It’s been a long time since I have written here about how I am and what’s been going on with me. I am reaching out now because I need support, I need affirmation, and reassurance.
I have been okay. And yet/on the other hand/also/somehow… I am not okay at all.
Things are good in that I have been getting outside, taking care of my body, and keeping busy. Trying to find solace in nature. But it’s not always enough. What about my mind, and my emotions, and mental health? I try to work on them, to focus on improving my emotional regulation and coping skills. But somehow that always gets pushed aside. School comes first. Work comes first. Physical health comes first. How do I take care of myself emotionally? Some days I’m not sure I even know how to. At all.
I have slowly been breaking down under all the demands.
I think I will have to quit grad school. Until now I have always found a way to power through my classes and assignments, push through the rough patches, and scrape by in the end. I don’t know if I can do that right now. It’s breaking me.
Facing the idea of dropping out of school is at once relieving and terrifying. What is my purpose if not for this degree and this career? Who will I become; what will I do?
I’m scared of what will happen if I keep going. I like this program but it is so emotionally demanding and exhausting. And I’m so tired. I just want to rest.
Ants were moving over their red sand nest
like satellites rearranging amongst the constellations,
orbiting the opening that led
to a damp dark infinite nest of mazes.
The smell of rot wafted across the yard,
something like the stench of decomposing flesh
or wet soil unearthed into the sunlight for the first time.
It was like the baking of clay
with seaweed and ocean life hardening inside.
The sun was a sedative bearing down on her,
heating the backs of necks and
lulling all into a state of apathetic bliss.
She watched the morning unfold
in the crabgrass: the grasshoppers blinking
in and out of sight; the willow branches drifting
like cheery, lazy pennants; swallows free-falling
to the ground in graceful undulations.
Sunrise glow: I’m not really working.
Throw a cup of scratch to the chickens,
chase dogs down the brown road. Water froze
overnight so I haul buckets inside to thaw.
Bullheaded dog stretches and groans.
He becomes a statue in the sun, standing
guard for his siblings racing the hills.
Tail whipping only when I turn to him
and smile. My hands might crack in this cold.
Mountains rise to form the edge of my town,
boasting new snow. Did they push slowly
into the clouds or spring forth from crust,
violent? A baby grows slowly then erupts, too.
Grooves are etched deeper around my eyes
but these mountains are still young.
A good time to reflect, introspect, ponder, and wonder at the world.
I do love those snow-capped trees. 🙂
Regrets like stones slick from the tide,
polished clean with time and rumination.
If I bent to collect each glimmer in the surf,
my pockets would split and arms overflow.
Ever so often I might crouch on the salty kelp
to examine an especially bright agate veneer,
dust and brush dry the surface with my palms.
One thousand heavy possibilities lurking
in such a smooth oval of caramel consistency.
At last I must lay the stone down cold
and straighten myself to continue my walk.
It would be too easy to gather every rock in a great tote
and scatter the bitter regrets throughout my life.
I like my quiet little life,
the art carved into everything.
We join in tears and worry,
in new laughter and delight;
yet gravity will impose its pull,
still the sun will set each night.
When a child’s face is set aglow
by a robin’s chirp or falling leaf,
my heart can’t help but swell
with reckless love and
creeping fear of tomorrow’s grief.
I like my quiet little life,
questions I ponder as I drift into sleep,
when an old friend tells me I’m unique.
I smile- we are all unique.
Perhaps not as snowflakes melting
in warm hands, but as tiny grains
of sea-scoured sand:
looking very much alike from far away.
But from close up, each piece
a slightly different hue of gray.