If my current mood was a picture...
As humans we tend to prefer to start at the beginning, 'I shall start in the New Year', we say; but perhaps not all stories start at the beginning. Some stories need to start in the middle, or even at the end.
I recently started a new story, one that rushed quickly to its end, and I kept trying to go back, go back to the beginning of me. As if there is a beginning of me, as if that is even something that exists. I wanted this person to understand me and know all of me all at once. But of course, we are revealed slowly, we cannot even be understood as one big whole, for we are human and we are forever changing. Changing to our circumstances, changing to those around us, changing to the day and minute.
And this is where we exist; we exist in the middle, at the start, even at the end.
I haven't known how to write here the last few months, I've been searching for a beginning. A beginning to a post, a beginning to a relationship, a beginning to me, a beginning to my thoughts but I am not at the beginning, I am not even at the middle or the end, I don't know where I am but I am here. Here you find me, right here.
For some reason, that last sentence bought the tears that are living quite close to the surface this week. I am here, right here, in this moment. That's a hard thing to accept sometimes. And yet here is actually not a bad place, I currently sit on a sofa in a lovely house that isn't mine, completely alone except for the dog, which lies sleeping by my feet. This morning she and I ventured into the rain and the mud and we walked until I had no more tears and she had checked every single tree for squirrels. We saw none. Ben Howard is singing to me as I let the words form on this page. Here is not a bad place.
Yesterday I was searching for the start, the very beginning, today I am searching for tomorrow, this year I have been searching for next year - but what about today? What about right now?
Let's not start in the New Year, let's not wait till all the circumstances are aligned and perfect, lets start here.
To start here is to admit to you that I'm terrified, that I am utterly lost, that I don't know what to do to make me happy, that I don't know who to talk to and when to talk to them, that I don't want to be alone but I don't want to be in company either, that I don't know what I need or want, that I am lost. Totally lost. Lost in yesterday, lost in tomorrow, scared of today but even more scared of tomorrow. What if tomorrow doesn't live up to all the hope it carries? What if tomorrow never arrives because I'm always looking at the next day? What if I never know what I want, what if I never meet someone who finds where I begin? What if my cat hates me for leaving her alone for two days and with someone else for the next week and a bit? What if when I really try I fail? What if every step I take takes me further and further away from being happy? What if...?
What if...what if lives here: let's face what if. Let's look it square in the eye. What if is a wall between here and tomorrow, what if is the bridge that keeps us clinging to yesterday, "what if I had done things differently", what if is a full stop and I am not at the end of the story. What if has no place today, yesterday, tomorrow. There is no what if, there is only what is, what has been and what will be.
What if I just let each day pass without ever starting anything, finishing anything, leaving anything behind: what if?
What if the words you need to write are already there, they just need the time and space and work required to put them on the page? What if that were true?
What if you just wrote a blog piece not knowing the start, the middle or the end but managed to find them all as you sat and typed?
What if you were here, right here, right now, what if...