The trees on my street haven’t changed their leaves yet; but November is almost here… so it’s time to drink cups of hot chocolate late nights and after wandering in the city and to count the days down on my fingertips.

Yesterday I was at church, somehow I got roped in for work bee, to clean the church and sanctuary, and an elder told me to talk to someone as “I’ve gone through so much” and to try and be not so detached. Easy for him to say but I am still processing. I’ve been processing my feelings for a long time now and my “inbox” is actually full. Actually I don’t know how to process my feelings.  I can speak about them, from a third person point of view or as an observer. I am able to analyze and offer my thoughts and I am able to summarize them. But I can’t feel them. I put my life on pause and I wallow in silence.

“I, too, remember that feeling. You are caught between all that was and all that must be. You feel lost…” Murakami, hard-Boiled wonderland and the end of the world.

The clouds today looked extra puffed up. I was watching them out of my window while I was working and I made a note to make sure I will go out when I am home and watch them and say hello. On this cold day, I feel alive. Walking alone, watching clouds of breath all around me, trying to control my own. I feel alive, but I still hold this fear, like this tiny tiny ball of insecurities and second guesses and comparisons and what if’s, and when I get close to being courageous the twine of fear unravels in whispers that sound like alarms in my head; I try not to speak and not to smile; look away and look down; and so maybe this fear holds me back from realizing what I truly want, what I should be working toward, who I want to be.

But on this cold day that I feel alive, I breathe in hope drawn from the wind. The cup of hot chocolate I hold burns my hands, but at least they are not numb in the icy air. And with each breath, and with each sip, cold and hot, with each thought slowly waltzing through my head, the tiny ball of fear grows smaller, because there is something more after all.

There are many ropes that constrain me here, but there are more reasons to look up than to look down. There are more reasons to smile than to frown. There are more reasons to speak than to remain silence. It is harder to be brave, but it shouldn’t be.

There will be a day that I feel enough. That I will feel good enough to get what I want out of life, no matter the ghosts of my past that made me afraid.

So I’ll leave October with more courage than I started.