Inside, I feel a little like the wick of a candle when the wax is gone and the fire fizzles out. I’m short and charred, and would crumble between two fingers.
I am burnt out.
I’ve put so much in. Everyday another word, another hope, another idea.
Everyday another page.
Sometimes I’m not sure there’s enough in me. Someday I’ll dip my bucket into the well and I won’t pull up any more words.
I’ll be dry.
I’m giving this all I have. I’ve been blazing for weeks, a flickering heat with endless fuel shedding light in darkness.
But today, I’m burnt out.
I gave it everything, and now I sit and anticipate familiar rejection. And when it comes, I hope I can catch a spark again.
Because I don’t know what I’m doing.
“I don’t know what I’m doing with my life,” I sighed a I struggled to keep up with my sister’s stride. Her Brittany Spaniel, Ruby, was trotting at her side and my Doberman, Chevy, pulled me along.
“I don’t think anyone really knows what they’re doing with their life,” Sarah replied, glancing at me out of the corner of her eye.
“It’s just weird,” I continued. “I want to be successful. I want to work hard. But I don’t know what I want to work hard at.”
“Just do what makes you happy,” she offered as she halted to tear a twig from Ruby’s mouth. “The world would be a much better place if we all just did what makes us happy.”
Who’s the older sibling, here, exactly?
“Writing makes me happy,” I said, patting Chevy’s head and looking at the bare trees around us. The faded imprints of autumn’s leaves still lingered upon the concrete beneath our tennis shoes.
“Then do it,” Sarah told me.
“It’s not that simple,” I retorted. “I have to be real about this. What are the flipping odds anything I write is going to go anywhere beyond my office?”
“You make it go.”
I’ve been told before to keep trying. To never give up. That I can do it. But these 4 words in that small slice of time on the trail struck me. They collided with my body and left me stumbling.
I make it go.
Right now, I’m tired. I’m so burnt out I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.
But I will recover.
And I’ll keep at it.
Because that’s what we do as humans.
We pull strength from empty places
and we make it go.