It happens to everyone sooner or later—the worst summer of your life.
Ok, in all fairness, I’m a bit of a drama queen. Hyperbole is the new black.
Maybe the shittiest summer in recent memory.
Of course, if you’re superstitious (or even a little stitious), saying that is like double-dog daring the universe to crap a shit-ton of misery on you.
Yes, there are swears in this post.
I’ve been to three funerals since April. One of them for maybe my favorite non-immediate-family-relative of all times, Uncle Jim. He gave me away at my wedding. He’s the one who always told me I was special. He was the family storyteller. And now, he’s literally dust.
Blah. Blah. Blah. Of course he lives on in our memories and my heart but he can’t pick up the phone when I call to ask him why so-and-so is such an a-hole.
There have been medical issues, and financial stresses, and job nightmares, and relationship troubles, and just about everything else you drink to avoid in the summer months.
And what is UP with the killer mosquitoes in the Midwest this summer? All my bites are swollen and hard and inflamed.
Ok, now I’m just feeling sorry for myself.
The question is how to write when your life feels like it’s falling apart around you? For a few weeks, I couldn’t.
Then, I started the way I always started.
Tell the truth. Ten minutes. Writing prompt. Notebook and pen. Tree. Park. It was rusty.
The good news, maybe the only good news I’ve had in months is, it felt good. It felt like me. I was writing.
It wasn’t 10k words on a new novel. It wasn’t even an essay I could submit or the synopsis I’m getting muscle cramps and brainfreeze trying to finish.
But it’s something.
One day at a time. Remembering who I am. Remembering that I add something to the planet. Remembering that I have now. That’s all we have. Any one of us.
Today. This moment.
So I inhale, trying to breathe into my belly instead of shallowly into my chest.
I throw my shoulders back, lift my chin.