If I were a cow, this would be me. Going where I’m not supposed to go to get something good. A part of the herd, but apart from the heard.

Life is very difficult for me right now. And I don’t use the word โ€œveryโ€ often.

After returning from a short vacation to visit my mom and not seeing everyone in my family that I wanted to, I have been working. Literally. It’s all I have done. I returned from vacation on June 27. I have had five days off since then. I can feel it. Something inside is about to break.

I’ve been working on a large project at work. I worry it’s not good enough. I check and recheck, and worry that my words might seem too similar to other people’s words except most of the things I’m writing about can really only be written one way. Writers can only be so creative before it all sounds the same. But I will check and recheck those words 100 times before my deadline and I will still worry.

On Sunday, August 6, I am going to read something I wrote in front of a bunch of strangers and a few friends. I have never done this before and I am terrified. If you are reading this on Sunday afternoon, I’m probably standing up in the Kimball Public Library trying not to vomit as I read a bunch of words I strung together.

Some people don’t understand anxiety. Others don’t want to. Anxiety makes my life harder than it should be. It hits when it wants to, not when it’s convenient for you.

I need to stop working so much. I sometimes feel I’m the only one that cares. So I do the work that needs to be done while the lazy do the minimum. I am rewarded with exhaustion.

Our country is turning to shit and many people don’t seem to care. We are now okay with a serial liar, a bully, a misogynist, a thief, a racist and possibly someone gravely mentally ill being our representative on the world stage. This is normal now and I don’t know why.

I don’t know what to say to people when their ignorance bubbles to the surface, especially given the nature of my job or if it’s a friend. In the middle of an interview at the Scotts Bluff County Fair, a nice, well-meaning person said they were worried about traveling to certain places, such as New York City and London because there are โ€œno goโ€ areas where it isn’t safe and the police are afraid to go. It’s all a lie. I was just in NYC. I went everywhere. But this person has bought the fear and lies shoveled out by the conservatives.

I am getting tired of people telling me if I am not their kind of Christian, I am a despicable human being. I am a patient person. I am an atheist. I don’t ridicule people I know for believing in deities, but it is getting more difficult to keep my mouth shut in the face of hypocrites.

We all wear a mask in public. Mine is a lot heavier than others and I’m getting tired of bringing it with me everywhere I go.

I need time alone to write all the things in my head and sort out what has happened in the past six weeks and where things are going to go with my life in the near future. Yes, that was a run-on sentence. No, I don’t care.

So, please excuse me if I really don’t want to do anything with any of you for a while. I need some time to myself to recover and start to feel normal again.