There are so many things in this world that make us feel out of control—falling into a one-sided love with people who can’t choose us back, seeing people we love getting sick and not being able to help, watching horribly wrong decisions be made by the people who are supposed to lead us.
The things that make us feel out of control can drive us into a sense of hopelessness, and it’s easy to get stuck there. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the things that we cannot change. It’s easy to feel hardened by the things that break our soft hearts wide open. It’s easy to feel like nothing we can do can change our circumstances, so sometimes we choose to get comfortable in this sense of hopelessness.
It’s okay if this happens to you—I’ve been there before, too. I’ve made a home in this hopelessness before and made many trips back even after I broke free. Some things feel so completely overwhelming that we want to just succumb to them—we want to let go of our hope of things ever improving. It’s hard to know what we can do that will be able to create the kind of change we desperately dream of seeing. It’s okay if you need to let yourself feel all of this for a moment, but remember that you can’t stay here. You can’t stay in this place where you feel stuck. The world needs you far too much to allow it.
Yes, this world can feel like a cruel, chaotic place. It can feel like our actions are no match for the forces we’re up against. It can feel like our own little decisions can’t make a difference. But they can, and they do. For every huge obstacle that we face, there are tiny, everyday actions that we can take to fight back. We can decide every morning to make the world a bit better in whatever small way that we know how. We can rewrite the story day by day, word by word, page by page.
The biggest things are often the hardest to face—there is so much injustice in this world, so much fear, so many people who seem like they just don’t care. It can feel easier to throw in the towel and crawl back into your safety net of “stuck”. But you don’t have to change the world all on your own.
What tiny change can you make today to push back? Do you have five minutes to read and share an article that could help someone else get “un-stuck”, too? Do you have the money to make just a $5 donation? Can you volunteer five minutes of your time? Your actions matter, your voice matters, you matter. Yes, you owe it to yourself to get unstuck, but you owe it to the world that you dream of seeing, too.
This can apply to the smaller things too—the things that maybe don’t impact society as a whole, but certainly feel like mountains to you. Maybe there’s a pile of laundry that’s been sitting in your room for a week, waiting to be folded. It can be conquered one sock at a time.
Maybe there’s a friend that you’ve been missing dearly, but you aren’t sure how to talk to them anymore. Start by sending them a memory you shared, or a picture that made you smile, or something as small as “hello”.
Maybe you’ve been trying to get over someone you loved, but just can’t stop reading their messages or listening to the playlists they made you. Start by building yourself a new playlist, one song-that-makes-you-smile at a time.
We are never truly stuck—each breath we take moves us forward into a new second of this life. We couldn’t stay stuck forever, even if we wanted to. And I promise you, I understand that sometimes it feels easier to just stay stuck. It can feel easier to build a home in this feeling, to wear the sadness like a heavy blanket that feels more comfortable than venturing out into the unfamiliar light. But eventually, we all do have to move forward.
When you decide to move forward, maybe you’ll take one giant leap. Maybe you’ll need to take it one tiny step at a time. Whatever way you decide, I hope you choose to add to the beauty of the world in the wonderful way that only you can. I hope you choose to do it soon—I’ll be here on the other side of “stuck”, rooting for you.