I woke up at 5am in a cold sweat in my 60° room on this -8° night as the wind blew around my house shuffling the thoughts and fears in my head. It’s been over an hour and a half now, me sitting here, sweaty, begging my brain to stop and let it go and let me do the easy thing. Let me follow the path of least resistance and simple pleasures, to hell with the rest. But I am not that person, and that is not how my brain works. So I am here, writing, sitting up in my bedroom in the dark waiting for the first whispers of morning light to shine through my bedroom window and lull me back to sleep under the comfort of dawn. I know sleep will not come until I get these thoughts out of my head, so I am here.

I’m right here.

Of course where I am doesn’t necessarily matter right now. Of course I am right here – this is home and where I belong. This is where my family is, where my life is, and where everything that is near and dear to my heart and precious and full of love in my soul lives. Almost everything. But the last piece isn’t mine to have anyway and I know that.

There’s more I want to say that I can’t quite put in words, and that’s okay. They will sound different later, in my voice, and that matters too. Not just what is said, but how it is said, and when. Almost now, but not quite.

Life has a funny way of sorting out its own messes if you just look up. Forget about what the halo around the moon two days in a row tells you. Forget about all the dark promises and hopes. Forget about the 5am fears that wake you up in a cold sweat and tumble your thoughts on end so that you can’t go back to sleep until you let them spill out into the world.

Just speak your truth.

I almost forgot that recently. Navigating things I never have, being there for someone who has become my best friend to me in so many ways, it was easy to let the emotions try to convince me that as long as it was based on caring and connection and love, that it also had to be true. But that’s not always the case. It’s possible to be in love in fragmented ways, and to keep those fragments from actually touching so that you can have a safe space to live your truth, and another space to live your life. The problem is, when you do that, you’re actually fragmenting yourself and hurting your soul and that’s far worse than anything else you could put yourself through – especially with everything ahead.

2020 and 2021 have been a year of immense change. Everyone says 2022 will be better – and it will – but not if the changes we experienced and all the lessons we learned in these past two years of hell are ignored or glossed over. They have to be lived, felt, and grieved. And all the work we’ve done on ourselves these past years has to be the foundation for more. So much more.

Foundations built on truth, laid on broken ground will still crumble. Even the strongest foundations of concrete and water mixed together in the exact combination needed to be stronger than anything before will never stand a chance if the ground it lays upon is cracked and broken. Before you build the foundation, you have to first be standing on solid ground.

I am now. I don’t know where you are, not exactly, or what the ground looks like under your feet, but that is also not my place to ask or answer.

I will not build on broken ground. I built this home on trust and love and honesty and the life around me reflects that. Sometimes, truth takes the high road, sometimes it’s the easy one. But more often than not, it’s the path through the forest you can barely find beneath the tangle of trees and the snarl of branches, grabbing at you as you go by. Tugging at your chest, ripping away the hidden thoughts, the deepest fears, and the little lies you want to tell yourself to make the easy path – the clear one right in front of you – the right one. But you know in your heart it is not. You know in your soul it is not. And you built this home on a solid foundation surrounded by this forest, and it knows. The forest knows. You do, after all, go back there almost every day and hang your fears and worries and weights on those trees, and they gladly take them from you, and you let them and you smile.

You cannot hang your heaviness in the forest and then ask it to hide your heart. It takes your heaviness to give you hope. It carries your burdens to show you light through the canopy and love through the trees. It whispers to you that it will be okay, and reminds you to tell your story. Your home story. Your love story. Your life story. One that makes even the ravens overhead stop in silence to listen.

A lil bird flies over head, reminding you to speak your truth. All of it. I’m right here.