I’ve begun writing again, after an unexpected pause in my professional life. It’s been two weeks since it all crashed down, and I have spent very many of those days in a hypomanic spiral, trying to avoid the thought of having three months of completely unplanned time. I filled those days with impromptu road trips, 4am dance parties, some truly fantastic but probably emotionally unhealthy sex, and many, many beers. In these last 14 days, I felt like I regressed about 14 years. It’s probably time to take a step back.
When I entered adulthood many years ago, I was two things: a perfectionist and a victim. Neither served me well, and I knew it, but I was trapped in this cycle of shame and silence and never wanting anyone to know I was anything less than the epitome of Having My Shit Together–despite several extremely public flameouts when the stress and the flashbacks got to be too much. In my mid 20s, I started, hesitantly, to talk about it. It was an experiment–I started writing my story. It got worse before it got better, but I had to talk before I could even begin to let any of it go. I ran for a decade–to another state, another country–trying to prove I was an adult. I carried it all with me though, and was never actually free.
Being unsure of your next step, at any age, is perfectly fine. It’s better than matching aimlessly through a life that’s miserable. It’s better than accepting anything less than exactly what you want. Also: you are living a story. Tell it. Who cares if no one else follows along? Shout it from the rooftops, let it hang there in the air, and walk away.