I feel like I'm sitting at a fork in the road, and I'm neither brave nor decisive enough to just get up, pick a path, and keep walking.
But I really, honestly, have no idea where I want to go.
At the prompting of my husband, I'm going to try to write more "about my life". When he told me he wanted me to do this, I snapped back, "Why would I want to do that? My life really sucks." I was stricken for a moment by how ugly this was coming out of my mouth, and I didn't understand where this burst of anger had come from. Was it because, in context, I felt like my writing was being unfairly judged against someone else's, far superior, writing? Yes, maybe. But the rage that I was feeling wasn't just about jealousy or annoyance. It was turned internally. I was really, really, burning angry at... myself.
Why am I angry at me? I don't know. I wish I did. I wish I could make up with myself and just move on, but I'm holding a grudge in a major way. I'm tired all the time. I'm hurt. I'm all used up. I'm tired in my soul, and I'm sick of it. I'm angry, because I'm the one that put myself here.
Animal rescue used to be good for me. It make me feel empowered and strong - like I was really making a difference and doing some good, but I'm burned out in a way that I don't think anyone can possibly understand. I can't keep doing this. Some of you already know this, but there's a certain timeframe until I'm out. I will still do home visits for adoptable animals. I will still help to find them homes. And I will still advocate for them, but I can't let my life be consumed by this anymore. I cannot allow myself to be so vulnerable. I cannot continue to be ruled by these animals needs, and the "me me me, want want want" of the people that make me beg to adopt them. People are so horribly abusive to me [and my friends that rescue, and other rescuers beyond that, I'm sure]. It's exhausting. You have absolutely no idea how rude and careless the general public can be with someone that they view as a "service worker". I get it in my job and I get it in my volunteer work, and frankly, something needs to give before I have to be put away somewhere.
So what's the next step? Where do I go from here? I know what I don't want to do, but what is it that I do want to do?
To visit Alice in Wonderland again, the White Queen gives Alice poignant advice before she faces the jabberwocky...
Alice, you cannot live your life to please others.
The choice must be yours, because when you step out to face that creature...
you will step out alone.
I understand that, at some point, I only have to answer to myself, because when I step out to face the "creature" - whether that be the world at large, God, or just my own conscience - I face it alone. But there has to be a balance between service and selfishness. There has to be a way to not feel like an asshole every time I make a choice that benefits me or my mental health. I'm not sure how to do it. I'm not sure how to get there.
I suppose that that's part of the journey, but I'm getting impatient with my ability to learn and adapt. I have to learn to relax and forgive myself for the choices I've made, and - maybe more than anything - not be afraid to let go of things that cause me pain.
But it's hard...
... and I'm fragile.