About that breathing thing…

First, thank you all for your wonderful, supportive, and helpful comments on my last post. I feel terrible – writing that post, then disappearing for, well, weeks.

I came here about a week after writing that post, ready to share how I was trying to give myself some grace, and space, to breathe.

And then, just as I was about to do that, my life took a sudden and unexpected turn. I don’t want to share details – at least not yet – but I’ll just say that the path that I was on at this time two weeks ago is not the path I am on right now. It flattened me. For the last two weeks, it’s been more about surviving, which yes, includes breathing. But it hasn’t included much time for true reflection, and thinking. It’s been hard to work, too – sleep deprivation and emotional turmoil do not make me productive. I doubt they do much for anyone’s productivity. And that’s hard for me – someone who has always escaped into work. I’m starting to find my rhythm again, which is a relief, but there are still hard moments in every day.

As always, in times like this, I seek wisdom from others… and David Whyte (one of my favorite poets) came through again this week.

Just Beyond Yourself

David Whyte

Just beyond
It’s where
you need
to be.
Half a step
and the rest
by what
you’ll meet.
There is a road
always beckoning.
When you see
the two sides
of it
closing together
at that far horizon
and deep in
the foundations
of your own
at exactly
the same
that’s how
you know
it’s the road
to follow.
That’s how
you know
it’s where
to go.
That’s how
you know
you have
to go.
how you know.
Just beyond
where you
need to be.

I find myself on that new road, without really knowing where it will lead. I only know that it will lead somewhere, and that I will come out the other side stronger, and (I hope) a clearer vision of my potential future.

10 thoughts on “About that breathing thing…

  1. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been in a bad place, Anne, whatever it is about. It’s so easy to get down these days, and so hard to get back up. Please ignore my recent rambling e-mail, and only focus on getting yourself back on track.

    1. Thanks, Susanne. It’s not unbearable but it is just, well, heavy. I think you really captured what it’s like with your comment about it being so easy to get down these days. It’s never *just one thing*. It’s, well, one thing layered on top of a bunch of other things that have built up over the last 18+ months for all of us. Which, of course, just makes it more challenging. I know there will be a path out of this, but right now I think I am just in the in-between. (Side note: I just love that concept of the in-between… because it really captures where I am right now. From this Pema Chodron quote:
      “The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught, and in which we can open our hearts and our minds beyond the limit.”)
      And, sorry, you’re not letting me off the hook for responding to your email. A reply will be coming, because what you are going through is just as important as what I am.

    1. Thanks, Kim. It is getting a bit easier, day by day, and being able (finally) to dive back into work and lose myself for a few hours at a time helps. (Yesterday, the endless meetings were frustrating, but a worthy distraction…ha).

  2. What beautiful words and I’m glad you found a poet that comforts you. I have no idea what you’re going through but thinking of you and know you’ll get through it! (and also my email/phone/whatever is always open to you if you need support from an internet friend)

    1. Thank you so much, Gretchen. This is what I love about the mini-blog-iverse that I find myself in. The fact that I don’t write for weeks, and then when I do, I get wonderful replies like these, just speaks volumes to me about the potential for good in the online world. It is getting easier, day by day, but as I said to Susanne, right now I’m just in the in-between. I’ll find my path out of this, but it may take a bit of exploring and searching first…

  3. Anne, I’ve been thinking about you… I feel like you need a big, fat slice of plum cake for some self-care 😉 but kidding aside, I am so sorry that you’ve been having a rough time and whatever you’re dealing with, I hope it’s manageable and will pass and that you’ll be stronger for it. My email is also always “open”, if you need an ear to just listen. Much love.

    1. Thank you so much, San. Plum cake as self-care is a fantastic idea (although, as you know, I probably won’t make your version given my intense fear of yeast-based baking…ha). 🙂 What I’m dealing with will improve, but I’m just, well, in the middle of it now. And – classic me – having difficulty giving myself the grace that I probably should. I just have to say, again, how much I love this little community of bloggers… who aren’t in it for the money or the sponsored posts, but to connect with people. I feel so lucky to have stumbled into it.

  4. Anne, I am so sorry you’re going through a difficult time. I do love the wise words you finished this post off – as someone going through my own tough time, that gives me hope that I will find myself on the other side and stronger for it. <3 Here for you!

    1. I know you’ve been going through a rough time, too, Stephany, and I’m glad that the words I’ve shared have helped you, too. I find that when I am going through a difficult time, I don’t always have the best words. And that’s when I turn to poetry, and essays, and words that others have written to get themselves through hard times. We will get through this – and we will both be so much stronger for it. And here, another quote for you: “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” – Haruki Murakami Take good care of yourself, and know that I’m here for you, too.

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