Two years ago, I discovered my first gray hair.
When I found the gray hair, I couldn't quite decide how I felt about it. On the one hand, it was a sign of getting older. On the other, I thought it was kind of cool.
The hair itself didn't really surprise me. The summer of 2008 was a stressful time. I was about four months into my eating disorder therapy, very underweight, and was working at my first full-time job since becoming anorexic. I worked at a private school's small day camp and, with one other young woman, was in charge of about twenty high energy children between the ages of five and ten. All together, life's day-to-day challenges were tough, and I wore my gray hair as a badge of honor, a symbol of living the trenches.
I still have the gray hair, or at least a gray hair growing in roughly the same location on my head. Now, however, my hair is shorn to about half an inch, and the hair is much more apparent when I look in the mirror. And while this plucky little hair used to be something of a prize, now I'm not so sure. I'm older. I'm closer to the big 3-0. And . . . I don't feel like I'm bravely living. Instead, I feel like I'm barely existing, slouching aimlessly from day to day to day toward old age.
In other words, I'm in a funk. A major one. A life funk, a God funk, a writing funk. And I don't know how to climb out of this deep, black cavern I'm living in (figuratively, of course -- the Best Husband Ever and I still reside in our house). I don't have a job serving as my lifeline to the world like I did two years ago, and both my current profession (a work-from-home writer) and my turbulent digestive system (thanks to Crohn's) are separating me even further from what I have come to think of as real life. And there's no end in sight.
So . . . I'm going to keep slouching along. Maybe (hopefully) one day soon I'll feel like I'm standing tall again, like I'm a person in the world. In the meantime, I'll keep grappling with the darkness that's living where my heart used to be.