How do you write about something you don’t want to talk about?
Except, you DO desperately want to talk about it. Because not talking about it means you have barred the door to a room of your life. Barred the door and tried to walk away and forget about it.
Say the door you barred off was to your closet. Your life’s metaphorical closet. You can’t get to the clothes you want, and you’re forced to make do with whatever’s in your dresser.
Now you’re in the wrong outfit. Stuck in casual when you needed dressy. Your life is taking you to an upscale restaurant, and you’re wearing cut-offs.
You want to explain yourself–why you’re in the gosh dang wrong clothes.
(Actually, you just want to be in the right clothes again.)
But explaining means admitting that you’ve had cause to put part of your life in quarantine.
Here is a fact that recent life has emphatically reinforced: nothing is exempt from change.
And not just like, run-of-the-mill, they-don’t-have-your-favorite-sandwich-on-the-menu-anymore change, but cruel, heartbreaking change. Busted up dreams change.
Here is another fact: heartbreaking change isn’t evenly distributed. About a year and a half ago, my life was in ruins. Just over a year later, I found myself on a return trip to rock bottom. They’re getting to know me too well.
How do you write about something you don’t want to talk about? You don’t. Because it’s too much.
Instead, you close off sections of yourself and pretend that this is a good long term solution. It feels right for awhile–you’ve contained the pain; you’ve got a game plan for approaching life; that shorts and t-shirt outfit you’ve pulled from your dresser looks good enough.
But soon, of course, you get sick of wearing the same things. You start to wonder if what you’ve closed off is really that bad, that maybe you could poke your head through the door and take a peek. Maybe take a step in.
Maybe, the frustration of having an incomplete life emboldening you, you let it out into the light for a look.
I have avoided writing because I didn’t want to look at the painful part of my life. I still don’t really want to write about it, not in so many words, not in lavish detail. But I don’t think that’s necessary. I don’t think I have to snuggle up to the gossipy details to grapple with what happens to a person when they find their life broken.
Broken is broken.
Mending is mending.
The closed room is open. I’m taking out my mending kit of words.