Wandering through the Stuckness

Stuck.

It’s all I feel lately.

Stuck at home.

Stuck in the middle of opposing views trying to be the medium of tolerance to allow growth.

Usually I feel as though I am treading water just to keep up. As of lately, the substance has shifted to something thicker. Grainier. Like I unexpectedly stepped in quicksand.

As a child of the 90s, I had an irrational fear of quicksand. It was a common trope in movies and sitcoms. I was petrified that when I went to play in the woods near my house that I would fall into the muck (Do you remember a time that a child could play in the woods with only a fear of quicksand?).

The thing about quicksand is that the more you flail or fight, the quicker you sink. In order to get out alive, you have to become still and then move deliberately. You have to surrender. 

The best advice I received to battle with this feeling of immobility was that I needed to honor it. I needed to thank it for the chance to identify just which point of my life is halted by the stagnation. It may or may not require life-altering methods. I just had to start with removing that feeling like, “something was wrong.” It’s only when we start to feel the unrest that the solution to our evolution will emerge.

Here are a few things to help with the stuckness:

  1. Talk to a trusted confidant. Find someone who can listen objectively and soundboard what you are saying so you can truly hear your desires or issues. Then brainstorm  a next step.
  2. Get into Nature. Put your hands in the dirt and grow something. Find a new trail to hike. Pull out those old rollerblades to shake up your daily walking route.
  3. Volunteer. Walk dogs at a shelter. Start a book club that focuses on diversity or challenging issues. Use some of that stimulus to donate to a cause you find worthy.
  4. Find a small project. Assemble a new shelf that declutters the closet. Create a sacred space in your house that sparks joy. Discover the power of a palm sander and refinish a piece of furniture.
  5. Be still. Remind yourself that you can move with purpose. By learning to truly listen to your inner wisdom, that sticky feeling will unwind.

Let the rest unfold. Life has changed to a different speed these days. What may have worked prior to quarantine may no longer be applicable and that can seem scary.

As Shannon Alder said, “Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck. Faith is the solvent.” I will not cling to the fear that will bind me to feelings of inadequacy. I have faith that something will come to fruition.

All I have to do is to take the next step.

E.B. Livings moonlights as a mother of four sons and a teacher of English to high school seniors. She spends her days nurturing 150 people and her dog, Millie. She writes from her comfortable hometown of Rayne. She spent the first decade of the millennium at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Chances are she was your Orientation leader or you read her stuff in The Vermilion or 008 Magazine. She completed a Master's of Arts in Teaching at McNeese in 2017. Her hobbies are as eclectic as her outfits. When she's not guiding her gentlemen through earthly endeavors, she may be found practicing piano or running. In the chaos of loud boy-mom life, she finds solitude doing yoga, praying, or rocking on her back patio while strumming her guitar. You can explore more of her thought experiments at leecee.wordpress.com.