I Don’t Know What I’m Doing Here


Both my pointer fingers and thumbs are littered with the evidence that I broke my streak of leaving my cuticles alone. They’re sore, throb when touched. They’re rough in places, still open in others, doing their best to heal.

September has been all over the place—highs and lows, crashes I didn’t see coming, possibilities I’m not sure I’m ready for or can count on. It’s been a month that as an unapologetically proud Virgo was supposed to be filled with organization, color coding, and getting my shit together. Instead, I just found myself absentmindedly chewing on the skin on my right middle finger. Nothing about that says, “Her shit is together.”

The other day I sat in my bathtub furiously scrubbing with baking soda to try and remove bath bomb stains and marks that simply say, “You’ve lived here for over 3 years.” Nothing would come out. I was just sitting in there, feeling the sting of the vinegar each time it got into one of my ripped apart cuticles, and not able to change anything at all. I was bested by a bathtub, and it made me more upset than it probably should have.

Things are weird. Things are tense. Things are up in the air. And for an unapologetic Virgo who was so looking forward to meticulous organization, that’s kind of not a great place to be.

I don’t know what I’m doing here. I’m nervous and hate uncertainty. I wish I had something more concrete and I feel like such a cop-out for constantly responding with, “I don’t know.” But that’s all I have. Three stupid little words and flurry of ellipses where I wish there could be a period instead.

A handful of summers back I was brand new to the city I now call home and I was terrified. I was broke, which amplified the terrified-ness, I was in a new place. I felt completely upside down and like I had just made a giant mistake packing up my life and moving somewhere where I knew no one. I frequently cried in my closet. Sometimes I would fall asleep in there after crying on the floor. I didn’t know what I was doing.

And even though I no longer cry on my closet floor, partially because things did get easier and more stable and partially because my new closet is not nearly big enough to do so, I still don’t always know what I’m doing here.

The only thing I know how to do is try. To keep scrubbing even when it doesn’t seem to be working. To keep trying. Even when trying is, frankly, exhausting. Even when I don’t really know why I’m trying—just that I am.

Trying is scary. Doing your best is scary. Not knowing what you’re doing, just that you’re doing…something??? It’s scary. These are all a bunch of vague statements and seemingly nonsensical stories strung together with a lot of nothing to say, I don’t know what I’m doing here. But I guess I have to keep doing it. Even when it’s scary and hard and makes me wish I still had a closet to climb into and cry. The only way to figure things out, to make things less scary, to climb out of the metaphorical closet and be okay, is to do.

Simply put, if I want to put what I talk about each week in therapy into practice, that’s what I’m doing here. If we want to do a painfully obvious, borderline cliché callback. I’m doing my best to heal. Or at least try.