Support Stories, Square-Peg People's encouragement for the (sometimes hard-to-deal-with) holidays, begins the 2013 season with a heart-opening guest post from my friend, L'Tanya Durante.
Click on the Support Stories image or link above to find previous years' stories - and to read about the reason behind this offering. Visit often, there are more stories coming!
Oh Void, Where Art Thou?
It seems like I’ve spent a lifetime trying to fill the void. I’ve chased it, stuffed it only to wake up the next day with the emotional packing peanuts strewn all over the floor.
Then I’d start over. It was like looking at the sun. I tried to avoid the glare of my emptiness, again. I think the fact that I kept picking up those damn peanuts made me feel strong.
Sometimes those peanuts looked like chocolate or beer or books or other crap I didn’t need. Year after year I searched for the right stuffing that would finally shut the void up. I fell right into the trap of our culture, a culture that claims to have just the right product or opportunity to help fill us up ‘til we’re fat (but can lose the weight) and burping with happiness.
Only it didn’t work. It never works.
This year had to be different. This year—the year circumstances have deemed the worst of my life—had to be different in order for me to survive it.
So I stopped stuffing. I stopped, turned around and asked the void to tell me something…anything.
And surprisingly it answered…
I’ve always been part of you.
I’m not empty.
I’m the cytoplasm of cells of your life’s circumstances.
You try to fill me so you can sleep. I move and I shake to wake you up.
You try to avoid me so you can move on. I change my shape to get your attention.
At times I am amorphous.
And then other times, I am the shape of the ones you’ve loved and lost,
the bittersweet taste of his mental illness,
the crackling sound of the fried egg he used to make,
the smell of her hair the night before she died.
I won’t be ignored. I can’t be chased down. I can’t be filled. I can’t be dammed.
I have a purpose, a natural flow, and a beauty that deserve recognition. I’ll always tell you what I need. All you have to do is ask.
I am your strength.
This year—the worst of my life—I’m learning to make peace with the void.
What does your void say to you?
L’Tanya Durante is a mama, writer, and recovering caregiver.
More Support Stories here!