It’s been over two weeks since the 2016 Presidential election and I’m still waking up many nights with feelings of anxiety and fear. And I’m a privileged white guy. I can’t imagine what it must be like for those who fear the results of the race could radically and imminently change their life. Regardless, the situation definitely knocked me down into a state of mild depression from which I’m just starting to climb out of. Sometime recently, I stumbled across this journal entry from 2014 and it reminded me of how I’ve been feeling lately.
Riding the waves of emotion and mood, from feeling flat and half-dead inside to being ruffled and roughed up at the slightest of provocations, to not often enough experiencing feelings of joy and wonder. It gets tiring to try to stay afloat in this ever changing sea, with my arms flapping about in its waters looking for stability.
I fear I’ve slid into a depression. I’m in a place inside me that feels all too familiar, an old house with furnishings dusty and broken down, with only dim cloud filtered light coming in through broken windows. The floors creak and groan as I walk about this place looking at the faded pictures hanging crooked on walls with peeling paint, images of all my fears coming true and of all my past failings and hurts. I don’t want to stay in this place. I want to get out, but I can’t find the front door.
I know that a better place exists within me; a place full of beauty and light, not contained within four walls, open to time and space. I have lived there too, run free over it’s hills and valleys, bathed in it’s warm seas, been astonished and brought to tears of wonder at its star filled skies. This is the place of possibility, where anything can happen, where I know that I belong, where everyone belongs, each a piece of the syncopated orchestra of life.
I know I will return to the place of beauty and light, leave this old house and its dark shadows behind, just as I know that I can never leave it behind forever. This house is a part of me, just as the sunlit world is. I must learn to accept it as one of the places I call home, to be open to it, to learn all of it’s secrets, explore its dark corners, and then perhaps, the way outside again will reveal itself.
Originally written on 11.17.14