to say - shorts and longs - julie rybarczyk

You know those conversations
that you need to
but don’t want to
because you know that once you do,
some (small or large) chapter of your life is
going to
or at least change significantly?

You know how,
once you drum up the courage,
and the words have actually started
to fall off your lips,

something like tunnel vision
sets in

and you are no longer aware of anything else
going on around you,

and yet

the look and feel of that exact moment –
the precise angle of the light
across the floor,
the color palette
in your peripheral vision,
the pressure
of your legs
upon the chair,
the length
of that crack
across the wall,
the heat
of the phone
against your cheek,
the heightened pounding
of your heart,
the knot
in your stomach,
the look

on the other person’s
face –

stays etched in your mind forever?

You know how sometimes
the thing you need to say
or ask
for your own sake
might mess things up
for someone else
and leave
both of you with
a new struggle?

But you are pretty sure you still need to say it?

You know that shaky feeling you get
when you just said a hard thing –
because it was the best thing you could do
with what you know
and who you are
in that moment in time –

even though…

there is always a chance that you might be

or that you might need to
or adjust
some of it later?

You know how life is a perpetual series
of decisions
and choices
and recalibrations
that must be made –
even when we don’t want to
or aren’t quite ready to
or just aren’t sure –

because not making a decision
is also a decision

and not saying anything
is also saying something?

Me too.

to say 2 - shorts and longs - julie rybarczyk


Here’s to saying it, friends.

With as much grace and kindness as we can muster.


  • Julie

    Oh Elizabeth, thank you for your words! It’s so great to know I’m not alone in it. (In the conversations – AND in the use of “muster.”) 🙂

  • Elizabeth

    I popped over here from a link on Facebook and saw this. I know this. Just this. Exactly. The conversation is in my mind right now. You articulated the feelings so beautifully and aptly. Thank you. (Also, I ended two sentences in a recent blog post with “as we can muster” so I am happy to see that someone else in the world uses the word. 🙂

  • Julie

    Thanks, Larry. Truly.

  • Larry Shallenberger

    Beautiful, Julie.


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