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In the year of our Lord 2023, I find myself happily languishing through a relatively still, easygoing era of my life. If you would have told me three years ago that I would spend 95% of my waking hours within the same four-walls, with largely just myself and my pets for company, I certainly wouldn’t wager that I was happy. But here I sit and quite frankly, it’s lovely.

The daily theatre of my life is largely a one-woman show.
I wake. I work. I relax. I sleep. And then I do it all over again.

Of course, I also parent when my daughter is home, but between school, shared custody, and soccer practices, that time feels distinct, precious, and rarer than I prefer. I simultaneously exist in two parallel universes: In one, I am with my daughter; In the other, I must find a reason to still exist without her. This post is about my time in the latter universe.

My waking hours are typically quiet and low-key.
I watch a lot of television. I binge a lot of social media.
I read a respectable number of books. I research a bunch of interesting things just for the hell of it.
I start, and occasionally manage to finish, fun, ADHD-inspired projects.
I accompany my 12-year old dachshund on delightful morning walks and I take wonderfully refreshing afternoon naps basically whenever I want them.

Despite the regularity of my solitude, I assure you that I haven’t been completed isolated while in this Languishing Space. Notwithstanding the occasional calendaring conflict, I not only see my closest friends quite frequently but I also choose to regularly leave the comfortable confines of my home. These practices have helped me savor this time while also helping me avoid a slip into full Hermit mode. All in all, it has been a really, lovely time. Quite lovely. So lovely in fact that ─ despite instinctually knowing that it is time for something else ─ I hesitate to leave this behind.

Sure, it can get a little quiet here, but at least I am at peace.
I haven’t always felt peace you know.

Sure, it can get rather lonely here but at least I am safe.
I haven’t always felt safe you know.

Sure, really amazing things might await me out there, but I really appreciate everything I’ve got here.
I haven’t always appreciated what I have you know.

But its clear now that I have tried to make a permanent home out of this temporary situation and like a Bear awakening in the Spring, I realize my Languishing Cave cannot sustain me much longer. If I stay, I will eventually starve. My carefully constructed refuge now only offers the illusion of safety. Lingering here too long will bring about my own ruin. And I know it.
And yet…

Each step away from this place of shelter and respite, brings closer the avoided feelings: Discomfort, Fear, Anxiety, Anger, Sadness.

I want to write again, but what if its bad?
Worse yet, what if its good?
If its good and no one ends up reading it, will I be a failure? Again?
If its good and people do read it, will they like it? Will they like me?
Worse yet, what if they don’t? Will I be sad again? God, I don’t ever want to be that sad again.

But the Bear cannot reacquaint herself with the cool, refreshing pleasures offered by nearby glistening waters until she sets her sight on the hills it nestles in between and she walks away from Winter’s den. So then I too should set out on this journey and hope the road I travel leads to new possibilities and maybe even second chances to delight in pleasures I’ve now forgotten.

In this new era of my life, the daily theatre will still feature work, play, restoration, and slumber but there will be a new castmate: Discomfort. For me. And for others too.

I don’t like that and frankly, it is a big part of why I think I have chosen to languish in the comfort of the here. The comfort of the now. The comfort of the quiet.
I really don’t want to disappoint anyone. I really don’t want to hurt anyone.
I really don’t want to offend anyone. I really don’t want to embarrass anyone.

But I do really need to write words again. And I really do need to tell stories again.
And I really do need to be able to express myself again.
And I need to be able to do it without putting absolutely everyone’s comfort, peace, and well-being ahead of my own.

I can no longer drown in the lives of others while waiting for lifelines they may never cast.

And who knows, maybe this time I will be seen. Maybe this time, I will be appreciated.
Maybe this time, I will be loved in the way that I love.
That would be something, wouldn’t it?
There are no promises, but there is certainly a chance.
But there’s no chance without deliberate choice.
So you see, I cannot languish here much longer. I cannot.
I wish I could. I really, really wish I could.
I’ve lived out a million invisible lifetimes trying to find a scenario in which I could linger in this languishing forever… And I cannot.

Once upon a time, I was the type of person who would enjoy poking a sleeping bear just to delight in the surprise of it all. Maybe I should be that type of person again.

I would like to know what happens when the Bear awakens. Really awakens. What then?
Once she has rubbed the sleep from her eyes and shaken the last traces of Winter from her fur, what possibilities await her then? What wilds will she see? What adventures will she encounter?

I don’t have answers yet, but on the breeze there are subtle notes of Spring’s renascent splendor and for the first time in a long time ─ in the year of our Lord 2023 ─ I don’t think I want to Languish here anymore.

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