The marvelous truth teller at Tales From The Motherland inspired this post when she replied to my comment on her blog that she feels “like she’s writing into a void right now.” I know my way around the void. I’ve been there many times. There’s nothing to lean on as you try to get your bearings. A long blank stare into the space around you reveals no exit. To get a better view, you have to traverse a ghostly expanse of unfamiliar terrain. There is a window, barely perceptible, in the distance. All you have to do is reach it and climb out.

The old, “when a door closes, a window opens,” is a tried and true platitude, but I prefer a more direct route out of the void. We are all trying to adapt to what is happening in the world around us. Modern society is experiencing a critical need for integrity, compassion, and accountability on a global scale. This moment is pivotal, publicly and personally, but it is not without precedent as so many seem to think.

Current events forcing us to reevaluate life in ways we haven’t had to before are no more daunting than past events. Recorded history provides us with examples of how disease, disenfranchisement, atrocities, and brutality have forced people to endure suffering and despair. There has never been a more important time to understand history. Knowledge of the past can help us navigate the present and build resilience for the future.

Resilience is a quality that is built over time. It requires an ability to pay attention to our own well-being. This is not selfishness. On the contrary, it increases our capacity to serve others. Four things that are vital to my well-being in this moment are:

  1. Creativity
  2. Purpose
  3. Gratitude
  4. Respect

Are you searching for a way out of the void? Be encouraged. You are not alone.

Honie’s Back

This blog began as a way for me to process grief after the death of my dearest friend in 2011. For six years it provided a place for me to write and rant and make new friends. During that time, I wrote constantly. When I wasn’t writing, I volunteered with several non-profits. In 2013, I decided to go back to school so that I could equip myself to solve a problem I had discovered, which was that many non-profit organizations lack effective leadership.

In 2016, I graduated. I was on a mission. I gave public talks about what I had learned during my study abroad in Romania. I reached out to people in public service. I applied for jobs in the non-profit and public sectors. I briefly served as interim Executive Director for an organization that had been wickedly mismanaged. A couple of other dead-end gigs with non-profits and dozens of job applications later, it was clear that I needed to pivot my job search back to the corporate sector.

Rejection and disappointment had negatively impacted me. One day in 2017, I stopped writing. My heart was no longer in it. I felt like I was in hell. It’s important to note that there are two hells. The public one of shared horrors, which too many are experiencing every day. This hell is vast and virulent. Then there is the private one. This hell is subtle, singular in purpose to devour you from the inside out.

I did the only thing I could. I went to Canada. It was only a short visit over the 4th of July weekend, but so restorative was that cool Canadian vibe that upon my return, I was refreshed enough to surf the internet. Low and behold, the perfect job had landed square in my LinkedIn feed. Almost exactly one year into my fabulous new job, I was furloughed due to the very public hell we are all sharing at the moment.

So, here I am, once again, blogging to process grief. And practice my video making skills.


I watch the cardinal on the wire. I hear a bluebird join the choir. Doves begin to sigh. A dizzy hummingbird zips by, inhales the fragrant honeysuckle which makes the bees let out a chuckle. The inside joke of drunken pollinators eludes the dragonfly. Rabbits dash across the lawn and butterflies, up since dawn, sip sweetness at their leisure from blossoms blooming for my pleasure.

The fullness of my gratitude is in conflict with my attitude as ashes from a world on fire gather at my feet. Separate from community is where my soul and acrimony meet. Wasted hour gives way to fruitless day. Stagnant air and lethargy contrive to keep productivity at bay. The birds have no need of me, except for free seed, and the bees could care less if I stay.  

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