Friday, November 24, 2006

How can I go forward when I don't know which way I'm facing?

I'm sitting here listening to Lennon's Imagine and suffering that bizarre (slightly self-absorbed?) phenomenon of the post break-up, post-traumatic experience world where song lyrics seem to speak to you from out of the past. How indeed, John?

Lately, there are moments it seems like I can hardly breathe, followed by other moments in which I am overwhelmed by all the simple joy and beauty in the world. Actually, they feel very much alike, these moments. You know the moment before you break down into tears, where everything rises up through your chest, your throat narrows, your eyes begin to sting, and your ability to think of the appropriate word escapes you and you know it's coming--that you are about to push over that edge and will not return soon? I live there, in the moment before the moment it actually happens.

So often I've too many things to do, read, think about, be present for that I've no choice but to push through; I find it a little exhilarating and also exhausting and I wonder when the equilibrium will return. Nearly done with the first of six terms in grad school I find I'm curious whether I've learned a damn thing of real importance over the course of my college career. Sure, I'm writing (though, notably, still not submitting anything for publication) and I've met some quality people recently. I love my students. B and I are trying hard to remain/become friends after the "divorce" and apparently I haven't lost absolutely every friend made in that time period. When I take stock of my life, I have a lot of things going for me and a lot to feel good about.

So, why am I sitting here (now listening to Dylan's Blood on the Tracks) on a Friday night, wondering if I should call the new adorable couple I've befriended through school, or whether I should get drunk with one of my single girlfriends, or if I should stay home (perhaps getting drunk by myself) just so that I have something to keep me from feeling so fucking sad all the time? It's not that dire... The adorable couple are possibly the sweetest, most genuine people I've met in a long time; the girlfriends are good girlfriends; the bathtub and a bottle of wine are really that enticing. For serious.

I'm only self-medicating to a small degree and I've lost a lot recently, so that's saying quite a bit. It's just that it all happened at once: a once-good relationship went south, topped of with a generous dose of my own thoughtless ineptitude to truly fuck it all up; the cosmic bitchslap I wasn't prepared for (and though I've been talking about it much in my personal life, I'm not prepared to spell it out here either). Add the pressures of full time grad school, graduate assistant teaching responsibilities, a part time job and my fumbling efforts to remember what being a singleton feels like (replete with brief affair with a beautiful young grad student that I actually wanted to be friends with to complicate my work and personal life) and I'm lucky my head hasn't exploded.

And as I look at this, all I can think is, jeezus Shannon, shut the hell up. Stop dwelling on yourself. Go outside and do something with your fucking time and energy. But I've lost my umbrella and it's raining and I wish I had someone to splash in puddles with that could just make me laugh. And laugh. And forget. Just for a while.