A message to the lost (myself included).

Some bad things happened recently.

The kind of bad that made me sit down on the floor and sob and wonder questions like why do I and is it worth it and will the road ever run smoother. The bad happened in amid a spot of good, and I don’t know if the good saved me, or if it made it worse for letting me believe a spot of good could be a world of it.

I went away for a little break. Away from writing. Away from the life connected with it, and all the weight. I drove into the countryside with two amazing friends, stretched in the backseat and listened to music and watched stars through the moon roof and pieced my hope back together.

And now I’m back. Back and still struggling to find myself amid the lingering malaise–frustration, fatigue, anger. I am trying to find my focus. Trying to use that spot of good as a raft.

(So much good lovelies. An ocean of it. Why does a spot bad have the power to pollute it?)

I need that focus. I haven’t found it yet, but I need it more than ever. I hope I’ve not–and fear I have–spooked it away with all my needing. At some point I’m going to have to climb out of myself and all these heavy thoughts and into other selves and find their thoughts instead and it feels like I’ve forgotten how to do that, but I know it’s just the spot of bad, holding on, dragging me down.

I’m writing this post to myself as much as you, to tell myself it’s time to let go.

Bad things happen.

But good things can be made. From them. In spite of them.

And it’s time to make good things.

This summer I will write two books. Aim for a third if I’m feeling ambitious (hard to believe in my current state, but writing this is finding words and right now I’ll take them, whatever their shape). This summer I will drag my eyes away from the recent past and refocus on the near future. On a season of writing. Creating. Building new roads, and rafts, and whatever else I need to stay afloat.

It’s time to stand up again.

It’s time to start.

So I’m saying this to you now. If you’re feeling lost, bone-sad or heartbroken or hopeless or astray, get up. We cannot move forward until we stand up.

Let’s stand up.

Let’s start.

16 thoughts on “A message to the lost (myself included).

  1. Victoria,

    Thank you for this. These are words that I often feel I must say to myself. Amid so much good, it is the bad that has the most affect on our stamina, health, overall emotional well-being…

    You are not alone in this. But know that you are a wonderful person and you (and your work) are loved. I will likely return to read this to remind myself anytime I need it.


  2. Ali says:

    I really needed to read this, right now. because for reasons, I can relate to this. but i agree with you. the only way out is through. we have to get up and keep miving forward. sending you hugs, good though, and starlight for the dark. ❤

  3. Carissa says:

    This. This is one of those posts that found me right at the moment I needed it to. Like you, I’ve had some spots of bad that have me questioning myself and my abilities. Sometimes, after you have been knocked down, it’s hard to get up and take that first step because being miserable is easy. Happiness is hard. And finding balance between the two? Nigh impossible some days; feels like walking a tightrope where the slightest wind can knock you right the hell off and you’re back to square one.

    Really, it’s amazing how one little act of bad seems to derail all the good–but creation from destruction, right? Positive from the negative; animate ourselves from the ashes of our former selves. Reinvention takes courage, and it can be scary, but we’ve got your back. We’re standing right there with you 🙂

  4. Michelle Roberts (@michroberts90) says:

    *hugs* It does get better. I know. I’ve been there. There is a lifeline and a creaky, swaying rope bridge out of this hole. It’s not easy, but it can be done. And we’re all here waiting for you on the other side.

    PS: I commend you for baring your soul here. I know it can’t be easy.

  5. artemisgrey says:

    Such good words out of such trying things. Already you’ve made something wonderful from the awful just by sending these words out into the world where they can touch others. This is why you do what you do, despite the hurt that sometimes finds you during the process. Because in spite of the trials, your words will always eventually escape into the world where they will always find someone. And matter. They may only find one person, but to that one person they might be the only thing that helps. The only thing that brings them hope and keeps them going. Your words might be the only thing that lets them find THEIR words again. And the strength to embrace those words, write them down and send them into the world where they can find someone, just like your words did. ❤ you Victoria. And all of your important words.

  6. Such an important post to write and read. I know how difficult tragedy can be. Especially when you feel things as deeply as you do. We’re all here for you. Never forget that you are alone. I am glad you wrote this. I think you and a lot of other people need to read this. Thank you for writing this. *hugs*

  7. You are brave and lovely as always. This year, for me, has been full of bad spots, as you call them. And I have been finding myself weary of late with the constant battle of remembering the good, of choosing to focus on the bright and the beautiful and the hopeful. Sometimes I get to asking myself why am I fighting? Maybe I should let the darkness take me – just a little, just for awhile. And then somebody like you comes out and says all of the things you just said, and I remember that we’re all in this thing together. And the more we choose to fight for the good and the bright and the beautiful – the more those things will become real for all of us.

    So – give yourself a good cry when you need one, and then pick yourself up and get back to work making beautiful things. Also – here is a hug for you. (It’s not a Neil Gaiman hug, but it’s the best hug I have to give you.) 🙂

  8. tiffanyschmidt says:

    ❤ ❤ ❤ love you, chickadee

  9. Thank you fo writing this! I’m finally in a great place, but amid all that, a small thing has managed to break my heart. This is a great reminder to force the bad things down, and hoard the good ones. My lovely critique partner writes good things on corks and keeps the, in a vase to take out when she needs a physical reminder. You’ve just inspired me to do that too. Of course, this means I will need to drink more wine.

    Chin up, lovely! Your words and truth are beautiful as always, and your legs and heart will be more than equal to the task of holding you up. Believe.

    And thanks again for sharing!

  10. I just want to commend you for writing such a courageous and positive thing. I’ve never met you but I do want to say I’m so sorry for the bad that happened to you, whatever it was. I can completely identify with the feelings that you so eloquently put forth here – I guess we all can to varying degrees. But what sets this post apart is your wonderful determination to get back up again when it is always so much easier to stay down and sort of revel in our sadness. It is so, so hard, I know. I wish you the very best of luck!

  11. Beautifully said. I think last month was bad for a lot of people. Now it’s time for us all to pick up and brush ourselves off, knowing we are not alone. Hugs!

  12. Oh, V. I am sorry that you’ve had so much sadness in your life lately. It sucks, and sometimes the aftermath of sad things is worse than when you initially get the news, because you’ve had time to think about how bad things are and how much it can hurt. However, I know you’ll make it through. Writing this post and sharing it with the Internet is a a huge first step in changing your attitude. You know what you need to do and you’ll get it done. Don’t forget that there is a lot of love in your life–and don’t be afraid to ask if you need a reminder.

  13. I love how, in spite of your sadness, you encourage yourself to hope. Hope things get better and that the writing eases the sorrow!

  14. Valerie says:

    Dude. How do you always know what to post, just when I need you to post it?

    I’m sorry you’ve been having a rough time lately. (But yay for the good!) If it helps motivate you at all, I’m really excited to read those two books you’re going to write this summer!

  15. […] Victoria Schwab (author of The Archived) writes about  how to move past bad things and find strength. […]

  16. Michelle says:

    Seriously needed this today!!! Thank you!!

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