrumb, looked for signs, pulled some cards, prayed for help…
and still ended up here. On your knees. Wrecked with shaky indecision.
Or staring blankly at the wall, curled like a zombie into the crevices of your phone. Disappearing. Your gaze blinks out softly as the pixels take over.
I want to hear the underbelly of the truth you aren’t telling. The true deathbed story that you’ll never share on social media.
I want to hear about the guy who never loved you back. The girl with red flags taped all over her. The friend who took screenshots and mocked you behind your back so she could feel better about her yearning lifeless life.
The family that couldn’t hold you. The people you stayed with too long. The humans who received your holy misplaced love but didn’t know how to let it in.
The moments that gutted you. The decisions you regretted immediately.
I want to hear about the job you knew would never work. The career that felt like a mismatch from Day 1. The contract you signed on the dotted line, where you smiled and said thoughtful things to your family about how OF COURSE it was the right and logical and sensible decision.
It was so practical, and the benefits were outstanding, and the commute wasn’t too bad, right? You couldn’t have possibly turned it down, right? It was the exact thing you had worked for, right?
Do you hear your intuition tugging on your organs? Pulling softly like a loose grey thread? The one lone voice who whispers “wrong…wrong…wrong…this is all wrong…” but you shushed her because you didn’t have the energy to swim against the current. You don’t know if you can explain another impulsive choice to worried faces and furrowed foreheads.
I want to hear about the dreams you chased — the ones you worshiped, the ones that teetered on the pedestal you put them on. The dreams that shattered to the floor. The dreams that could never live up to their weight.
Maybe when you write a book… then you will be happy.
When you quit your job and work part time instead so you can focus on your passion… THAT’S when the happiness will hit you like a surge. Surely.
When he finally proposes.
When you have a baby, that will be the healing salve.
…or maybe not. Maybe it’s when you have a second baby. Right?
When your life “calms down” — whatever that means.
When you receive the apology you’re never going to get.
When you get the dream job. When you sign the client. When you’re finally doing your “life’s work.” When you move to that one other city. Then. Then it will all work. That will click the magic into place.
Yet you still find yourself here. Pleading eyes in the mirror. Your life slowed to a flatlined anticipation of treasures that may never come.
You’re frizzing away at the seams, seeking the phantom of happiness that the happy people on the internet swore you would find. You’re caught in the undertow. You’re a ghost in the crosswalk.
When we have nowhere to turn, when our hearts and goals no longer intersect — we will do almost anything, believe any lie, tell any story to soothe our anxiety. To make it all seem like a cunning game we orchestrated on purpose. To avoid the deep trickling shame that flashes in our blood cells.
When you find yourself at a dead end: kneel.
This impasse is sacred ground.
Let your body touch the dirt. Let your toes sink in deep, let your forehead release to the earth, let your muscles let go of their quivering desire to keep you upright.
Let gravity soften you. Feel your knuckles relinquish control. Feel your cleverness, sarcasm, and defense mechanisms release their grip. Soak in the discomfort of being soft and uncertain and still wholly deserving.
This is the space where everything is possible. Visit it as often as you can.
Eventually you will make a turn for the better. It will be entirely unplanned. It will be jolting and imperfect and unfamiliar. You will wonder if you’re moving in the right direction.
You will disappoint someone — probably someone in your family. Or your cherished mentor. Or someone whose approval you didn’t think you could live without.
And you will all survive.
You will get your joy back again, but it won’t look how you thought it would. Your original life plan will be splintered into shreds, but the space that remains grants you a little starlight.
Your lungs luxuriate in the openness. Every breath cracks open the cement around your chest. A flower sprouts in your throat.
You step on pink sparkled cobblestone streets, one shaky boot at a time, no longer sure where you’re headed. A warmth emerges nevertheless.
You don’t have to explain yourself. You don’t need to convince me that your new choices are Right.
You just take one sacred step. You let your weight push against the earth without apology. You let the fog separate around your limbs and make space for your presence.
You are here again, born anew.
Life beckons you, cradles you — and this time, you let go of the reins and say yes to the unfolding adventure.