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January 9th, 2013

I should consider myself very fortunate. I love my husband and children. We are all relatively healthy. We live in a nice place where, for the most part, we are safe and never have to worry about whether we will be able to afford the things we really need. Why isn’t that enough?

Why can’t I be happy with what I have and who I am? Why should I expect to have a job that I like or find interesting and intellectually stimulating? Why does it matter that I don’t like myself? I have no right to complain.

Still, here I am wishing I could escape—knowing my desire to run away is unacceptable. I have to stay. I can’t escape from these circumstances or these feelings.

I have spent so much time and energy wishing that I could be someone else or just not be at all that I am left with emptiness. That is what I have. I am unhappy and at a loss for how to make it better.

I am not even sure better would be enough. I still can’t say what I want or who I want to be. Except, I am certain this complaining, lost, unaccomplished, feel-sorry-for-herself person is not it. This is who I have become, and I alone am responsible for not making other choices and for not being willing to take risks.

When I contemplate or try to remember being an artist, I feel like a phony and a failure. I am a wimp—afraid to be incredibly uninspired and mediocre.

If only I had control over my thoughts and feelings, then I could stow them away like pressed and folded, men’s dress-shirts in cardboard boxes. Sitting on wooden shelves, neatly stacked and organized to fit, behind the mirrored door of an armoire, boxed shirts could wait.