Those Three Little Words

I. Am. Stuck.

Those three short words can cast one long shadow over the day.

Stuck in a job, a relationship, a routine, a life rut. Stuck can find us anywhere. And it can leave us nowhere, unable to shake loose fresh options, fresh starts.

It’s a deadening feeling.

Emmylou Harris has released over 30 albums. She’s done pure country, honky-tonk, rockabilly, bluegrass, and gospel; sung harmony with Roy Orbison; and won 13 Grammys. And still, the singer-songwriter from Birmingham gets stuck.

“Sometimes, for some reason, you get stalled,” she told fellow performer Lucinda Williams in BOMB Magazine. “And that’s when you know that there’s something wrong. You’ve got to do something to get yourself jump-started again.”

When we’re stuck, there is something wrong: we’re not growing. And the tools in our repertoire aren’t up to the task at hand.

But stuck doesn’t mean we’ve stopped growing. It just means we’ve paused growing.

And it’s our job to press the Jump-Start button. To take ourselves astray from the path we’ve been walking. To learn something unlearned, see something unseen. To crack open our world a bit more.

It can be unsettling, destabilizing. But as poet William Carlos Williams wrote in 1951:

(if you are interested)
Leads to discovery.”

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