I started blogging a couple of weeks ago refreshed, renewed. And then I started summer school. And then my efforts at work became more involved. And then I started doing writing gigs. And going to concerts. And visiting friends. And writing letters. And even extra things, things that I’m not entirely sure that I’m capable of, like long-distance research efforts with professors.
I’m swamped right now. I think today is the first time I’ve logged on this blog for several weeks. A couple of weeks ago, I drove along to work in a rather positive demeanor. Now, I spend my mornings cursing at the sky because I’m running late, and I spend my evenings cursing at the ceiling because I’m rushing to get my paperwork done.
“I wake up later every day,” I tell my dad. He tells me to stop thinking so negatively, to think positive thoughts. I look at my breakfast, and tell him that I can’t eat eggs every day, because I need to be healthy. I tell him to look closer at the numbers for paying for school this fall. I tell him that he’s too optimistic. I tell him that I probably won’t be able to make it to the coffee shop on time before I go to class because it’s late. I’m talking, and talking, and talking.
Now that it’s the end of the day, and I’m at my computer, screen folded out, keyboard in front of me, papers strewn across a desk. I can’t think. The first thing I want to do is put on a record and stare at the wall. I want to complain to my friends about my busy existence. I want to do fun things. I want to tell them how it’s not fair to commute daily to a college town where I have no friends. I want to talk about a missed connection that I had with a girl last week, because she looked at me and smiled at me, which obviously means that she was “the one”, whatever the hell that means.
I want to rant to you, reader, whoever you are, wherever you are.
It’s just not worth it. I’m breathless when I talk, and when I write, my fingers grow tired. And all the pulling out of my hair, both figurative and literal, isn’t really worth it. I spend a great deal of energy lamenting over energy lost. It’s all kind of silly, and I’m just now realizing it, now that summer is two-thirds of the way gone. Which, I’m almost ready to lament over that.
This morning, during a meeting with a professor, we were talking about the future. About what life might look like for me after graduation, about what it could look like for me. I was ready to answer his questions with statistics and drawn out plans, when he threw me a complete curveball: he looked at me dead in the eyes, and asked me why I get out of bed in the morning. And if the future I was creating for myself would continue to get me out of bed in the morning.
And I was stunned.
He talked about how he gets out of the bed every morning. “I’m not a religious man,” he said, “But I am thankful every day. Thankfulness is what gets me out of the bed. When I commute all the way to work, I think about the men stories up in the roofs, working underneath the hot sun. They don’t have chairs. I think about that. I think about how if, I want to sit down, I have the privilege to sit down. I am truly a blessed man. Teaching…I certainly don’t do it for the paycheck, but I have enough to get me through.”
At which point I realized that I don’t even know why I get out of bed in the morning. I just do. I get out of bed for the “A”, for the “recommendation”, for the “pat on the back”. But beyond that? I don’t think about it. Not nearly enough. And I think this is why I haven’t been too thankful lately. I’ve been throwing tantrums, both audible and internal, based over how I have no free time anymore.
When all the while, I should be thankful that I have the opportunity to be busy.
It is for this reason, that at least for this evening, that I am thankful. For breathlessness. For being busy beyond orientation. For going to bed late and waking up early. For this opportunity; even if I don’t know where it is taking me.
What are you thankful for today?