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Stuck in a Rut

I was stuck in a rut. I knew I was stuck. I thought that knowing I was stuck would help me get out of the rut. But it didn’t. I watched as busy people, people with meaningful lives, hurried past me, busy with their meaningfulness. All the while I was stuck with my head poking out of the ground, hopelessly watching their retreating backs.

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I was stuck in a rut. I was doing the bare minimum; enough that my life looked alright but I invested the least amount of energy possible. I was stuck in my rut and I didn’t know how to get out.

So I hauled myself and my baby off to NY on an overnight bus ride.  I was looking for change, for motivation, for an escape from the tediousness of routine.

Friday morning I went to the Ohel.  I had with me a letter I had written to the Rebbe four years previously and somehow had never had the opportunity to hand it in. Standing at the Ohel, balancing the car seat  with a sleeping baby inside on the ledge, I read the old letter. 

Four years ago was a confusing time for me. I doubted everything. I questioned everything. I challenged the foundations of everything I had been raised with. I rebelled. The rebellion hurt, though. I wanted answers, I just didn’t know where to find them. So I wrote to the Rebbe. Because that’s what I was taught to do. Because even at the height of all the pain and confusion I still wanted to believe.

For years later I can look back with the clarity of hindsight an realize that all my questions have been answered. Whatever I had asked for in my personal life had been fulfilled. The Rebbe had answered my letter. Granted, it took time, but I got them. The Rebbe answered all of my questions.

My rut was shrinking. I was beginning to see more than just people’s ankles.

On Sunday I met up with a friend for lunch. She drank coffee, I ate a bagel. She asked me about my creative life. I smiled bashfully; my creative life had ceased to exist. I immediately had to defend myself and explain that while I was hanging out in my rut I had come to the conclusion that it was imperative that I continue writing. I had made an ambitious declaration that I would write a blog post once a week. It didn’t matter what I wrote about and it didn’t have to be perfect, it just had to be written.

My friend wisely reminded me that it’s about letting go of my inhibitions, freeing myself  of worrying about what others think. It doesn’t matter what they think. They don’t make me who I am, I cannot let them control me. I can only succeed if I’m not afraid to express myself, to be vulnerable  to be uninhibited. 

A breath of fresh air. I now had one foot out of my rut. It was time to say goodbye to it.

The band called 8th Day helped me pull my second foot free. The stood me up and sent me running forward to live my life. Perhaps next week I will explain in a post titled All You Got.