The world in 2017 spiraled away from what was normal and it touched me so deep inside that something broke.

Everyone spoke, but no one listened.

Voices shouted from the rooftops. “Look at me! I’m important. I have something to say.”

You speak, but everyone else is waiting for you to stop so they can shout their things. Everyone has ideas they want heard, but they do not take the time to step back, settle down, listen, and hear what is being said.

You shout. You demand. You lie. You twist the truth.

I have been listening to it all.

When I listen to you speak, I am listening to the words you say, but I am listening to so much more. I listen to the words you choose to say, the tone in which you say them, your body language, the way your eyes express themselves with certain words and phrases, and the subtle changes in your lips as you parse your thoughts. They convey more to me than any single word could ever do.

Your silence, the pauses in between words and phrases, are deafening to me. It speaks louder than the verbiage you put forth.

I never learned how to see the words that aren’t said. It is simply something I’ve just always done. It is a skill that lies somewhere deep within my genes that it never goes away. And it my curse every single day.

I take refuge, solace in animals and spend a lot of time with them. I sit and watch them running from place to place. They are honest and pure. Their intentions true. They do not lie.

There is pain and heartache in nearly every single moment. I can feel what is on the news, the old lady walking down the street, the man sitting on the park bench. And it pains me to my soul.

A storm is gathering around the world and my soul aches. This fragile, giant, bag of mostly water smiles as you continue with your words, but is overwhelmed by it all. And it is slowly destroying my soul.

This is not a gift.

And, yet, it can never be given away.

It is what it is.