I awaken with a nauseous pit in my stomach. Dread. Another day of work. Another day of monotony, of underemployment, of wasting my time and potential all for a steady paycheck.

 

I sit in meditation for five minutes while my tropical vanilla tea steeps. Thoughts and emotions flood the space I try to create. Dreams from last night of horses. I was a horseback rider as a girl and competed in hunter-jumper competitions. My subconscious holds on to my girlhood dreams and aspirations, the joy I felt on the back of a horse, the kinship I felt with the horses, something I struggle to find with my fellow humans. Relating to animals was always easier for me. Of course, we humans are animals too. Just not my species of choice, I suppose.

 

The microwave timer beeps my eyes back open. I blend my tea with some cacao beans and carob powder for a morning chocolate drink. I cannot discern if the nausea intensifies or not. All I know is the incredible sadness and despair that pervade my being. The sense that above all else I simply want to be home alone with my dogs and able to enjoy a smoothie bowl and do little else all day. I have no motivation for work, but the desire for financial independence gets me out the door.

 

I rely on my dad financially. He pays my rent and therapy bills. Naturally, I need therapy. I created a reality for myself here that I detest at the moment. I despise my own creation. What was I thinking? What was I thinking leaving Hawaii? Did I really think I’d find happiness here in the armpit of Louisiana?! I thought I’d have my relationship with my dad here, and that pulled me in. Since being here, that illusion has shattered into innumerable pieces.

 

He’s dating a vapid younger woman. A classic midlife crisis precipitated by a toxic 33-year marriage to an alcoholic woman with borderline personality disorder, my mother. And of course, he could not be alone for a single second post-divorce, so he secured himself a young rebound chick already in place. They are engaged not six months post-divorce. Her ring is disgustingly ostentatious. I hate the way I sound simply describing the situation, but it’s really something to see. It’s something I choose not to see.

 

Being around them right now is too painful for me. Too painful for me to see my dad choosing and creating a reality with a striking resemblance to the toxic love triangle between him, my mom, and me. He’s entered another love triangle with his fiancé and her mother, who are blatantly codependent. Umbilical cord still fully intact. I severed off from him now, and it hurts.

 

Now I get to sit in my sadness in this reality I chose and created. And, the mature, responsible, enlightened part of me knows I need to sit with it. I need to be in it, despite my compulsion to run. I do not wish to be the person who moves and moves and moves and can’t hold down a job for longer than 6 months. Who can’t finish a five-year doctorate program. I like to think I could have, but at the time, it was too much, and I was too miserable, and I did not know in my heart that it was what I wanted. I had to get out after my masters. Clearly, I have some healing to do to attract more positive environments and relationships.

 

I am here now healing. Back in my hometown, the place my dysfunction and beauty were born 26 years prior. I am here to heal the wounds of days gone past and to face the behavioral patterns that do not serve me. For now, I know I am staying put for today. I will steal moments of joy.

 

Watching a water droplet slowly slide down my windshield. I will admire the fast-moving blue-grey clouds above, those wisps of moisture that cruise overhead. I want to be a cloud just moving through. Of course, I am in a way if I step back far enough.

 

I am just passing through. We all are. Even the person born and raised in Monroe, LA who never leaves. He is here for a finite period of time.

 

What is consciousness attempting to learn through me today? What in God’s name am I here to do? I’ve enjoyed writing for my entire life, so I write. I reflect. I express myself. I speak my truth. This is how I feel alive and valid in a world I do not understand. This is how I go on for today.

 

I laugh at myself for my dramatics and first world problems. I am blessed beyond measure. I know this. I know I will pull through and find peace within. But we must allow ourselves moments to feel despair. That I know. And I know it is progress to feel the despair in the moment, and not to wait and put it off until later. Because unaddressed negative emotion grows and festers. It crops up when we least expect it, twenty years into any addiction, you pick which one. A cancer diagnosis. Divorce. Suicide or homicide at its most extreme.

 

No, it is good to feel now, and to suspend judgment of how we feel. We are feeling, thinking beings after all, and all this is a natural part of human existence. 

Published by Taylor Norris