Like any other moderately depressed person riding out the winter in Seattle, I’ve done my share of binge-watching on Netflix, and like many of us I’ve plowed through all the seasons of The West Wing (more than once).

There’s a moment where CJ says something to the effect of, don’t act like I don’t understand that I’m living the first line of my obituary right now. That moment has always stayed with me, imprinted. I want to have that feeling — I want to know what that means the way that I know my own name. And just like everything else, getting there starts with taking down the things that are in the way, between me and that truth.

So far I’ve dismantled AA ideologies, many toxic friendships, and I’m chipping away at day-to-day worklife adjustments. I’m in one of those stages where my old car (life) is in flames behind me, and my new car (life) isn’t on the horizon yet, and I just have to keep walking away from that fire, knowing that heading in the right direction will eventually pay off.

No matter what, I have to keep walking.

it makes me sick to think about the things I threw away
old thought-it-was love letters
true mementos of my life
because I gave in to a man
who couldn’t take me as I was
decades-old moments, now dust under the sofa
I still have the memories
but I lost the little pieces

those crazy scraps of paper
that had me rushing to my mailbox every week
that one letter sent on music staff —
how could I forget you?
who knows what I lost, that those little pieces could show me
those were the things that mattered
(we are what we archive)
and if so, I am:
lost, shredded, recycled, disintegrated
forgotten cosmic stardust somewhere in the atmosphere
ash from a fire,
shapeless and discarded

of all those little pieces gone,
I miss myself the most.