Photo Credit: Angie McMonigal Photography
Photo Credit: Angie McMonigal Photography

A few years ago, I wrote an essay about smashing windows. Not actual windows. But the figurative windows that distort the ways that I feel about myself, the ways I feel about the world. I called it Frosted Window Syndrome, or the never-ending battle so many of us fight just to feel like we measure up, to know that we are enough.

I wrote about how I wanted to smash these frosted windows so that I could worry less about the things that don’t matter, and more about the things that do matter.

But you know what? Two years later, I still feel like I’m fumbling around in search of a hammer to smash those windows. There are days when it seems like everyone else has their sh*t together. There are days when it feels like everyone else has it figured out, like everyone else has The Answer.

I’m still trying to figure it out. I still feel like yelling “I HAVE NO IDEA!” sometimes. I feel heavy, clunky, and confused. I get lost from time to time.

But if I have learned anything in the past two years since I wrote that essay, it is that hiding only clouds the window even more. Pretending to be something or someone I am not is exhausting. But speaking — and writing — my truth clears some of the frost away.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how I didn’t know where 2016 was going to take me, how I wanted to wander a bit, and so many of you said “me too!” And when I started writing this post, I didn’t know where it would take me. But I have no doubt that, in writing it, I am closer to knowing something about myself, where I am, and where I want to go. And with any luck, in sharing, it has brought me closer to you too, with any luck someone out there will say “me too.”

And isn’t that why we write — and read — in the first place? So that we might understand, so that we might feel a little less alone?

Don’t we all want to understand ourselves and each other better? Don’t we all want to feel a little less alone?

That’s one question I’m pretty sure I know the answer to.


I will soon be leading an online workshop organized through the amazing writers at The Inky Path. Beginning January 25, the class will run for four weeks and help participants gain a deeper understanding of themselves, of their spirit. WRITERS AND NON-WRITERS ARE WELCOME. The class includes guided instruction — with interaction and feedback — but it can be done at your own pace. Readers can register here. Use the code OPENBOXES to receive 10% off the price of the course.



This post is part of the weekly Photo Inspiration Challenge with Angie McMonigal Photography. The premise is simple: Angie sends me a couple of photos and I write a blog post based on one of the photos. It is always fascinating to see what words her images bring out of me. Not only have Angie’s photos served as inspiration for several blog posts over the past three years, but they have also inspired certain chapters in Open Boxes and we are working on a putting together a collection of our collaborative work. Stay tuned! 





  1. Absolutely – writing and reading others’ writing makes me feel less alone. It connects us by threads we may not have known were there.

    I often say “me too” when I read your words, Christie. That’s why I keep coming back.

    • Christie

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! And the connection is so important.

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