change and overwhelmed and brave

I don’t know where to start this.

I dwell in the past. Hanging on to the little fragments of years ago, connections that used to matter. Interests that have passed but still seem so important. I’m also overwhelmed and drowning in dreams that feel much to big for a girl from the suburbs who got into her dream school but didn’t go. It all feels wrong and it’s hard to not think that I’m making all the wrong choices. 

It’s pretty funny how a weekend with a good friend who drove all the way here from eight hours away can make everything seem okay and then suddenly, not okay. We can do it all, let’s ride the ferris wheel, city lights. But then she left and I’m still here and I still have a comparative politics midterm in two days. Overwhelming is a word that is too long for my emotions. I’m the opposite of together, opposite of composed. How to know I am on the right track? How to know –

So then I put on some good Sara Bareilles and opened a Hannah Brencher email that I got a few days ago that I’ve been saving. All the good things I’ve been saving. And in a pop song that I sometimes pretend that I don’t like and an email from a woman I’ve never met, I suddenly felt okay. Hannah B. said that change is okay and that sometimes people change in ways that we don’t want them to and it happens and it’s okay. And for just a second, I believed her. It all felt pretty okay. Sara told me to be brave, Hannah said to let it all go. Little things. It matters. She said if you are stretched too thin, it’s okay. Just how it is, it’s okay.

I’m still overwhelmed, and I still have a midterm on Tuesday. I still am an obsessive perfectionist. But it’s the little snippets of reassuring wisdom that make it okay. Tonight I get to drum at my church, which is one of my favorite things in the world, and tomorrow I get to eat tamales and work at a farmers market. I don’t understand how I have all this goodness and I still feel dissatisfied.

The word of this writing is still. Still overwhelmed. Still dissatisfied. Still have to do. Still, still, still. But for the first time, I’m really starting to believe all the things that I’ve been trying to convince myself for the past eighteen months: you can mess up. you can make mistakes and mistakes and mistakes and you are still worthy. there is no limit to the messes. and importantly: promises made years ago sometimes don’t count years later, when everything is different, and that’s okay.

A major theme of this blog is change, especially in its early days. I don’t handle change well. Change is this ghost that comes and follows me and drops little ‘what if’s into my head again and again. Again and again. Big change, little change. And another major theme – overwhelmed – is okay too. Sometimes that is the state of things. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be fixed. It’s okay to hate change and be overwhelmed.

I don’t know where to end this. Sink into whatever today is.

P.S. – if you too want to have this nice experience: sign up here ( and listen to this fun stuff (

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