Do You Still Have Zeal?

written on 10 January 2022 by Indy Hollway

Art by Indy Hollway

“After this is all over” we continue to say. As if this will ever

be over. As if we will ever get past the years of pain, unknowing, and loneliness. I

close my eyes and try to think of what life was like before. I can’t. All I can see is

darkness. The comforting colours of the inside of my own

eyelids, the only constant in these tumultuous times. My own skin, my own

flesh. The last two years float through my mind like a lucid dream as I find myself desperately scrambling for some sort of normality. Do I even remember what normality feels like? Since when was

going outside the difference between the worst and best day of my week? Maybe this was always true, and I just didn’t notice before.

Has life always been this way? A hazy continuation, a groundhog day. Wake up, eat, work, walk, cry, numb. Was

I always this needy? This clingy? This reliant? Was I ever

joyful? Will I ever be again? I think about my life and I

kick myself because it is so filled with wonder, and adventure, comfort, and

love. And yet I find

myself unable to look past the personal stagnation of this ‘once in a lifetime’ situation. How many ‘once in a lifetimes’ can one person take? There is

no hopeful conclusion here, so if you’re waiting for the joke at the end, you should quit while you're ahead. I know I’ve always been good at looking for the gold, at finding the

optimal outcome. But this is my lament, there are no soft edges. My lament is spikey and spiney, like I feel inside. It

pierces me. I cry these words out to God, the creator of all things. The all knowing, all powerful, all loving being that guides us and loves us and, if we’re lucky, answers our

questions. My question is this: will I ever be pulled out of this pit of self-pity and self-loathing? Will I forever

remember this period of my life as a time of constant pain? Or will I one day remember this time as formative? As creative? As an exploration of the

self? Will you, God, Lord, Mummy, Daddy, one day show me

that this time was not entirely wasted? Was not, in fact, the end of me but the start of me? Will I one day stop seeing myself as a whiny little bitch? Oh boo frickin hoo, you were depressed. You were

under the impression that your life was about to expand and instead it crumpled. We are all in the same boat, and some people had it worse. Way worse. You don’t even have the right to be calling out to God right now, God is busy helping other people who actually deserve it, people who actually need to be comforted, and guided, and loved, and helped. Not people like you who are searching for

validation for your stupid little feelings. So I continue to hide how I feel, cover it up by smiling and continuing on like nothing has changed. Like the

whole wide world hasn’t changed. We all need the comfort of a warm hug. God isn’t blind to our suffering, and God is not limited to helping some and helping others. Or are they? You know what I’m going to say: God looks insides us, God takes an

xray of our hearts and sees what truly lies beneath the stiff upper lip, beneath the guise that we put on to make ourselves feel less guilty for grieving when there are others who need to grieve more. As if emotions come in one shared, collective pot which we all draw from, and each time I feel sad or angry or hurt or confused, I’m taking this away from someone else. As if God’s heart is not big enough to love all of us, and God has to choose which of us to love that day. Do

you feel the same way? Are you tired of asking these questions, and shouting these words, and examining these truths every day? Or do you still have