The Void – By Haley Jones-Chiarmonte

I love this time of year. Especially in a place like Utah where we get to see the leaves change, temperatures drop, and the Mormons gather food storage for a long winter (tee hee). Fall represents the end of another memorable summer and for many, a new chapter. School starts, a chill sets in and we begin planning our next Halloween costume. With so many changes and new beginnings forming, its no wonder lately I’ve been feeling lost in what I call “the void”.

The void happens to everyone and is best characterized by those quiet moments in your head when you go searching for meaning. I mostly feel it when I’m alone and I’m wondering what I’m doing with my life, if I’m making good decisions, and how to handle difficult situations. I find that the void enters when I question myself, question a higher power, or question my relationships. It also shows up when I’m lonely. Basically, I feel it when I’m insecure or when a new change or challenge is looking at me in the face.

Over the years it has been interesting to watch myself deal with these feelings. I’ve looked for resolve in all the wrong places including alcohol, anti-depressants, partying too much, watching The Kardashians (this will be the only time I admit that), and forcing relationships I know aren’t good for me.

I think most people would describe the void with negative connotations similar to the ones I just listed. But I’ve also seen myself do really positive things when I feel it. Things like going back to school, exercising more, reaching out to a good friend, meditation, writing, or trying something new.

The point is, the void has a great purpose in our lives. When we wake up and feel lonely or scared about a new day facing us or maybe just confused about what our purpose is, it is essential to our lives. Without the void, we could never feel real joy, true happiness or love. Without it, we could never feel sadness, depression, or emotional pain. Really, the void is just the middle ground before your next opportunity to feel human.

So next time you feel it, whether it’s the morning before you start your job or just another evening at home, remember that those feelings have a purpose and they are temporary. I urge everyone to accept it as another place our hearts must rest. Next time you feel it, I invite you to embrace it. Don’t look for ways to cover it up. Just step gracefully into the void.