GrrlPunch has truly been OOO (out of office) for a good chunk of the beginning of this year. 2019 has been really difficult for the editors, writers and artists. Growing up is difficult in general, especially while juggling work, school, personal lives and then, finally, trying to catch your breath. Recently, I’ve felt an unusually crushing weight of just getting through the day over the past few months.

A few weeks ago I acted like a real adult and took myself to the dentist after putting it off. I went in for a cleaning and left with the news that I would be needing a possible root canal and a dental crown (procedures that could total thousands of dollars). It was too many zeros for me to digest. I called my mom and told her the bad news and got a little choked up thinking about how this would affect my bank account and my work schedule. She could tell this wasn’t the only thing bothering me and asked if anything else was wrong. I had a volcanic eruption of tears begin to flow down my cheeks that could very well rival Mount Vesuvius. It was the first time, in a long time, that someone had asked if I was okay.

Recently, I’ve felt like I’m flailing. My mind is constantly telling me that I am failing in work, school and personal relationships. I’m not being the best friend, student and daughter I can be. Worst of all, I have put GrrlPunch on the back burner while trying to get my shit together for university.

The put-together adult from earlier in the day was now dodging traffic on the highway with swollen eyes and a runny nose.

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The other night I had a dream that I vividly remember. I rarely remember my dreams and firmly believe that people who keep “dream journals” are bursting with bullshit. However, this nightmare stuck with me. I was sitting in my car trying to get it moving, but it wouldn’t budge. The car was running, but every time I stepped on the gas pedal, the car stayed still. I noticed that the car was still in park and told myself I was an idiot for not checking that before, but when I tried to move the gear stick, I couldn’t get it to transition to drive.

My dream was not a typical nightmare, but it was terrifying to me because I felt helpless even while sleeping. This wasn’t a helpless feeling in that I had anywhere to go or was in a rush, but the feeling of not being able to move the vehicle felt menacing. Reflecting on the dream, it makes sense when comparing this situation to my daily life.

I keep wanting to do things to make myself feel better, I keep wanting to start publishing on GrrlPunch again, I keep wanting to get my schoolwork in order, I keep wanting and yet, I’m paralyzed. I feel like I am perpetually in park without the potential of shifting gears. I think this all boils down to the fact that I don’t believe in myself like I used to.

I’m experiencing an intense form of burnout from working at the same restaurant, living in the same city and still being in school. I feel like a piece of expiring fruit. But that piece of fruit (let’s say a little kiwi??) had hopes and dreams and used to have motivation! Where the hell did that motivation and carefree attitude go?

I understand that it’s normal to feel this way, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. So, to make life a little more bearable, I watched Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again, a classic, with my best friend. I later found out that my front transmission in my car is shot, but I have relinquished the need for control for the time being. Trust me, next month I’ll be writing about how much I need control all over again. However, for the time being, I’m just going to sit with the things I’m unhappy with and try to appreciate the lovely things in my life that I take for granted.