What traffic sign best reflects your life right now?

I’m trying to find inspiration. Writing prompts. I actually have a few books of writing prompts given to me by people who obviously know that I love to write. I just don’t always have something to say.

You’d never guess it, really. I talk a lot. Loudly. My entire job is based upon talking, presenting, disseminating information. But somehow, when it comes to writing, I sometimes feel… choked.

Some of this is because I want my writing to have a purpose, and sometimes it just feels like, well, written verbal diarrhea, for lack of a better term. I have lots to say in my brain but I often wonder “What is the point of this?” I feel the need to have a lesson, an observation, something inspirational to finish with. Or else… what is the purpose?

Some of this is also because I worry that people will roll their eyes and say, “Okay Kirsten, we get it – you’ve had a rough year. Get on with it.” But I can’t. I’m in physical pain constantly right now because my body in the last year has been through so much. I’m exhausted, emotionally and mentally.

It’s not all terrible, at all. It’s not nearly as chaotic as it was a few months ago, but I’m tired. I’m struggling.

I was reading writing prompts and found this:

What traffic sign best reflects your life right now?

I think of that game kids play: Red light. Green light. But what comes to mind for me, right now, is merge.

I think this is partly because merging is one thing that gives me uncontrollable road rage because no one seems to do it properly. I was talking to someone about wanting to start a vlog and my first post would be ranting about bad driving, and merging would be at the top of the list. Figure it out!

But a quick google search tells me that merge means

combine or cause to combine to form a single entity

I have all these different phases or versions of me. There was high school Kirsten. First year university Kirsten. Second, third, fourth year Kirsten. Fifth year Kirsten was a little different. There was confident Kirsten, heartbroken Kirsten, man-hating Kirsten. There was a Kirsten who loved, a Kirsten who felt insecure.

There are various versions of “past” Kirsten. I have some idea of who I want “future” Kirsten to be. So how to I bring this all together?

The last year (about 9 months to be precise) has been intense. It’s been hard on my mind, my soul, my heart, and my body. But it’s all a part of something. It’s teaching me… something. I can’t always tell what right away.

31531167_10156231376008516_6279887969444691968_oI crashed my car recently. It was one of those “This is the last thing I need right now but really when is it ever a convenient time to write off your car” things. All in all, no one was terribly hurt, insurance is there for a reason, and I found a new car. But it was tough to deal with the stress. My grandma, the amazing lady she is, kept reminding me that there’s a reason for why these things happen, even if we don’t see it right away.

I can’t go back to the person I was before all this happened. I wouldn’t want to anyway. I’ve learned so much about my own strength and resilience. I’ve learned about my support system. In the last few weeks, I’ve been so blown away by just how many people are cheering me on, even people I would never expect. I’ve had many teachers give me hugs and encouragement when they hear I crashed my car, who tell me they hope it will all work out and to be safe. That’s something I never expected, but it’s been so nice.

Last Friday, I had to teach a class, and I’ll admit it was the very last thing I wanted to do. But I saw the teacher (who happened to be a substitute I’d met before) and she gave me a huge hug. After class, she gave me another huge hug and said she was so glad I was safe and hoped everything worked out. I actually walked out of that class feeling better than I did before (just another reason my job is amazing).

No matter how bad it gets, I know I can survive (because I have) and even when I really, really don’t think I can, I have people to help me get there.

That’s a pretty good lesson after all.



And just for measure, a picture of me with my new car

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