As a first year teacher, my top five favorite things about Spring Break [in no particular order] have been:
1. Sleeping later than 5:30AM [and the possibility of taking cat naps]
2. Grocery shopping midday [look ma, no lines!]
3. Finding time to explore New York [and remembering why I'm nuts about this apple]
4. Freedom to use the bathroom, anytime [so I can drink more water and TEA!!]
5.Time to write. [And organize. And watch the Food Network.]
But I haven't been doing a very good job of cutting myself a break. In fact, so overwhelmed by all of the things I wanted to do, I have felt myself growing more and more frustrated with my human limitations.
I imagine that a break isn't supposed to make you feel like you have broken something. But every empty box on the checklist starts to color my legs black and blue. I am of a people who beat themselves up too frequently to remember why they originally felt so awful. And I feel bad about that, too.
To say we are a society ruled by bad feelings is an understatement but, where is the relief? At what point do we get to say "I see what I did wrong, here are the steps I am going to take the do better. I'm sorry"?
Instead, we throw blame around or otherwise fall so deep into a despair we aren't sure how to own. There is no relief, no discovery, no improvement.
I don't know how to be this miserable, I tell myself, even as I hide under the covers, eating muffins and drinking more tea than a person is supposed to.
I don't have time to hide away, I tell myself, and this part feels more genuine. The grey cloud above my blonde hair thunders a little more than usual every time I turn my head and, these days, I'm making a lot of turns, hoping to return to the person I was before.
Or...not. Perhaps I have outgrown her: the things that used to frighten me do so less these days. I find old photographs or clips of voices--of people I didn't even know--who had, I thought, destroyed something sacred. But these voices aren't special. These voices aren't so horrifying anymore, and I realize that they, alone, never had the power to destroy. Just like, we alone, are the only ones with the power to, destroy ourselves.
So, I don't have the time to be this miserable, as if it is a choice. I have decided that it is. And I find myself a little patch of ground, where I can write a few lines about loneliness and laugh as a child makes a silly face, and breathe into a life that I am creating for myself.
Does it look different than I had planned? Sure.
But...give me a break.
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal. Married to my best friend and planning a lifetime of adventure!