Dying Blackberry Hope

Winter is a Mood

An ANNIEGRAM on a Monday? What sort of anomaly is this?

I don’t know. Days seems to have lost all sense of meaning. I ate the same burrito for three meals. It’s December next week. WHAT EVEN IS TIME ANYMORE?

I just wanted to say I love you. I’m sorry I’ve been MIA. Shit’s been hard. I feel purposeless and aimless on the reg, in a super visceral and intense way that my therapist encourages me to “bear witness to in my body.” (Whatever that means.)

I think I avoided writing to you all because I feel like a mess; because there seems to be only so many ways to write about how it’s OK to be a mess; because it feels so pathetic and weak to do so in the face of shiny-eyed online entrepreneurs that tell me this time has been soooooo great for their businesses and their personal lives and their sense of connectivity with the spiritual world. 

To put it succinctly: I feel like Kate McKinnon in this SNL sketch. Looking around at the fresh-faced optimists in the world like “How come Y’ALL are getting mystical bliss outta this sitch when I’m experiencing the creepy alien probe?”

I have a lot of resistance to this time. I don’t like it. I am a highly relational person living in an isolated bubble of myself-ness. It sucks. I want to have a good attitude about all of this. I don’t. I want to find meaning, and “go deep” (barf), and come out of this stronger and wiser and more serene. Who knows if I will. 

Honestly, I’m just trying to keep going.

At least I know I’m not alone in my non-bliss-ness. My BFF in New York recently said she saw the following advertisement and literally said out loud to her phone screen: “Oh shut the fuck up.”

At this point, all I know for certain is that I’ll make it through every season of “Bones,” shower every couple days, and make sure no jalapeno popper is left unturned.

So, needless to say, I haven’t felt like I’ve had anything new or great to say.

But a couple of weeks ago I was talking to a friend, who encouraged me to keep writing. This generally non-weepy friend got teary-eyed and said to me “This is what I know, Annie: When you write words of hope, they are POWERFUL. And people need them.”

So, here I am. Sending another message in a bottle out into the interwebs. I don’t know if I have any specific words of hope to give you, per se. But I wanted to tell you that you’re not alone if you feel daunted by this time. And that, sometimes, I feel hope in a glimmer that I almost can’t quite recognize.

I was watching the birds bop around in my yard the other day, flitting and flying and fighting for worms, their little bodies pinging and fluffing like kernels of popped corn as they busied themselves with preparing for the long-cold. I smiled. Even nature knows that sometimes times are lean. 

The blackberry bushes in my backyard are yellowing because winter is coming, but their arms are still stretching out, farther, farther, as an act of defiance. Even nature sometimes wants to fight the inevitable. 

It’s ok, what you’re feeling. The mixture of weary resignation, self-protection, and pugnacious denial. The birds are busying themselves to a whirl, the plants understand your anxiety. 

What does it mean? It means that this time isn’t wrong. This time isn’t lost. The cycle of lack and abundance, of cold and warmth, of snow and sun, of sadness and joy, is as natural as how the birds build and the blackberries grow. 

We’re a part of it—this cycle of breaking down and blooming back.

Keep going.