Tonight someone asked me how it is that I can be so... old at 28 and still not drink alcohol. Apparently they keep forgetting that I am a Baha'i and therefore don't drink or do drugs to alleviate depression or... whatever it is that I've been plagued with lately. I'm not sure what the word for how I'm feeling these days is, but I'm summing it up with: I'm just so very tired.

I'm tired of seeing the wrecks before they happen; I'm tired of seeing fear and iniquity in people's eyes and hearts; I'm tired of feeling the faithlessness that grinds the souls of men and women into dust; I'm tired of waiting for the people I love to awaken from the slumber of doubt; I'm tired of trying to teach when the people asking questions deny the answers; I'm tired of talking to someone while they merely hear and never listen. I'm tired and I'm beginning to feel used up, like... there's only a tiny portion of myself left and it might not be enough to carry just myself through the rest of this life. Regardless of how much sleep I get these days, I wake up feeling as though I hadn't slept in centuries and I have centuries more to endure before true rest comes upon me. Miles behind and miles to go, ya know? No rest for the weary.

I almost want to quit, withdraw from everything and try to recoup and regroup. No, I am not anywhere close to suicidal- life is still rich and beautiful and worth every second of living, of that I am absolutely certain. Humanity, though, keeps disappointing me more than it enriches me. I continually struggle with my own tests and challenges while others keep right on bending my ear, giving me pause, so that they can get advice, guidance, praise, hope- whatever I happen to be full of at that time which is good and uplifting. It seems as though others fail to realize that I have my own doubts, problems, fears and troubles to overcome. It is rare that someone comes to me and asks, "How are you, Jay? Is everything okay?" Instead people automatically assume that I can handle anything they give me and that I will always have the right answer, that I'll be able to point them in the right direction without missing a beat.

"My girlfriend is pregnant. She wants the baby but isn't mature enough, even by her own admission, to be a proper mother. And I'm not in a position to be a proper father. My ex-wife is still suing me after 5 years of being apart. What should I do? Abortion isn't an option, either. I'm stuck, Jay. Help me."
"My career isn't going anywhere, no matter how much I try and what I do, everything keeps falling apart. This band I'm in is about to break up and I'm afraid of what might happen if it doesn't break up. The contract we've been offered sucks, but it's the only thing we got and some of the guys are so hungry for success that they're willing to take the first thing that comes. I've got to quit to save my own ass, but if I leave, the band falls apart. How do I do the right thing without hurting them? What is the right thing?"
"I'm in love with this girl and she can't make up her mind about who she is or what she wants. It's killing me slowly, but I love her. I can't focus on what to do. She breaks up with me and I always feel like it's my fault. What should I say or should I say anything?"

I tell all of these people that the truth is very simple: I don't know. All I know is what's right for me, what my faith tells me, what my heart's desire is and what I would do if I was in their shoes. I can't tell these people what to do with their lives. I haven't before and I won't start now, but they keep coming to me. Not the same ones, a wide variety of them, but they all want guidance, wisdom. Can't these people fend for themselves? Can't they stop and consult their own hearts and minds for once? Why am I all of a sudden their confessor and priest? I'm not a priest; Baha'is have no clergy, dammit. We're responsible for our spiritual development. Don't look to me for the answers because my answers are probably going to be different from the answers that're right for you!

"I shall not dwell on the unpleasant things in life..."

I wear my exhaustion like a suit of armor, plain and visible almost to the naked eye. My spine is erect and I walk straight, my eyes are bright and watchful, ever vigilant for that next experience. But, still, my heart is heavy with the burdens of others and my own heartaches... my center is about to give, my inner strength is flagging and I can take no more. I am just so very tired, with miles to go before I am free.

Would someone else like to take my job, please? I need a vacation. Better yet, would someone please take an interest in my woes for once? I have a lot to get off my chest and no one seems too keen on sticking around and listening.