Doubt:The Invisible Affliction



Three nights ago I lay awake in my bed next to him, listening to his soft snores, listening to the 19 dollar fan blow from the window. Ryker asleep on the floored at our feet. I was grinding my teeth. Grinding my choices until they all looked like the indistinguishable pulp that I couldn’t swallow.

Counting the hours of sleep I’d get if I went to bed right then. Counting the minutes tick as I waited to wake up, shower, put my body into something pretty and serve the people their lattes with a smile that is half-mystic moo, half-sadness, and entirely hope.

Over and over in my mind…I do not want this. I do not want this

But then what do I want?

Last night I watched Walter Mitty, and I thought of everything…two years ago, backpacking solo through Utah deserts. Driving through heavy tears over the western mountains after leaving Colorado, my chest heaving with the sobs of doubt, loss, and love.

Five years ago, climbing dusty rocks in Oregon, Mountains in Washington, rafting rivers,  living in an old lavender-field farmhouse with a handful of students (

Seven years ago, watching the vast stars from the flight deck of a Navy carrier, listening to ballads in my hidden headphones and dreaming of the ones I love who seemed so far away.

I thought of the way my face felt best; sunburnt and stretched from the elements . Chapped and happy, Where the only present pressing existence was to let my eyes water from the cold, and tuck my chin further down into my warm chest, into the safety of a too-pricey synthetic fleece in some backcountry PNW.

I have watched years slip by . If I forcefully reverse, will I have grown ? Things are sacred. Without them, it does not matter if we live or die. Conflicted soul. Where is my soul? These are changing days and the moments are fast and I’m not certain that I am being careful enough with the gifts.

The Catholic Encyclopaedia defines Doubt as;  a state in which the mind is suspended between two contradictory propositions and unable to assent either of them

The paralysing affliction.

A dear friend and I sat on the beach towels yesterday tanning our scandinavian shoulders, ignoring the twenty-two year olds in thongs, and the thirty somethings with zinc-lathered toddlers yards away in all direction.. She posed the thought that maybe  the feeling of lack of motivation stems from the accountability that fades like the dark of black denim after a few washes, or in this case, years after the flood of big moments start to slip by. No one is watching.

Im not sure. Is is idleness that makes my heart tighten and my fingernails bitten painfully short?

The ones who make it, the” successful”, they were not lazy. Nor were they always held accountable for their small victories, deadlines, and milestones by outside forces. No. They simple lived authentically. Present each day to the task that fuels their heartbeat.

If I stand here, with one foot on either side of a choice, I could still wake up, breathing in and out each day. I could go about tasks and drinks mugs of coffee and laugh over beers with people in the evenings and be inspired by songs and movies.


I won’t feel it. I won’t feel any of it. I will be standing on the streets, numbly watching each window, watching the parallel lives play out as they do (and they will) with me in them only halfway.

The very thought makes my throat thick with fear. This is invisible, or so- I wish to believe that it is. I could smile and kiss  lovers and laugh and dress up or down and shower or not and cut my hair or buy new shoes or move somewhere else ….


until I live with a choice or another, I’m waiting. Waiting for an outside source to inspire, Waiting for a cataclysm beyond my responsibility to take place and shift the tectonic plates of this tiny world.



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