Some days I just want to leave this world.
Living here much longer simply feels like an emotional impossibility lately.
The cruelty is too prevalent, the atrocities too pervasive, the fractures beyond repair.
It is an exercise in diminishing returns each morning, expending the necessary energy required to protect the fragile embers of hope still remaining within me, with so much threatening to snuff it out. It’s difficult to breathe in this atmosphere, as if my chest can’t fully expand and I feel myself slowly suffocating beneath the weight of how not-right it all is and how few people seem to notice.
Every day I do my best to gather my strength, redouble my resolve, and step out into the brokenness and enmity, bleeding heart affixed to my sleeve—but a disorienting spiritual nausea soon grips me as I try and navigate the now wildly-shifting bedrock of what I once believed and the people I thought I knew and the home I imagined I had. No ground feels solid anymore.
To be a deeply feeling person in a time when empathy has become a middle-index, partisan slur doesn’t seem sustainable and neither does staying—and today I just want to leave this world.
I want to leave its coldness forever in my rearview, to run into anything else because even the terrifying what could be beyond this place, seems more inviting right now than the terrible what is. Some days I want to step swiftly from here into hereafter, because here is too painful to endure.
But that’s just the sadness talking.
Leaving isn’t really an option because this is still my home, because I am still tethered here to people I love fiercely, because there is still so much unfinished music inside me—because whatever force of life still resides here beating defiantly in the center of my chest isn’t fully extinguished yet—and because I refuse to depart until it is.
And so today I just want to leave this world.
I want to leave it more compassionate than I found it.
I want people here who are pressed up hard against desperation to encounter rest in me; for them to feel less alone in the grief and the disbelief they carry on their rubbed-raw shoulders and to be able to exhale again.
I want to leave this world more just than when I arrived.
At the end of my time, I want to know that while I was here I spent every bit of the unearned currency of my privilege to make room at the table for the excluded and uninvited and unloved; to create spaces of refuge where people experience true belonging, in my presence even if few places else.
I want to leave this world lighter than it was when I got here.
I want to be a source of the kinds of fits of laughter and kind acts and joyful exchanges, that are medicinal to the souls of people afflicted by the heaviness of loss, disappointment, failure, and rejection—to bring lift in the face of so much deflation.
Yes, I want to leave this world safer and kinder and funnier and more decent—which means staying as long as I can and filling up my days with as much that affirms life as I can manage, until my last day arrives.
It means speaking words of truth and of love, even when silence would be the less turbulent path; engaging the cruelty, confronting the atrocities, and placing myself into the fractures so that hopefully, even in ways I can’t see or measure in the moment—some healing might come.
I figure that’s the best use of the time and the place and the story I’m standing in right now.
One day I’m going to leave this world for good.
But today I’m going to leave it better.