It’s been over a year since I’ve written anything other than a letter or an email. Four years of writing and two years of freelance editing came to a jarring halt. I struggle with lack focus in general, but when I get locked into a pursuit the contrary happens. I become doggedly hyper-focused in my new chase, and this is often to my own disadvantage as well as the detriment of my friends and family. By the end of 2019 the trail of my writing life was littered with candy wrappers of inattention. Dropped responsibilities dotted my internal landscape like a path of broken bottles. Plastic bags caught in the branches of my mental processes, flapping noisily when even the tiniest breeze fluttered by. I worked at allowing my faith to carry me through, but my faith was also misapplied as the thin reason for the decisions that had brought me to a place entirely foreign and, at the time, undefinable.
But my counselor had a name for this thing I couldn’t identify. “Classic burnout,” she told me. Really? Could it be that simple? Turns out it was simple to categorize, but not so easy to fix. The Covid pandemic, horrible as it has been–and I want it to disappear just as badly as everyone else–was the precise timing I needed to shut off, shut up, and shut down for a while.
As cliché as it sounds, I’ve been muddling through since then. God has helped me unload some serious weight, but I am still learning new boundaries and struggling to understand my limitations. I still don’t know if I’m “supposed” to be writing. I only want, sincerely and with all my heart, to do what God wants me to do. Right now I don’t know if that includes writing. His voice, so clear at times, has either been silent on this topic, or my head and heart have been too stubborn or too dull to hear.
Tonight I just needed to feel a few words flying from under my fingers. I needed to see a glaring screen, feel that tiny, familiar ache between my shoulder blades, and catch a stream of tears as the lump in my throat catches me off guard.