I feel the urge to write something interesting.

by Janelle Hanchett

I feel the urge to write something interesting.

I want to be funny.

I want to make you laugh.

But I’m gonna level with ya. I don’t have much in me right now.

Sometimes, I’m a shit-talking nutcase who thinks EVERYTHING is funny and cracks herself up in the car writing blasphemous things in her head. I get home, crank something out, and laugh while I’m doing it cause it’s fun and it’s real. There is no effort.

But lately, there’s been effort.

It’s ALL BEEN EFFORT. My whole life has been effort.

I’m in one of those spots where I just don’t see it. I’m not seeing the meaning. I’m not catching the vibe. I’m not smelling any damn roses.

I feel a little lost, though I’ve been here before.

I want to blame it on my life. I want to blame it on our lack of money, or the fact that I hate our neighborhood, or that I’m tired or worn out or stressed about school…or cause I have no idea where I’ll be in a year – will I have a job? Will I go on for my PhD (shhhh! Don’t tell! But I’m thinking about it.). Will my husband still be wishing he were doing something else? Will I have lost these final 30 pounds? When is it going to change?

Will it ever get smooth?

And when, people, WHEN, will I grow up?

When I was a kid I had this idea that someday life would make sense. That there was this place, right around the corner [Right there! I can almost see it!]  that I was heading for. It was waiting for me, and when I got there I would know. I would just know.

The hole would be filled. The questions answered. The hunger satisfied.

But instead I have life. Moment to moment, fired at point-blank range.

Nothing else. Just life.

Sometimes I look around and I see no meaning in any of this. The grind. The working. The marriage, the kids. The dog pissing on the floor. The boy who won’t EVER JUST FUCKING DO WHAT HE’S TOLD. The girl who insists on growing up and asking deep questions I’m unqualified to answer. The toddler, oh, the toddler, who runs runs runs and drags and pulls and sucks my heart right into her smile and my whole life into her chubby little palm, as she tows the last shred of my energy with her constantly spinning feet.

I want to blame all that. But I can’t.

Because I know life is RIGHT HERE, right now. This IS the spot “around the corner.” This is the space where meaning lies…there is nothing else.

And these kids bolting around, driving me nuts, are like flashes of lightning against a night sky – so astonishingly beautiful – if only I can catch a glimpse.

See them for what they are.


See the shattering light of their energy against a limitless night sky.

But instead, lately, I’ve been preferring to stare at the small dark circle around my own wandering feet. A tiny patch of ground.

I know it’s my choice. I know I’ll pull out of this. I know my perspective is small right now, and self-centered, and ineffective.

But sometimes, damn it, life just isn’t inspirational. It isn’t funny or cute or even vaguely interesting.

It’s just WHAT IT IS.

And the hardest part is that I am just what I am. A flawed human being, unable to perform all the time. Telling myself “Janelle! Write something funny! Be entertaining!”

And I’ve got nothin’.

But I write anyway, cause this is the truth, and I don’t want to be fake with you, and I don’t ever want to write because it’s what I think people want to hear, like it will cast me in a better light, make me seem better than I am, more than I am.

It’s funny, you know, the way when we’re kids we’re just SURE we’re gonna be something incredible – something special. Change the world. Be president.

And then we find we’re just one more human, trudging along, dodging life’s bullets, passing whole days sometimes, staring at nothin’ but the ground.

And I have a feeling some of you, maybe, sometimes, can’t quite find the sky either. [Even though it’s right above our damn heads.]

And maybe that’s why we’re all here, crazy as hell, laughing our asses off, looking for it somewhere.


  • Rebekah C

    Yeh…I feel you. It’s why I stopped writing for a whole year. I just didn’t feel adequate. I mean, who wants to hear about real life, these days? Maybe I need to suck it up. I kinda felt that when I started writing again.Stop apologizing. Stop feeling guilty for not being perfect. Nobody is perfect. We’re all just wingin’ it.

  • Sam Kidd

    You so (eloquently) hit the nail on the head.I’m so far away now, I wished I were dead.Elvis is leaving the building.

  • Jo Teague

    I love hearing something funny but I would rather know that it’s not just me who feels like this sometimes. On a different level Rothko painted large imposing dark painting because he wanted every lonely person to know that they were not the onlyerson feeling like that.

  • Deeann

    Thanks for this. It is nice to know we’re not alone in our non-hallmark card life. Sometimes my teenage neighbor begs me to tell her something funny that my youngest has done and what I really want to do is tell her sometimes there just isn’t anything funny. Sometimes it is all just frustration and not listening and fear for his/my future. But I’d rather be the funny neighbor than the really odd neighbor that says things that won’t make sense until she’s 30. Thanks. I think we all need to be honest and not ashamed of the not perfect parts.

  • Shawn Van Deusen

    I have the most respect for your honesty. That is why I love reading what you write. I always call it my “funk” or I lost my “spiritual mojo”. I am in the weird place of not quite happily high, but not staring at the ground yet. I am just hanging on the fence and checking out both sides and taking parts of both sides. I’m assuming the medication is helping me with that! LOL Again, thank you for your honesty.

  • Eddie - The Usual Mayhem

    I hear you. The “everydayness” of it all is really getting to me this week and I’m just kind of trudging through with my head down, hoping to avoid a sh*tstorm.

  • Marisa

    Something I’ve been feeling lately. I read this the other day, it put a new spin on it.

    “If you have felt at all introspective lately, then you are in the rhythm of autumn energy. If you have felt highly inspired with new creative ideas, or have been looking inward at your life direction and recognizing areas you can change, shift or let go of, then you are feeling autumn’s energy within you.”

  • Stephanie

    I keep debating my PhD, too. I don’t know what I am going to do there. And people are NEVER going to grow up, so should probably just let that one go.

  • Renee'

    We all go through this – the ups and downs. It is part of life. It is what makes our lives. Frankly, without them, life would be very boring and mundane. Who really wants that out of life? And as far as your writing, you are brutally honest and that is what we love about you. You say the words that we want to say but don’t know how! You don’t always have to be funny when your honest. Your honest words are funny because we all can relate to them. You just sit back and enjoy the ride. Then come back and fill us in about your journey!

  • Jennifer

    I forget what it is that you are going to school for. But if it is anything along the lines of the written word you have chosen well, my friend.

  • Tara

    Blah, it’s days like these where I just try to make my focus very very small. Like make a pot of coffee, check! Get the kids off to where ever they’re going, check! Now leave me the hell alone! LOL I hear you Janelle days/things take effort sometimes. It’s funny but it’s only at times like these that I think of Buddhism – Life is Suffering. At times like these, I hug my kids (3 and 17) more because they always hug back – even if the 17 year old is being a typical teen – and it makes me feel better even if it’s just for a little while.

  • Annette

    If we lived near each other, I’d invite you over for tea and we’d grouse while the kids tear up the yard.

  • Edgar R

    Not bad for being uninspired. Apparently when in a seemingly uninspired place, keeping it real produced some inspired thinking.

  • missy

    Well, Thank You. Thanks for writing anyway. And you should probably hear just how inspirational you are, even if (or especially when?) your life is not. I don’t just read your blog to laugh. I read your blog because sometimes it’s like getting an x-ray. For just a little while, I get a glimpse of my own insides. And that is way cool.

  • Mom of 5

    Okay…first off I don’t think I have bawled this much in a year! How did you do that??!! How did you just write down exactly what is inside me at this very moment. Every word has resonated with me. So even though you may feel as though your inspiration has run dry at the moment, your words have helped me more than you may ever know. So just a HUGE THANK YOU for writing anyway. <3 You are now officially my favorite person ever..:) and my favorite blog to read!! So keep writing! and thank you…

  • Shan

    So many thoughts running through my head. Like, when I was a kid I really figured that I would know where I stand by age 28. I was the queen of the fence wedgie and I hated it. I did not know where I stood at 28, but I do now. And not just *now*. I have known for a few years now. Yeah, three max, but what the hell… I worked it out. You’ll get there, too. Maybe this *isn’t* the time that makes sense. In some ways, you just started figuring things out a few years ago, too. So we’re late bloomers. As I am 41 (and a half), you can take heart in the fact that you are a decade ahead. Fuck it. We’re still gorgeous and breathtaking in our own ways.

  • Kate Hoggins

    You got your seasons mixed up, sweetie. Time to smell the autumn leaves. i know, i know and let me tell you with 60 coming up around the corner it doesn’t feel much different than what you say. but that’s just it. YOU sharing your words that are so like my life make it all WORTH it. i think it’s cool when people you have never met VALUE you!

  • Kelly

    Thank you for being so REAL. I have been feeling the same way lately (is it the changing season?), and you summed up my exact feelings so eloquently… Is this IT? This IS it! The awareness of our condition seems to be the key – or at least I like to think so.

  • momtothree

    As the sap inside the trees recedes, as the leaves fall, so the change of season affects us all. Days are shorter, though work stays the same, we are tired and unsettled. Animals are sensibly making stores for the winter, we are moving towards our inner circle of being. So looking at the ground at your feet makes sense. You are rooting yourself. Allowing yourself to feel different, while acknowledging the change, is ok. Your children will keep you grounded. You are the undisputed Queen of tell-it-like-it-is. Why would you want to be a joker/clown/funny person all the time? You are you, and I’m guessing that’s why we all keep coming here to read you …
    And yeah, the PhD. If you can afford it (and actually, even if you can’t), you should. Perhaps you should acknowledge the fact that you have a gift at this point.
    Be true to that.

  • Michael Ann

    I’m glad I came to read your blog today. Like most of the commenters here, I am feeling exactly the same. Blah. More than blah. Depressed. I get up in the morning and wonder what the Hell this is all for? I know I’m going through a divorce. I know my life is in a state of great change right now. I know I have the “right” to feel how I feel. But that doesn’t make it any better or easier. I’m sorry you are feeling this way too, but it was reassuring to hear I am not alone. Thank you for your honesty, as always.

  • Pam

    Ahhh.. So it’s not just me. Thanks.