Just what to say.

If you're reading this from the northeastern part of the country, you're well aware that spring has decided to be fashionably late. Like, it snowed on April 16th kind of late. Ugh.

I'm deeply affected by the weather. Rain, cold, snow, and gloom seem to seep into my soul and leave me feeling glum, tired, and generally unmotivated. Not unlike a cat who searches out the tiniest beam of sunshine from a window, I want to bask in the warmth of bright, shiny days. I wake up feeling energized and ready. It's no shock that all of the vacations Brian and I have taken in the past 3 years have been to a warm climate with very little rain: I'm my best self in the sun.

So yesterday, when spring dared to peek around the corner and show her face for an hour or two, I jumped at the chance to get outside. I still had to wear a coat, but the sun shining down on the top of my head was like a hot shower of goodness. Let's do this.

I don't usually gravitate toward walking alone. It feels oddly self-indulgent, in a way that a run never does... and I usually have that prickling feeling like I could be using that time for something else, or at the very least, working up a sweat by moving faster. But some knee issues (welcome back, old friend... oof.) have sidelined my running, and I'm trying to find ways to take care of myself mentally without ruining my body or spending kajillions of dollars that I don't have. Walking is free and doesn't hurt. 

I also opted to skip out on the usual podcast listening and tune into music. I used to spend hours listening to songs in high school and college, connecting to the lyrics and swimming in the sounds. But lately, it's been very utilitarian: Listen to what I already know or find something specific for a class. Approaching it more like meditation, I queued up the new Dashboard Confessional (Yes, you heard right. Emo Kid forever.) album I'd been wanting to hear more of and headed out for a half-hour stroll around my neighborhood.

It was basic magic to walk around a familiar place with an unfamiliar soundtrack. Though Chris Carrabba's voice is nothing new to my ears (again, Emo Kid), this album didn't contain the heavy emotions of listening to something from high school. It was tinged with nostalgia, but as an afterthought. It was exactly what I needed.

I've always been a sucker for good lyrics, which are my favorite kind of poetry. This song, at the end of the album, pulled me in. It feels loosely applicable to how I've been feeling lately, though I will head off any questions with a big "Yes, I am definitely fine." But so much of the work of coaching is about listening, and I'm training my brain to drop old habits and embrace the open space. I also know that my clients, too, often struggle with expressing themselves and want to find the answers. I'll let the words speak for themselves.


"Just What To Say"

I went through this door
For no other reason
Than it wasn't open
And sometimes I'm foolish enough to believe encouraging things
But most times I'm cautiously less optimistic
A face in the crowd
I wish to be found
I worry so often for those who escape
I wonder out loud
I sleep at odd hours
And I write 'cause I never know just what to say

My friends all believe me
When I say I'm busy with pretty big things
I cancel most plans
I hurt someone's feelings
I feel like I'm starting
And just when I'm starting, I'm starting to stray

And everyday, I take a white page
And try very hard to know just what to say
Just what to say, just what to say
I try very hard to know just what to say
Just what to say, just what to say

I've planted some clues
That I hope you find easily
Things that I find hard to speak clear and true
I think there's a part of you
Hoping I'm hoping you feel like I do
And maybe you're listening somewhere you like to be
Where you let everything heavy just go
Oh, I'd like to be there
How I'd like to stay
How I'd like to listen
How I'd like to think I'd know just what to say

Just what to say, just what to say
I try very hard to know just what to say
Just what to say, just what to say

Somebody, somebody blocked the door
I know it was me for sure
But somebody knows where I'm hidden away

I try very hard to know just what to say
Just what to say, just what to say
I try very hard to know just what to say
Just what to say, just what to say
I try very hard to know just what to say
Just what to say, just what to say