Trying to put words to it

It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write.
It’s just that I haven’t been able to find the right words.

For someone who prides herself on her attempts to be eloquent, it’s humbling.
As a verbal processor, it’s crippling.

All I really know is that I’m not ok.
I haven’t been ok since I got back from Africa.
Or more honestly, I haven’t really been ok since I left for Africa.

You could ask me what’s changed, how I am, or what’s wrong, but I don’t know how to answer.
I’m not trying to be evasive, I’m really not.
I just really don’t know.
I don’t have words for it.

I feel empty inside.
Confused and disoriented.

I feel like the tilt of my axis has changed and suddenly I’m constantly dizzy because I don’t exactly know which way is up anymore.

I feel like my heart expanded as it froze. Now it’s melting–slowly leaking out of the cracks of the broken container and I’m helpless to stop the loss.

I feel like an empty pot facing a long line of hungry people standing in line at a soup kitchen…I know they need me, but I have nothing left in me to give them.

I feel like I’m standing at the Tower of Babel. Everything is familiar–I recognize my surroundings and the faces of people all around me, but suddenly I don’t speak the same language anymore. I’m a stranger in my own skin.

Most days I try to act like I’m ok, I think more out of an attempt to convince myself than to pretend for other people.
If I’m entertained enough maybe I can forget the questions that have multiplied exponentially inside me.
If I focus on the future maybe I don’t have to dissect the past. I don’t have to relive the loneliness, the hurt, the questions.
Always the questions are there.

Africa only answered a few questions for me.
Africa gave me a million more.


One thought on “Trying to put words to it

  1. steve lewis says:

    “Africa only answered a few questions for me.
    Africa gave me a million more.”

    – Kim, I’m sorry to hear of your present discomfort. My words are not likely to sound helpful. But I’d suggest that if you came away from your Africa experience with more questions than you went in with, you were true to the process. I’ve found that people who have more answers than questions are either too confident to realize their answers are insufficient, or old and wise enough to know better.

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