What you don’t see: I had a bad month

I wrote this at the end of January, then didn’t publish it. It still feels relevant, so I’m sharing it now. Sometimes you can accomplish a lot and have it feel like nothing. I know this intellectually; it’s part of why I’ve worked so hard to untether my sense of self-worth from external accomplishments. But when you expect to feel something, and you don’t, it can feel like a letdown regardless of what you know to be true.

I got a lot done this month. As of this writing, I’m 44,000 words into a novel I started writing on January 1. This is the ninth blog post I’ve published. I’ve studied French 26 days in a row. I’ve meditated every day of 2019. I’ve recorded six podcast episodes.

Amid all of this, I was bored. I was exhausted. I felt disconnected from other people, but also like connection wasn’t something I particularly wanted at this juncture. I went back and forth on whether I actually want the thing I keep claiming I want. (I still don’t know.) I resented everyone, myself included. I either started work at 6 a.m. (work work, the kind I get paid for), or I couldn’t get out of bed until 9.

I spent a lot of time wondering what the point is of all of this. Life, on a macro level. My creative work, on a micro level. Even my death-reminder app failed to make me feel more alive.

Then there were the deals I didn’t keep. Things I was supposed to leave in 2018 but didn’t. Dry January cut short on the 27th, when I realized my life had no balance. The yoga I stopped practicing somewhere around January 7. The half marathon I decided not to run. Eating dairy again and getting no joy out of it, just congestion. Consuming things — food, wine, affection — like they’ll eventually fill me up.

Nothing sounds good to me right now. Nothing sounds fun. Everything feels capable of being divested.

So let’s try a different month.

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