I feel different lately.
It feels like I never have time. I’ve always been busy, but I’ve always been productive.
I don’t think the same anymore.
I used to always have new ideas; new things I wanted to do. It’s hard to write now, hard to convince myself I’m not wasting my time with thinking. People have always told me you don’t know when love is leaving. It’s quiet and kind, and once it leaves, you don’t know what you could’ve done to keep it.
There used to be this feeling that everything was leading up to where I am now. That the universe exploded into existence and the planets took their place and cells reproduced and died and reproduced again and dinosaurs and animals and eventually humans all lived so I could be where I am now.
And I know this is self-important, borderline narcissistic. But it genuinely felt that way.
People always grow out of their interests. It’s normal and nothing to be worried about. But, I’m horribly afraid.
I’m afraid because my identity was built around what I thought about and talked about and created. My voice was everything.
And now that I don’t know what to say, it feels like I don’t have anything at all.
Nothing to set me apart.
Nothing to hold up and say, “this is who I am,” and people would understand me immediately.
The only thing I can think to do is just wait it out. Either my voice will come back, or I’ll find something different to say.
Or there’s another thought. That it’ll be like this from now on. That I’ll have to live the rest of my life like this.
But that thought is too sad.
And I hope I feel better soon.
more by TYLER CLIFTON
photograph by Jason Zook