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  • Writer's pictureAlice Verlezza

Are we supposed to know what we're doing?

How is it that I can start the day with a full roster of activities, chores, and tasks, get through the majority of them, and still feel like I haven't accomplished anything of value? When is enough, enough?

Does this sound familiar? Over the last decade, you have wandered in and out of various relationships, jobs, houses, and attitudes. You've spent an inordinate amount of time on introspective and mindful thought about the choices you make, the rationale behind what you want to accomplish, and the steps to get you there. You want to move forward, and yet everything you do seems a lateral move. Whatever you try to fill yourself up with is just leaking right through those broken cracks in your past. You work on coping mechanisms, avoid the problem, treat the stress with therapy and self love, and seek to surround yourself with both like-minded individuals and those who will challenge you to grow. Nothing works. Depression, anxiety, mania, intrusive thoughts, and self doubt continue to plague your daily lived experience. What's missing?

Are we meant to know what we're doing? In this day and age, there seems no obvious leader to model oneself after. Our traumatic pasts simply instill in us a predisposition to honor a false idol. We chase threads of inspiration wherever we can find them, scrolling until something resonates, and longing for any evidence that someone understands us. Furthermore, we're pushing ourselves to be productive, bold, and present. It's an exhausting ask.

I don't have all the answers, but I am familiar with the process towards them. I don't recognize the girl from my journals anymore when I look in the mirror. Though it seems my moves have been thwarted (sometimes by the most indelible self-sabatoge), I have changed. What I have intended to happen doesn't always come to pass, but in playing the game there is growth, adaptability, and identity that emerges. The goal here is to share with you some of the snapshots from that journey, provided I have the time to sit down and write them out before they disappear from any retrievable area of my brain.

I am a parent, a teacher, a writer, and a thinker. I wake up when I can and go to bed when I can. I spend my time with my girls, making a home, and fighting the shadows that threaten our hearts and minds. I am making more room for self love and self care in my life, and I think finally, I may be brave enough and outraged enough to whisper my thoughts into the ether.

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Jeanne Phillips
Jeanne Phillips
Jul 27, 2021

I think. I wanted to start there but thought better if it. Why say that? Anything I write, I thought. Start again.

You think. You ARE an active member of your life and are clearly engaged fully in the struggle. There have been so many changes from my grandmother's generation to my granddaughter's. But the struggle remains similar- not the same. As generations move so do our starting points. Like in science or mathematics our beginning points advance as we build on what came before. I know that it sometimes seems like we are devolving, but I think we go through small volcanoes, earthquakes, disruptions before the paradise forms. And in the midst of those disruptions (which could be as…

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