Sick Day, Uncertainty, and Hope

Posted: December 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

Sick day. It’s not so terrible; I don’t get sick often, so I’m aware that I’m lucky even when I’m feeling bad and staying in my PJs in bed all day. Things are just foggy and hurt-y from head to calf (yeah, the muscle feels like it’s about a second from cramping up, especially when I move or walk — weird, body, just weird). And Beck’s the soundtrack to my fuzzy brain-firings. I’ve been trying to plow away at some work (not particularly effectively overall, but I have made at least a couple big strides for PhD app things). It’s getting dark out, and so I’d really like just to curl up on the couch (or the floor, or something — I’m having trouble finding a comfortable position at all, so I’m feeling a change is in order) and let TV images dance in front of my eyes until sleep overtakes me.

A lot of things are uncertain, and I’m really aware of it these days. It’s not that scary, just a little — a little more at some times than others, of course, due to the tides of emotions. Much depends on these PhD applications. Where I’ll be living in a year (heck, in a couple months, since my roommate wants to buy a house and we’re now month-to-month on our lease), whether I’ll be moving to a new city with a friend (if she and I get into the same PhD program) or alone, whether it’ll be closer or farther from where my family lives, what I’ll be teaching, how I’ll maintain my friendships over the years… it’s all yet to be determined, and that’s okay. I also wonder what will become of things with a person I’ve found myself quite fond of. He’s got dreams to chase, and so do I, and what direction they’ll run will be clear soon enough.

The good thing is that where I used to clench my fists and struggle to grasp it all, I’ve learned to hold gently; after all, too tight a grip means less room for whatever it is I want to occupy that space. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned, whether from basketball or friendships or romantic relationships or trying to hit the high note before your voice is warmed up, it’s that you can’t force it. There’s this balance point between trying not enough and trying too hard (either extreme in my case can often be tied to fear, anxiety, of some sort), and we’re always aiming for that center.

I woke up this morning with a couple lines from a Nate Pritts poem (“Data Viewing Device”) in my head: “A base hit gets you to first but I’m greedy; / I’m swinging for the fences every time. . .” I discovered this poet by a lucky accident pretty recently, and I’ve fallen for this poem hard. I love that bravery, that openness to experience — even to failure — in the pursuit of something amazing. That speaks to me where I am in my life right now. Things have gotten better, and the uncertainty I’m facing right now also has the beautiful side of possibility: I swing at this pitch, and it might be that home run I’ve been hoping for.


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