There are days when everything feels wrong.
Days when you feel so far away from the robust, strong, healthy, confident, dynamic go-getting person you want to be and sometimes are. Days when you wonder where your enthusiasm for life, for work, for love has gone.
Days when you despair at the fact that you can’t type without your right hand hurting and that you may have done nothing in the preceding weeks to help your situation – in fact, you may have done everything to make it worse.
Days when it dawns on you that you’re not merely 43, but that you’re 43 and a half – half a year away from being 44. Days when you realise that you might actually still want a child after all, despite months of ambivalence, an awareness of your own frailty following your injury, an understanding that you need lots of peace and space and the knowledge that you find constant noise, people and activity overwhelming. Days when you realise that the way you’re conducting your romantic life is doing nothing to move you closer to the possibility of having a child – in fact, it could be sabotaging your hopes and dreams.
Days when you feel despondent at your lack of motivation for projects you were once really excited about; when you wonder how you could have lost your way with the book that you are writing; when you question how on earth you ended up spending the bulk of your working week on assignments that just pay the bills, squeezing the things that fulfil you and make your heart sing to a tiny space at the end of the day when your energy and inspiration are running low.
Days when all you want to do is run, swim or cycle but you feel trapped by your injuries and worried that anything you do will just aggravate the problem and extend the pain; when you want to jump, dance, shout or thrash about in the sea to let out all this pent-up energy and frustration, but you feel weak and confined.
Days when you want to write a blog filled with hope, joy and excitement for life when all you can do is dictate this post through slow and steady tears. Days when you feel that familiar lump in your throat, like a rock, growing bigger and harder, signalling that something needs to come out – pain, anguish, anger, whatever it is – but that something seems so big and scary and is so hard to express.
Days when you wish you had been able to walk past the corner shop or just pick up a bottle of water and leave the chocolate coated orange peel things behind; when you wish you’d been able to leave them in your bag or pop them in the bin instead of eating them in 20 seconds flat.
Days when you feel empty but unable to do any of the activities you usually turn to to distract you from the feeling of emptiness, the sense that nothing is there, aware that ultimately nothing will work (and those chocolate orangey things really don’t do the trick).
Days when you wonder where your faith went and why God seems so far away or not around at all.
Days when you feel lost and alone.
Today is one of those days.
I wish I could run, jump, cycle or splash around in the sea. I wish I could write this blog with my fingers on the keyboard and not dictate it. I wish I could find motivation, enthusiasm, faith, hope and joy. I wish everything was different.
Why does everything feel so wrong?
And why can’t I just leave it at that? Why can’t I just sign off in the midst of the doom and gloom? Why do I have to try and find some glimmer of hope? Why do I feel obliged to find a few positives or express some semblance of gratitude (for the sun, friends, my left hand, this dictation software)?
And why does my smile insist on forcing its way on to my face, curling my lips up instead of down, even as I brush away the tears? Why do I have to know that it will all be OK, that everything will work itself out in the end? Why can’t I just wallow for a good long while?
The answer, I guess, is because I know that you’re reading this and that it might speak to some of you and make you cry or smile; because I know that some of you have similarly challenging days when everything feels wrong; because I know that even though I sometimes feel that everyone else has got everything sorted and is getting on with their lives without all these thoughts, feelings and pain, I know for sure that I’m not alone.
And because I’ve been here before and it has passed.
So while it all feels a little self-indulgent, I’m going to press send on this post without editing it too much, correcting it or making it sound any more upbeat than it actually is. Because while I’m not where I want to be today and everything does seem awry, I have the gift and the freedom to be real.
Yes, today is just one of those days.