Lately, I’ve been grappling with two competing impulses. There is the work that I want to buckle down for, the work that makes me feel like maybe I can help someone other than myself, like maybe I can one day give back even a fraction of what I’ve been given.
And then there is the cold ache in my bones when I realize I’ve spent all day sitting in front of a computer, there is the soreness in my neck when I look out the window, eyes blurred from squinting too long, and I realize there is life out there and I’m not living it.
The work I want to pursue asks for a sublimation of the self. If I want it whole-heartedly, I cannot have my own life or desires outside of it - not for now, at least. But I’m inherently selfish. Sometimes, all I want is to sit down and have dinner with my friends, and not feel guilty.
And all the while, the future pounds relentlessly on the door, demanding to know what next, what next, what next? and I sit and keep looking out the window. There is a real life out there.
I can’t see my way forward.
I don’t know how we could say such awful things to each other when it’s late and dark, but when we see each other again, it’s like all we want to do is bury all that ugliness and laugh and talk again.
I miss the easy, light days. I miss the parts of you that made me happy. But all I’ve had for months now, every time I think of you, is incredible sadness.
Last Friday, I looked a young man in the eyes as he all but begged me to say I could help keep him from being deported.
I chased him down to tell him I didn’t know if we had enough to motion to reopen his case.
He’s my age, and he’s sitting in immigration detention, and he made a stupid mistake, but we all do when we’re young, and I’m sitting at my desk and I’m tired but I don’t want to sleep, and sometimes I don’t know why the world is the way it is.
i feel like telegraphing NOT READY NOT READY NOT READY across my forehead in flashing letters.
please don’t look at me with hope. please don’t start moving in the edges and peripheries of my life. i’m still exhausted, i’m still not ready to start taking on the mess that is somebody-else and adding it on to the mess that already-is.
i just need kindness right now.