It's a beautiful Sunday morning in September, and I'm sitting and contemplating life—cup of coffee in hand, dog asleep on lap, slightly chilled air rushing through the open window.
And I feel like a total impostor.
I've been beyond blessed with a life worthy of envy: a beautiful, sturdy house, a loving family, an amazing husband, a full-time job that I've wanted since I was young.
So why does it feel so hard sometimes?
I've been known to get "itchy." After feeling like I'm finally settled, I get the urge to change something, do something different, shake the snowglobe and see if the flakes fall in a different pattern this time. The urge arrives and suddenly I'm researching bigger, better homes in a quiet country town because now the suburban home I love so much is looking at me wrong. The urge arrives and I think, huh, maybe I made the wrong decision to go into the publishing industry because I could be somewhere saving lives or doing something with a direct impact on the world. The urge arrives and I begin weighing the impact of every decision I've ever made.
This is hard to admit and even harder to digest. Once, my mother and I were discussing a conversation she had with her father, who praised her for her ability to "be content"—with her life, her situation, etc. And that's when it hit me: it doesn't matter how beautiful or wonderful the particulars of my life are—I will always feel unsettled.
The psychologist in me could perhaps pinpoint something in my childhood for this—my parents' divorce, constantly moving, my eating disorder—but I think the answer is deeper than that. There is a little thing in my core telling me that I'm destined for bigger things. I'm not meant to live the cubicle life. I'm meant to be doing something greater, helping the world, making it a better place than I left it.
And maybe I am. But that's not the point. When the state of discontent begins, I need to remember all I have going for me. Sure, I may not be solving the world's great diseases or dedicating all of my time to feed the poor.
I'm doing something much more honest and real to me.
I'm choosing to share my words with the world. And to share your writing is to share a very piece of your soul. During every poem and story I write, I cry, I laugh, I bathe in memories and cringe when they reappear.
To write is to bleed everywhere and hope the drops form something beautiful.
I may not be perfect, and I may not know what I'm doing, but damn, what a life I have. The prize is learning to live with the itch, to relish it, and to harness it and turn it into your driving force. I'm working on this every single day.
And back I go, staring out the window once more, hoping that the end-of-summer breeze brings with it clarity and peace—but until then, I'll just sip my coffee and wait.
Writer, editor, and storyteller living in the Twin Cities.