I have a headache today: one of those caused by the combination of bright sunshine and restless sleep. I went for a run yesterday afternoon because I’m training for this half marathon on October 19, but lately I can barely run four miles without waking up in the middle of the night with throbbing thighs. It’s concerning. I wish I have been running more, but these past weeks have been nothing but emotional races between due dates and grading papers and class presentations, like the one I gave last Thursday that barely made sense, even to me. What can you do — there’s no use telling the professor that your river of things to do has not yet abated. Aren’t we all constantly attempting to find ways to be more than what we actually are? My boyfriend is visiting this weekend, and I’m choosing time with him above making certain that I know what readings I have for Tuesday, kind of like I’m choosing to eat the entire bowl of pho from Tram’s Kitchen because I haven’t had enough time in a grocery store in two weeks to plot anything more than meals of scrambled eggs and tuna sandwiches. Today before my headache got bad, down in the Strip District I bought $8 worth of homemade goat cheese and a cold brew from 21st Street Coffee, even though I didn’t need either. Or maybe I did? How does expensive cheese and good coffee fit into a hierarchy of grad-school choices? How does life go down when there isn’t a lot to change?
One day last summer, I blurted out a similar monologue over tea with my friend Anne Parmer. She listened. She said there wasn’t anything wrong with wanting to fix problems, and she offered to help me through anything that she could. But then she added, “Remember: you’re already okay.”
For none of the above are or will ever be moral failures. At the end of everything, I have nothing I need to prove other than being honestly who I am.