I suppose I’ve been primed for a change. Probably I was waiting for a jolt—tensing, anticipating, looking over my shoulder for the hulking event that would knock me out of the slipstream.


My son went on a little tangent the other day about “overthinking.” It got me thinking about overthinking, about how I am an overthinker, picking things apart, looking for meaning in any dark corner. I also overanalyzed the issue of standing still and saying nothing.


I suppose I knew that my way of living and perceiving has been flawed. Not, I should say, completely wrong, but definitely in need of some repair work. Quietly I’ve slipped into myself, then carefully ventured back out again with one foot firmly rooted in solitude.


“Paradigm shift” is what I keep thinking, but that seems too monumental. I believe I’ve experienced paradigm shifts at various points in my life. Usually they are for the better, but they never fail to hurt. This hurts, now, but it’s more of a guilty hurt, the one where you know you hurt yourself but it stings nonetheless.


I haven’t really been writing. That’s been haunting me. I’ve tried to be inspired. I’ve tried to set goals or make plans. Mostly I just let the thoughts and ideas come and go quickly before they get bigger.


The hard part, of the not-writing, at least, is that I know I’m at a crossroads. I keep learning how much goes into being a writer—at least, a writer who people read—and in that learning I question my abilities, whether I have anything worthwhile to say, if I should in fact say anything or just shut up and let others have their say. I still don’t know the answers to any of those.


The writing relates to everything else, but I can’t explain why. I guess part of it is being in such a strange space of fear and uncertainty and regret. I thought I knew who I was as a writer, as a human in relation to other humans, as a human, period. But the world and all the suffering and pain, and the things I have done wrong or haven’t done at all, and the consciousness that expands and contracts uncontrollably makes me think I know less about me than I thought.


What I unearthed this morning: 1) “Protecting yourself” comes at a price. 2) Isolation is not a long-term solution. 3) Putting aside your own shit (including fear, discomfort, anger) becomes necessary at critical moments. And 4) what really matters evolves.


And amid all of this, I decided against silence.