Beautiful Possibilites

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson


I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk

I fall in.

I am lost … I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place

but, it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in … it’s a habit.

my eyes are open

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

This poem resonates deeply with me as I move forward in my life, in my grief, in my processing through trauma and divorce.

This past year, I fell, over and over again. I continuously stumbled into that damn hole in my emotional sidewalk. I sat at the bottom, looking down at my feet; in total denial about why I was down there and how I could get out. There was no perspective save the dirt all around me. I was inside of myself, inside of my trauma, inside of my addled brain. I would refer to these moments as ‘trapped’, trapped within my own brain; my own fear, self-loathing and terror. I was frozen, in stasis, in shock. DENIAL. This was not my fault, this was out of my control, I cannot help my temper, my rage, my trauma. Life felt out of my control and I accepted that like a wounded animal. I curled up and made myself a home at the bottom of that damn hole. For months.

Until one day, I reached a different chapter.

I was still falling into the hole, but my eyes were open and I knew exactly what had happened to get me back down into that hurt space. I knew now that it was my fault and even though I was in the pit, my eyes were wide open, looking up instead of down. Sometimes I would be stuck down there for an entire day; trying desperately to climb out.

What I have come to accept is that sometimes I might just need to sit down there for a time. That maybe this is my work, this is my lot in life right now. I have learned that maybe I need to sit down at the bottom of the hole and wait. Wait for my emotions to pass, to run their painful course through my body, through my heart, through my mind. And then, when it is time, I can stand up in that hole and climb out.

I have to admit that I am waiting for chapter four to come. The part where I walk around that hole. The part where I am consciously choosing to step around the pit of self-pity, denial, longing, despair, and hurt.

And finally, that day, that moment when I choose a different sidewalk altogether. And I will walk toward hope, toward empowerment, self-love, and my most awake and aware self.

That person is out there and she is my future.

The road becomes endless and filled with beautiful possibilities.


  1. Sadie

    Hi Amy,
    I read your blog today, and I wanted to say that you ARE a good writer. You are also very brave to openly share your raw emotions with whomever would like to read about them. I hope it turns out to be cathartic. I had a similar experience many years ago with a woman, and without the polyamory, but I can relate nonetheless. I feel like I learned something about my own experience by reading about yours. Thank you!


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