???

My life consists of question marks. It is one big puzzle, and they build the outer edges, fill up in the inner space with their rounded curves and soul-piercing dots.

I once always knew what step I was taking next. Had everything planned out, my i’s dotted and t’s crossed. There were no question marks, only periods.

But now all I know are questions marks, some of which are followed up by exclamation points as I scream out, “I don’t know what I’m doing!”

Or where I’m supposed to be.

Or where my relationships stand.

Or who I will become.

All I know is who I once was, and . . .

. . . and I kind of miss her.

And worse than the question marks inside of me are the question marks outside of me.

“Kaylee, can you do this?”

“Kaylee, do you want to join us and hang out?”

“Kaylee, have you done this yet?”

“Kaylee–“

“Kaylee–“

“Kaylee–“

KAYLEE.

Sometimes I feel like destiny thinks I want everyone to say my name, but I am no destiny’s child.

I’m overwhelmed.

I love feeling needed, but being used is entirely something different. And some days, when the outside question marks from other people are too much and my inside question marks are screaming at me, “Kaylee, what are you going to DO?!,” and when I start to hate the sound of my name–my own beautiful, broken name–

I shut down.

And then people ask why I seem off, why I seem down, why I seem tired.

It’s because I have not recognized the futileness of trying to solve other people’s puzzles before I have even begun to solve mine.

You need this problem fixed? Fine. Done.

You need this spreadsheet created for work because you don’t know how to do it yourself? Fine. Done.

You need a ride home from work again because your feet hurt and it’s hot? Fine. Done.

You need me to pray for someone when you probably don’t even pray for me? Fine. Done.

You need me to hang out so you can vent about your problems and feel better? Fine. Done.

I just . . . I just get overwhelmed sometimes. And I don’t know how to translate my overwhelmed question marks into the adamant periods of defined boundaries, into the firm word of “No.”

My life consists of question marks.

And I do not know how to answer the questions.

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