Don’t blink…

Current Song: Circle Game by Pink

The past few weeks have been a weird earthquake of the endless circle that life really is.

I remember studying psych, learning about Erickson’s Stages of human development. Fascinated by it. In awe at how much alike we all are as humans, yet still on very different journeys. We all battle the same basic battles, simple, yet the experience of them is so completely different for all of us. And here I am at the cusp of these stages – Intimacy vs. Isolation. Generatively vs. Stagnation, feeling like the earth is shaking.

Lately I have been trying to sort out the next stage for my daughter. She just turned 4 (Initiative vs Guilt). She will be starting kindergarten in a year and now here I am learning to navigate the school system, in a state I just recently moved into. Trying to figure out what I can do for her, what is best for her. How do I know if I am not screwing her over in the long run? How am I now making decisions for a tiny human being when sometimes I can hardly make a decision for myself. Meanwhile, my husband is questioning his career choices. We have been on the endless birthday party circuit. We worry about student debt. My closest friends live miles away, on the other side of the country. We used to talk every day, do so much together but now life has pulled us all in different directions. Currently several literary agents are reading my complete manuscript, and the anxiety of that is overwhelming. I am researching cults and trauma for my next manuscript. Exploring the psyche of the characters that are in my brain, ready to start writing. …

During all of this, my sister texts that our dad is in the hospital due to an injury. Watching him decline has not been easy for either of us. The fear that now we have to hold his hand, instead of him tucking us into bed and telling us funny stories, is scary. I am not sure I am ready.

How is that we have spiraled into this so fast? Where did the time go? What have we been doing? How is this adult life? Is this what our parents went through too?

I want to leave a mark on this planet, via my words, via my child, via all of it. But then I spiral back to the reality of what life is – my daughter sprouted overnight, my dad has started to deteriorate in a flash, and I wonder… am I blinking too fast? Is it all just going by faster than any of us want to admit to? Do I have time for all of it?

Was Erickson right? We all just plow through these stages of development and end up at the end thinking, what have I left behind? What have I done with the chance I had? Is that what our parents are thinking when they look at us, raising our own kids, creating our own paths. Do they think, this went too fast, what was I doing? How do I go back, and try again?

Is that the question you want to leave behind? Or perhaps the better question is, to ask now… how do I get from here to there, knowing I did all I could to be here while I had the chance.

The Door

She was sitting alone in her kitchen, sipping on a warm cup of tea. The smell of peppermint drifting up, filling her lungs as she took a few deep breaths. She was exhausted – the day had been too long, and it was only half done. Her to-do list was endless and the thought of moving made her want to vomit.

As she sat there, she let her mind wander, and then settle. A calm stillness. Everything was quiet when she heard the bedroom door slam. Her heart fluttered. No one else was home, it was just her and the dog, who was curled up at her feet.

Her familiar friend, panic, set in.

The fear pulsated in her head, rushing down her body, then back up, causing bile to churn in her gut. She bit her tongue, a habit she had developed as a child, and it reminded her of the therapist who tried to teach her CBT, a few simple gimmicks to deal with her anxiety. It didn’t work then, and it would not work now.

She tried anyway. Deep breath in, slowly, pause, exhale out, slowly. Nothing. Of course.

She was sure no one was home. And her phone was charging in the bedroom. The dog was not barking but that didn’t mean anything. He was pretty mellow now, at 10 years old. He barely woke up, and when he did it was to shift his weight closer to her.

She placed her cup down, and slowly walked toward the hallway – it was like a funhouse, the floor shifting up and down, as her heart raced inside of her. The lighting was so dim and she could hardly see that someone was at the end of the hallway, staring at her. But she could. She could see teeny eyes staring back at her – like a creepy rodent peaking out from the sewer.

Relax. It’s nothing. Nothing is really there. She repeated the words in her head until she believed them. Sort of.

She crept to the end of the hallway and placed her hand on the door, letting her hand slip down to the knob. Her breathing was faster now, the blood pounding in her veins as she turned her hand, closing her eyes before pushing the door open.

There was light bleeding in through the window. The open window. The curtain blowing with a light breeze. She scanned the room. Some papers had fallen over, a picture had been knocked down. There was a strange smell – burnt wax, and cigarettes. She didn’t smoke.

She walked further into the room, peaking into the large closet, her breathing heavy and shallow. She turned her head, continuing to glance around the room.

There was nothing there.

She glanced at her phone, no messages, as always. Nowadays that was the norm. She walked to the window, and closed it. Her hand on the glass, remembering she had opened it to let some fresh air in. She shut her eyes tight. Her body relaxed. She was an idiot. So stupid. She let her panic take over again.

As she reopened her eyes, she saw her best friend standing there.

“Fucks sake,” she said. “You scared the shit outta me.”


“What’re you doing here?”

“I miss you.”

“I miss you too.” She said, her eyes growing wet. “Just don’t do that again, okay?”




They walked down the hallway together. It’d be nice to have tea with her again. Her best friend had died only two weeks ago, but it felt like eons had gone by.