Fatigue shrouds itself around my shoulders these days. It’s cold to the touch and impatiently whispers demands in my ears: Miss the people you love. Mourn the life you had; all you wished and planned for, too. Medicate the pain you feel, and all that you anticipate.
There is so much pain these days.
There is so much anticipation, too.
Life has generously dropped such heavy weights in our laps and jealously lapped up the pillars and pleasures we took for granted. But no matter what any of us may have gained or lost since around this exact time last year, we all carry with us an incomparable, often completely inconsolable pain.
I have not weathered the worst of this storm as so many others have; I still have my home, my job, my loved ones, and so much more. Yet I ache for those who have lost any and all of the above. But I have my own loses and I, too, am shrouded in my own unique and unparalleled troubles.
My heart aches at the loss of 500,000+ Americans to an illness that needn’t have taken so very many lives. But I hope our nation grows more aware of the inequities and works to eradicate them.
My ears hurt from wearing two masks more tightly than ever before. But I grow more confident in my ability to safely navigate the world to achieve success at my job, to purchase my groceries, to help my neighbors.
My soul suffers each time I make the choice to keep my distance from friends and family and pastimes I once so enjoyed. But I grow more sure of my convictions and more appreciative of the times I had and will have once again to enjoy cherished people and places.
There is so much anticipation.
And through the anticipation, I am growing.
Growing weary of staying home, especially when home isn’t always a perfect haven. Growing tired of the effort it takes to go out, whether the outing is for wants or needs. Growing bored. Growing impatient. Growing angry. Growing older.
Growing thankful for the home I have, flawed as it may be. Growing determined to make my dreams reality, even before I think I’m ready. Growing wiser. Growing calmer. Growing stronger. Growing hopeful.
Growing, through it all, into myself and more intro my truth than ever before.
A final whisper: Make the best of it.
There is no easy way or duty to make the best of the loss of a loved one, one less source of income, lacking a home, or the absence of safety and security in whatever form that takes. Some of these things are allowed just to be and remain shrouded for however long one needs. And outside of those things, I intend to do what I can to take the shroud thrust over me and turn its cool touch into the warm embrace that I so long for.
Instead of a thin veil that obscures my sight, I’ll have a warm wool to brave the seasons while I continue to grow and head toward the horizon.
Here’s to our collective pain, and here’s to the hopeful landscape that will come of it.