It’s okay to be a little lost

I’ve been sharing a drawing every week of the plague (except I think I lost a week to depression. Sorry) and it’s time for a new one.

drawing with "It's okay.  As long as we're lost together" written on it.
Click to embiggen

As always, you can print it, color it, burn it, whatever you like.

The world is a scary place. Every day it seems so a little more.

People are angry, and rightly so. And some scream and some fight and some whisper and cry…and all, I suspect, feel a little lost sometimes.

It’s such a human thing that brings us all together, as much as we may hate to admit it. So whether you are feeling lost in the world or your life or your own head, know that we are with you. Know that there are kind people fighting to make the world a better place and that you will find your place in it. Again and again.

I promise.

PS. I shared this on social media this week but just in case you don’t follow me on insta or twitter and need a reminder:

79 thoughts on “It’s okay to be a little lost

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Thank you, as always Jennifer. I am one who feels lost.
    I love this country. But I hate what is happening here.
    And lately it appears that our society is imploding
    and no one knows what will happen next or if we will ever rise up from all this.
    It is hard to get out of bed some of the time, to face the next new horror of the day.
    Thanks for being there and I wish you and all of the other people here that you can find some small bit of peace in all this. I cannot. But I won’t give up, not on the country or on people or on myself.

  2. After watching the destruction happening over the weekend….it hit me so hard. I just felt so badly for the shop owners and restaurant owners that depend on the summer business and just opening after the shut down due to Covid and BAM….have to shut down again to clean up the mess downtown. I wanted to go down to help but didn’t feel it would be safe. Sucks. So yes…lost and let down by humanity….this poor country has enough to deal with…the thugs can go!

    (I’m not sure we’re quite on the same page, my friend. Also, “thugs” is sort of racially coded language. I’m just letting you know in case you weren’t aware. ~ Jenny)

  3. Annette, to say “thugs” is to diminish and discount the very real pain and frustration and anger that people feel in being so badly mistreated in this society. Violence is not the solution, but you need to understand that there are legitimate protesters and then there are those who take the situation as an excuse to be destructive and they are NOT the same.Please refrain from saying such inflammatory things. thank you.

    (Beautifully said. 🙂 ~Jenny)

  4. Thank you, Jenny.

    I’m feeling more than a little lost right now because I was effectively told that I’m not allowed to even HAVE problems right now. The reasons why don’t matter, because I can’t articulate them without sounding like an asshole.

  5. I have, pretty much, ceased interaction on the interwebz, for the time being.
    Except for you.
    You don’t make me anxious, or ragey.
    Thank you, for that.

  6. That precisely reflects all the aspects of my fractured thinking right now … even that little swirly bit in the lower left corner. That’s me when I get on a mental merry-g0-round and can’t find a way to stop my dizzy thought patterns. All I can do it hold on tight and close my eyes.

    Thank you.

  7. As usual, Jenny, you say something that I needed to hear.

    I am struggling to process everything happening in the world. I am trying to find ways to be a better citizen and a better person. In the midst of all of this, I am given hope by many extraordinary people spreading love, lifting up others, and refusing to stay quiet or to continue to accept the monstrous mess we’re all in right now.

    My depression is sitting in the background quietly telling me that I am never going to be nearly as worthy as those I admire and that I don’t have anything to offer in this tumultuous time that also offers opportunities for extraordinary change if we’re brave enough to take them. So I keep distracting myself so as not to sink.

  8. LOVE the drawing (just was gifted your book “You Are Here” and have pages 24 and 24 open and on display. Night will not last.

    And hear-hear to your comment on social media. I’m having health issues at present and found it really upsetting to see all of the accusations launched toward people who may be protesting in different ways. Or toward people who weren’t “protesting the right way.” We are supposed to support one another and work toward the same goal. And mental health breaks are ESSENTIAL and not “weakness” or “being silent” or “the problem.” I wrote about it in my blog today, in case you want to read some more ranting about it. Sending love to everyone!!

    And I’m still… in my fight with Google and Facebook which is like picking a fight with the sun so… using Mozilla which doesn’t offer the cute, subtle little “check out my most recent post!” at the bottom.

    Garish and vulgar:

  9. Thanks for this post. I’m feeling very lost and alone in the world right now. I’m depressed and struggle to find the motivation to do anything.

  10. Annette, I know exactly what you meant by ‘thugs’. Those who think that destroying property, painting graffiti, thieving, trashing are protesters. They are not…. the innocents are out cleaning yo the mess…. those ‘thugs’ were not among them. Don’t let the negative remarks get to you….. those violent people are ‘thugs’!

  11. Thanks for all your posts. It is comforting in these scary, angry times to know I am not alone in my feelings. Keep up the good work! Sending you good thoughts back.

  12. Thank you Jenny. I’ve been saving your drawings to add to my You Are Here colorings. I can’t seem to access the “embiggened” version; is anyone else having trouble with that?

  13. I feel shitty. And I feel guilty for feeling shitty. This is not about me. I have not had to deal with systemic racism – maybe I have even perpetrated it in some way. And I’m still scared about the damn virus which most of the people around me think is crazy – they are out living their lives while I hide in the house. My heart is heavy and my brain is spiraling and I don’t think I have a right to feel any of it. I think I need to hang out with other broken people so I can just maintain. Love you Jenny.

  14. at times i have to turn off the t.v. and radio. it is just all too overwhelming for me to think about all that is bad going on around the world. the whole world getting sick, moms cancer coming back, and yet another black man killed by police. the video made me cry & sickened me. so senseless. so devastating. so fucking tragic. why does this keep happening??? i can only pray that the people we see taking a knee, giving a hug, being alongside (or behind the lines in the background), can finally make a difference. We need leaders that bring us together, not divide us. It reminds me of when the teenagers starting protesting about gun control after another horrific gunning down of classmates happened; everyone said this movement is going to be the one to make the difference, because everyone seemed to get on board. Did that ever happen? we lose our momentum, and then the same thing happens again, & we all ask why? and protest. and mourn. when will all this stupid madness end? how in the world can we get people to just respect one another? respect life. good or bad. quit worrying about what god they do or don’t follow. the color of their skin, their religion, their gender choice. is it not the grand mixture of all this that makes our world fun & unique? no one is better than anyone else. we are all just humans. when i stop and think about it, someone is always being bullied, downtrodden, enslaved, killed. think back in history, in the bible…. can we put the brakes on life as we know it, and make it into life as it should be? i hope so. i pray so. i didn’t meant to go on and on & alot of times, i wind up not even sending what i say, because it is just too sad. i’m feeling all the feels. and a lot of the time, it doesn’t feel good. i will be fine & i will still do my part, i just want it to make a difference.

  15. AdeleVarens I was also unable to ermbiggen. I couldn’t get it to go to the page by itself either. And I also feel really down. Having an extreme problem just dragging through the day. I am working from home and I am so very happy about that but I can’t wait til quitting time. Every day I quit work and go straight to bed. Every day. Every stinking day.

    (I’m not sure why but I can’t embiggen it either right now. They moved me to a different server and I think it made things a bit off. Hmm. ~ Jenny)

  16. Thank you for always ‘being here’ for your tribe, posting encouragement and those wonderful drawings, it really does make a difference. I’ve definitively been feeling ‘lost’, but also just downright panicked at what may lay ahead. Nearly 2 months unemployed now and I’m getting very conflicting info on the current status at work, had a panic attack yesterday that was among the worst I’ve had in a long time, having nightmares every single night brought on by my excessive fear/worrying about my mom’s health… Things are hard right now for everyone, I imagine.

  17. Depression lies.

    One of the lies it tells me is that I am the only one this weak. It chides that I am the only one who has days and weeks consumed by the black cloud.

    Thank you Jenny for being there and being brave enough to say “me too”!

    I am not alone and that voice can bugger off!!!

  18. So much trouble in the world. No leader in the US that I can see. WTF happened to our once great nation? Depression awakes with me daily and is my only companion until sleep finally finally finds me. Ready for something but I’ve no clue what. Rose colored glasses tell me my childhood was wonderful, and as far as family it was. But the end of the ‘60’s and most of the 70’s really just wasn’t. Oh to be a protected child again.

  19. I’ve had to take breaks from social media, aware of my privilege and ability to do so. I went for a hike today. I have been amplifying voices and keeping my mouth shut and listening. There are good things. Lego Group is donating to organizations that support Black children. Also, the show Black-ish does a beautiful job of explaining race issues.

    Ya’ll hang in there! We’re going to get through this together.

  20. Clearly, in addition to being a fabulous writer, you are also a fabulous artist!

  21. Much needed. Thank you. I feel lost and depressed as of late as well. What the hell is wrong with the world?

  22. I’ve been fighting the depression and anxiety. It’s been so bad i developed Bell’s Palsy from this. My whole left side of my face is affected. And I feel angry because I’m about to turn 50 and this is what is going on in the world right now. I feel ashamed because I feel anger that I can’t celebrate like we wanted. The protests are a good and necessary thing, but the covid, illness, and riots and looting, people hurting each other and using George as the excuse? It scares me and makes me want to hide in a cave somewhere. I have my husband and I have my cats. All other humans, except you Jenny, are not allowed. 😢

  23. I’m so glad there are people like you willing to share. I feel lost in my head and home and surroundings right now.With all the political upheaval and so much pain for so many. I applaud the peaceful protestors and wish I could participate, I mourn for the parts of our nation that feel the need to treat peaceful protests with violent measures.

  24. The world has gone off the tracks and it is becoming more difficult to know what is reality. Hard to get up in the morning. Hard to be motivated about anything. But always feel blessed to hear from you and have a new drawing to embiggen! Thank you! 💕

  25. thank you, i needed this post, it made me tear up a little, been feeling so anxious atm and overwhelmed, I can’t seem to process even the day to day things, but this helped, feeling less alone, thank you, as always, you put things beautifully

  26. I’ve been putting my kid to bed and then heading out to protest (Yeah, that meant breaking curfew a few times- the city leadership has already apologized for that dumb and historically racist decision). My husband stays home and watches dumb shows and checks his phone every few minutes…but honestly? It’s ok here in Portland, OR. Not great. Thousands and thousands of people are protesting peacefully. There’s just a handful of folks who are causing trouble. Not sure why some of the younger (and all white from my personal observation) folks are setting off fireworks and throwing stuff at the police. I’m wearing a mask and trying to stay six feet apart. I’m blockading streets for the marchers and hoping no one gets really angry and tries to drive through the protest. It’s intense. I’m white, and one of my adopted brothers is black. We grew up practicing specific behaviors to keep him safe. If you see extra anger, if you see destruction: it’s nothing compared to the destruction that people of color have experienced. Nothing. And stop saying thug. Just stop it.

  27. All I can say is my heart is breaking and breaking and breaking by this country this year. I hope somehow we can all come together and protect each other the way we all deserve to be protected and cared for. I am scared on so many fronts I can hardly fathom it and this year just seems to keep bringing more horror. I am mournful of so much division when we should be united and caring a out one another.

  28. Thank you for saying the words that I have such a difficult time saying. Lately, I know that if I speak how I feel about everything that’s happening my tears will flood everything and never stop. I am working to make the world better.

  29. Re the embiggening problems (and that drawing is SPECTACULAR – a labor of both love and talent) – if you’re using a Windows PC, you can get it sort of in the middle of your screen, press CTRL and PRT SCN at the same time to save a screen shot to your clipboard.

    Then start Paint or any other graphic program and click on Paste or press CTRL and V simultaneously to paste it into Paint or whatever, then crop away the rest of the stuff on the screen. Sounds more complicated than it is. With Paint, it’s as simple as clicking on a button, then a spot on the screen, dragging the cursor to choose a rectangular area, then deleting what’s outside that rectangle and saving it with the file name of your choice, in the folder of your choice.

    After that you can open a text file in Word or any other word processor and paste that picture file into the document, stretch or shrink it as needed, save, and print as many times as you want.
    That sounds complicated, but doing it takes about a tenth of the time it took me to type it or you to read it.

    Re the question of thugs: the overwhelming majority of protesters are not violent and not vandals. They are often the ones stopping the destructive few. Those who are destructive are sometimes just criminals looking to score something valuable, and sometimes they’re white supremacists trying to gin up trouble between the legit protesters and their communities. Hawaiian shirts in particular are a giveaway – that’s the uniform, for lack of a better term, of a violent far-right fringe movement whose stated goal is to start a combination second civil war and race war.

    Most of the protests have been peaceful expressions of the sense on the part of many ordinary Americans that something is wrong in our society and it needs to change. No one should have to fear every time they leave their home that they might never come back because someone – ESPECIALLY if it’s the police – has killed them simply because their skin is brown or black, or they’re young and poor, or they’re LGBTQ, or they have a disability. That is what they’re protesting about. If I wasn’t disabled myself, I’d join them.

    In the places where mayors, police chiefs, and regular police officers have stood quietly, made eye contact, taken off their helmets and laid down or holstered their weapons, and been willing to shake hands and have conversations, some beautiful things have happened that have changed lives of both cops and protesters.

    It has to start with recognizing that we’re all plain human beings first and foremost and working to relate on the level of feelings that we’ve all had. The problem with words like “thugs”, “fascists”, and so on, is that they dehumanize us, and when we dehumanize others to ourselves, we end up dehumanizing ourselves to them too. It’s a lot easier to be brutal to a thing that looks dangerous than to a fellow human being we empathize with to at least some degree.

  30. Thank you Jenny for these suggestions as I have been feeling these exact emotions! I have been “down” with not only my mental health issues-depression/anxiety but also some fairly serious physical illness! I have been exponentially blessed and I’m am on the mend and actually much quicker than even Dr’s/Specialists had expected! The incredibly close brush with death VERY unexpectedly IMPROVED my depression and anxiety by leaps and bounds! I’ve suffered these illnesses since childhood! I am WELL AWARE that unfortunately attitude IS NOT the ultimate answer as many, many people who have no understanding of these issues like to tell me and likely anyone else with these issues! BUT, I’m here to tell you, there is some truth in their ignorance! Much to my surprise. Will my feelings on being fortunate enough to have survived this physical illness last? I don’t know? Of course, I hope so! After getting very close to crossing over I am overwhelmed with true excitement, interested again in so many things my mental illness stole from me! Wow! I remember finding an antidepressant at around 40 yrs old-my PCP had to talk me into it! (55 yrs old now). I’m RN and know risks of many medications. Long story a bit longer 😂. It was Lexapro and inside of 2 weeks it hit me like a fucking miracle drug!!! But as one might imagine one can build a-I don’t know-tolerance for Med and may need increase in dose or addition-whatever! In my infinite knowledge, I added alcohol in MASSIVE doses! Ya-real helpful as u might imagine-NOT! Nearly killed me mentally and physically. NONE of my meds were “working” anymore! Mental disease meds and physical illness meds (I’m diabetic). But I’ve have made it out the other side after losing almost everything. The one thing I was blessed enough to retain is the love of my partner of >26 yrs and my kids! Money, success, etc etc are all gone for now! But again, blessed enough to retain the love, support, empathy, understanding of my family!!! AND-I have retained or found again my zest for life such as, writing u right now, being involved, cooking, gardening, playing with grandson, my love of knowledge! I’ve heard alcoholics can unfortunately end up-because of actually nervous system damage, experiencing what ever is left of their life in GRAY tones only! Thank God-that hasn’t happened to me! I feel just like I did after first starting Lexapro!!! Alive, anxiety so profoundly improved I at one point FORGOT what it felt like , happy, excited, actually going a bit against Dr’s orders to test more, I never want to sleep again 😂. I lost about 5 years of my life and I’m trying to get it all in!
    Anyways, pertaining to your post about how to help when your not sure how you can-I did not completely get off SCOTT FREE-I’m left with nerve damage from severe alcohol use! The nerve damage essentially amounts to pain as I’ve never experienced before such as, neuropathy in my feet! Keeps me from “getting out there “ -and I normally would 😝, Thank you so very much for your suggestions. I CAN do many of the things you mentioned! Thank you, Thank you!
    And one last thing. How do you draw these pics? Really, will you tell? I mean use of certain tools, I don’t even know what to ask as to how you did this 😂. I’m not an artist. I color in adult coloring books 😆. That about as far as my artistic skill set goes! Please, will you tell? Where did idea come from, is there a “name” for this technique, can anyone try or does one have to possess a certain skill set, where you trained at some point in art or is it a natural gift! Ya know, stuff like that! Do tell 😝.
    I love you, I adore your work, you’ve helped “get me through” with YOUR attitude! You and maybe couple other folks in my life “got me thru! “. My therapist-and I use that term incredibly cautiously-I think a taught her more than she did me for Christ Sake! I live in little beach town. Cape Canaveral, FL. NOT a lot of choices of therapists and I was FORCED to take what my Long Term Disability through work found me. The entire group of therapists specialized in pediatric/adolescent therapy! 😂. Therefore, no joke, you (your attitude), and a few others are who helped me “make sense of it all-keep some shit in perspective, and helped me make it out alive”! Little bumps and bruises, and unfortunately some significant , irreparable nerve damage but I’m alive, both physically & emotionally again! Many many times we, speaking more toward my personal history of sexual abuse, survive physically but not emotionally! Been there also, many years ago now before finding an EXCEPTIONAL therapist!
    You are an enigma in this world Jenny! You are a profoundly valuable fellow human being and have, thankfully, shared your incredible self with us!
    Doesn’t sound like ENOUGH anymore, but thank you and I thank God for you!
    My thoughts, prayers go out to you and yours! Please stay safe, take good care of YOU also! Soe of us out here 😆 need you!
    Thank you for listening. I apologize for taking so much of your time!

  31. I adore this drawing (not quite as much as I adore you!). Thank you for these, but mostly, thank youg for your compassionate, wise and beautiful words.

  32. **Ariel #38 you said “I’m white, and one of my adopted brothers is black. We grew up practicing specific behaviors to keep him safe.” Thank you for sharing. I am listening.

    I have a son, 21, and have never needed to tell him what to do if he is stopped by police, or told him to stay home because there are places not safe for him to be seen. I’ve only ever had one encounter with the police when he had a mental health breakdown (Jenny, your wisdom helped me through that GREATLY) and because of my privilege, I put my hand up and said “Stop” to prevent the police from physically restraining him to take him to the hospital. And guess what… they stopped. My hand in their faces, and they stopped. It took me almost 2 hours to bring him down from a spiral, and get him safely to the hospital in my car, with the police escorting us. Can you imagine this situation if I had a brown face, a black face, an indigenous face? I am horrified to even think. So, I am listening.

    Thanks Jenny for your post. You are helping.

  33. WTF—Hawaiian shirts=far right? Whose idea was *that*? It’s official…we have left the surreal moment we were in and entered the twilight zone. I’m about to start giggling maniacally and trying to catch invisible flies.

  34. There is so much hate in the world now. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you, they are still worthy of respect. It breaks my heart to see it. You see it everywhere, more so on social media because people can be hateful mostly anonymous behind a screen and keyboard. Even if I don’t agree with someone on politics or social issues, I respect their right to their opinion the same as I expect them to respect my right to my opinion.

  35. We are all people. We are all imperfect. We all have shit to deal with. We all handle our shit differently. Some people have extra shit to deal with. We have to try to understand each other. We have to try to love each other. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.
    Only love and acceptance and understanding can conquer hate.

  36. Jenny, I wonder if it’s time for an emergency COVID Booksgiving supporting on Black authors. Not sure how this would work but there are excellent lists of recommended reading, plus Octavia Butler of course. Or it could be like regular Booksgiving in its unlimited choice, and we could recommend stuff.

  37. I feel helpless to help, if that makes sense. I’m overwhelmed and I can’t do the Big Things like protest. I get sick reading about this stuff, and nothing is good right now. I’m even too paralyzed to do art, and I’m supposed to be an artist. I need to know something is going to get better.

  38. 🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤🤍❣💕💞💓💗💖💟 Thank you, Jenny. Sending so much love to everyone.

  39. For Enola and Jenny…Annette did not say anything out of place, to my way of thinking. Violence against innocent people really should not be condoned. The word, ‘thugs’ has nothing racial about it, in and of itself. It means a violent person. Is anyone listening to the black people whose businesses were destroyed? An African-American woman in a news report said, “Stop stealing. This is the neighborhood — we trying to build it up and you tearing it down.” The ‘protesters’ didn’t care who they hurt…black, white, Asian…it just didn’t matter. There’s something wrong with that. Yes, something is seriously wrong in society and the justice system, but people should not resort to mindless barbarism. Ask Martin Luther King Jr. about that. In 1964 he said, “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral.” I would prefer that people stood up with calm, quiet determination…in sufficient numbers to make politicians worry about their prospects for getting votes in the the future…and INSIST on change. And Enola, I read and re-read Annette’s posting, and she did not lump together peaceful protesters with the violent, destructive protesters. Annette was talking about the destruction of businesses–that was not done by peaceful protesters, was it? That was done by an ugly, violent mob. Let’s try to see things clearly; they won’t get better until we do. I think that you should both apologize to Annette.

  40. Hello! Here is a short article about the origins and more recent meanings of the word ‘thug’:

    Even if you don’t think of thug as a racially coded word, please realize that it is racially coded and can be very disrespectful to others. Language is always, always changing– maybe this word was ok for you to use in the place you grew up, maybe it will be okay again someday. As someone who has made more than one gaffe using words that I didn’t know were harmful: please know that I don’t think less of you as person for not knowing. There’s a lot to know in this world. But now that you’ve read the article (or at least are considering it) hopefully you will think twice before using it.

    In all honesty, all my best to all of you. Sorry that I was snippy- I know I can communicate better than that most of the time.

    And yeah, I am also really, really frustrated about the people who are destroying businesses and neighborhoods infrastructure. It is the last thing folks needed after months of loss due to the pandemic (which still isn’t over, and oh gosh. that is still scary.) To those of you who need a media break- totally reasonable.

    (Excellent source. Until recently I always thought of “thugs” as being mob bosses in the 30’s but language changes and it’s amazing how quickly words can become coded or change in meaning. It’s easy to accidentally fuck up. God knows we all do sometimes. The more you know… 🙂 ~ Jenny)

  41. Annette M Sansalone-Howard #7
    Diane #19
    Cory #34
    Ariel #38
    Janet Aquadro #35
    41jrfinley #41
    Marie #54

    Please see today’s online article asking,
    “Are right-wing extremists behind the looting at otherwise peaceful protests?”

    It’s called “false flag.”

    Annette M Sansalone-Howard #7
    Diane #19
    Marie #54

    Please listen to “The Racially Charged Meaning Behind The Word ‘Thug'” on NPR. It’s just six minutes long, or read the transcript.

    I think you may find it enlightening.

  42. PS. On false flags and thugs — there’s much more out there from reputable sources other than just these two I’ve pointed out.

    Please don’t believe (or reject out of hand) the opinions of this old lady you don’t have any reason to trust, (and certainly not from those with axes to grind). Please always follow up with a smidge of your own digging.

    I am, after all, part of the generation that declared, “Never trust anyone over thirty.”

  43. I do feel a little lost. There’s so much that’s wrong with our system and I don’t know how to make it right. I wish I had some answers.

  44. Thank you, Jenny.
    It’s always good reading you posts, even if they aren’t always about fun stuff. It just helps somehow.

  45. I love what you said up there, but one thing: my husband and I are not in a position to protest, or rabble rouse the rabble, but one thing people like us can do is just BE decent. Just be accepting, forgiving, understanding. Sometimes it’s very hard to draw that line in the sand that says, “this far and no further”. Example counts as much as words, sometimes.
    Be well, Jenny, You’re necessary. Always know that.

  46. thank you for sharing what you feel. I think everyone feels the way you feel during this epidemic.

  47. I LOVE this drawing. You are so kind to post these Jenny. <3 Is anyone else besides me having trouble pulling up the printer version?

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