A Brief Hello

I’m coming back now.

Back to myself.

Back to my family.

Back to waking up before noon on my own, and back to not thinking, first thing, “When do I get to go back to bed?” I’d forgotten that part of life; the absence of longing for the constant escape of sleep.

I had a few hours not many days ago when I remembered myself. Who I am when I have clarity. Who I am minus the Muddled Mind. It was like swimming above clear water instead of sinking, mired in mud. It was ah ha and oh yeah and one deep, complete breath of invisible air; oxygen delivered in full.

I became muddled again, but not as muddled as before, as though there are steps out of the sludge at the bottom, and I’ve managed to crawl up a few. Enough that I can see more steps and the Way Out. Enough that I remember there’s air above me.

I visited my college kid last week. We laughed, and sat in the sun, and ate udon, and set up her room, and watched Family Feud and that horrible Stephen King movie about the clown. We hung out with her roommates, and they told me beautiful lies about how they want me to live with them forever. We slept in the same bed, and she hogged all the covers like she always has. I watched her confidence and her poise, this child-turned-adult who I’d like to be like when I grow up. We took ridiculous photos, too, because I wanted to and because she’s magically not embarrassed of her mama. I’ll share them with you soon. There’s underboob involved — mine, because I may have been recreating my favorite pics from her adorable Instagram feed, except with my body in them instead of perfect her.

I’ve been writing again, too. The words are back, at least in part, and so is the drive to use them. I’ve written again and again about racial inequality, and heartbreak in Charlottesville, and my confessions about my own embedded racism and benefitting from an entrenched system that continues to oppress others. You can read those, if you like, here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. Of course, every time I share things like that — political things, and things that call on white people like me to confess the ways we contribute to the ongoing oppression of minority populations — things that beg us to educate ourselves so we can learn to do better — there are waves of “unlikes.” I high-fived my daughter for a few of those waves while I was with her. She said I’m doing the internet wrong again. She said I’m supposed to want likes and not ask for congrats for being unliked. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Whoops!

So I’ve written, but not here in this space. I’ve been hoarding my spoons for waking up, and getting out of bed, and feeding myself, and finding Me again because I was very, very lost. Now I’m still lost, but I’m also found, which Anne Lamott calls grace, and I’m coming back here again.

I don’t know how many words I’ll write on any given day, but for at least the next 7, I’m going to write something. I have spoons in my back pocket for that long, and maybe longer, and I need to spill my words out again, because words are another step away from the murky bottom. The things I write may be political, or religious, or utterly ridiculous like pics of underboob because God knows there aren’t enough of those on the interwebs. Your guess is as good as mine. No matter what, though, thank you for hanging in there with me. Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for waiting for me to make my way back. Thank you for being my friends.

With love,

 

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
23 comments
  1. This *IS* a real post. A very real and very important post. I’ve been underwater for so long I thought I’d become a catfish in the mud myself. I forced myself to read your posts today – it was the underboob that hooked me – and discovered that you are holding a lamp in the darkness for this catfish. And you write some damn funny sh*t. Brava.

  2. Today I saw your words written down on this page, and I was so grateful to see you back. Sending you love and light. Thank you for all you share…it is inspiring

  3. I’m so glad to see you waving, even a little. I’ve missed sharing you with my very serious Christian friends who have forgotten, if they ever acknowledged, that God/Jesus loved laugher. I’ve shared you with my daughter, the psychiatrist, to help me understand my sister’s battle with depression. I share you with my church circle to show that journeys, even when dark, can be growth. So glad you’re waving and sharing.

  4. Love. <3

  5. “I watched her confidence and her poise, this child-turned-adult who I’d like to be like when I grow up.”
    I stole this line and emailed it to my daughter because I am sooo immature and because I am so shocked she turned out so lovely with me raising her and because Damn!! you know how to use those words….so glad yr back OhWiseWordWizard.

    1. I thought the same thing!

  6. Been there in the murk myself. It’s a crappy place to be. Glad to have you writing again. And reaching for the oxygen above you.

  7. I have been praying for you because I have experienced the dank, dark bottom as well (and, selfishly, I’ve been missing your posts!) and I cannot imagine what it must be like to travel those waters without prayer and support.
    I sometimes feel like a stalker when I comment on bloggers’ pages – but all of you are my friends even though we will in all probability never meet. You guys make me feel like I’m not alone which is a HUGE accomplishment for me (or for you, depending on perspective).
    So glad you got to spend time with your young woman-child (just dropped my youngest man-child off for his freshman year which is an entirely different drama) and “be normal” for a while. I am still struggling with the bittersweet heartache of sending the last one off on his own…..sniff….
    I have been struggling with the Charlottesville episode as well….I am heartbroken for so many different reasons. There is my Southern heritage self warring with my 21st century ideals. Then, there is my “freedom of speech supporting” self versus my “but only if you think like I do” self. There is my “it’s just a statue and who looks at them anyway” self versus my “tyranny hating” self. (Who knew I had so many selves?!?!?!?) I have decided that prayer is the best solution – no one can legislate TOLERANCE or PEACE or ACCEPTANCE. But God in his infinite wisdom knows the answer and will provide it to us in due time – we just have to be patient (which is the hardest thing in the world to do).
    Sorry – didn’t mean to preach – just glad that you are on the upswing. I will continue to pray for you and for our nation.

  8. This post makes me so very happy! It’s a hard time to come out of a dark cocoon because the world seems much darker than usual right now, so give yourself extra high fives for managing in the middle of upheaval. And PLEASE give us the underboob pics soon. Good heavens, what I would give to see underboob instead of horrible news when I open my laptop. You can’t tempt us without following through….

  9. I will never unlike you. Waving excitedly!

  10. Yay! Happy you’re finding your way to oxygen again. I was exactly as you described a few months back & I see it off in the distance but for now it feels good to be seeing the sun & breathing the air. Sending hugs to you always b/c you, your life, your writing mean so much to me. As a selfish person I’d love for you to write, write, write but please, always take care of yourself first. Waving!

  11. Love you!

  12. Welcome back kiddo! The Dark Side is no fun. I praise Jesus and the Pharmaceutical Gods for your ongoing return! And for purely selfish reasons, thank you for kicking your way to the surface instead of letting yourself go in the murky depths. As much as I enjoy hearing from you – as I JUST told my baby who is having a massive anxiety attack this very moment – take time for yourself. Keep working hard and know that the sun is wAiting to shine on you ( except on Monday – he’s being cagey then).

  13. I have missed you. Prayers for your travels as you find your way “back”.

  14. So glad to see you back in this space, and hear you finding the other important spaces in your life again. Prayers continue ❤️

  15. My heart swells to know that you are breathing the air and soaking up the light. Though we have never met and will never meet, you hold a very special place in my heart, and I am thrilled to know that you are well(er) today.

  16. Just want you to know you are prayed for.

  17. I’d give you a hundred likes right now if I could.
    Consider this a wave.
    *hugs*

  18. I needed that tonight. Thank you. And welcome back. You’ve been missed.

  19. You are always so worth the wait.

  20. I read that section about you waking up before noon and not thinking about when to get back to bed, and I thought “omg I’m still depressed” because I’m sleeping until noon and back in bed by 5 each day. I thought I was better but, alas, no. Didn’t acknowledge it until now. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone and it will get better. And I’m looking forward to the underboob. So very looking forward to that.

  21. You are loved, Beth. It is wonderful to see you here agin.

    Waving from my own, murky bottom, that got a bit lighter today.

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