I don’t know how to begin.

All my life, I have loved the excitement of a fresh start. The potential, the unknown, the hope that this time all will be different. The promise of change.

This month, I will attempt to make many changes in my life. Today, I promised myself I would begin.

But I don’t want to.

Where there once was excitement, there is only dullness. In place of energy, tiredness. I never knew it was possible to feel both dull and emotionally raw at the same time, but here I am.

My mother died three weeks ago. My grandmother died six months ago.

I guess this is what they call grief. I have no clear understanding of it to define it as anything.

I feel hollow. Lost. Confused. My days seem aimless. Empty.

It is very tempting to stay here. To hide in the hollow expanse of my feelings. If not to lay down and die, too, then to at least curl up and hibernate for a season or two.

Everything feels like a struggle.

But I begin anyway. Why?

Because God still gives me the gift of breath, and it is my turn to go on. Because even though I feel hopeless, I know- I believe- there is still hope.

Because my heart wants to contract and become smaller, and I cannot let that happen. Because through all the pain, I must continue to love and be loved.

I begin to pray. I begin to care for myself. I begin to write.

I begin without expectation, and so I begin without fear.