He used a metaphor of outstretched palms trying to hold an ever-increasing load of books. Every single book is a source of stress in your life. At some point, you can no longer hold onto the books, and the lot of them will come tumbling down to land at your feet. That’s what this last weekend was for me. Desperately trying to maintain some semblance of normal in the face of being overwhelmed, I overdid it, and the result was disastrous.
It’s now Thursday; I am sicker than I’ve been in a while, and thoroughly worn out. But on the plus side, the worst of it all seems to have passed and my mood seems to have brightened as my energy has returned.
I was worried about how silly I looked this weekend (exhaustion, emotional panic, and whiskey are a potent combination), but my mom was quick to reassure me that this is all uncharacteristic and that the people who know and love me know that. “How are you supposed to explain everything to someone who has no idea?” she asked. “You can’t. And you can’t be expected to.” I felt better.
You can never make certain things go away, but you can change them. You can turn them into something positive, if you try hard enough. You can work to move past them so instead of them ruling you, you rule them.
Now that the worst of it has passed, I am still not sure how I’m going to stop working 60 hours a week. I am still not sure what I’m going to do next. But I do know that these past few days have been the reprieve that I needed to reset myself and find my balance.
I always tease my friend Britt about Marines being such babies, because whenever he gets sick, he needs me to take care of him. I once asked him why he never takes care of me when I’m sick, and he responded that I never get sick. He’s right. I have the immune system of a horse (not sure that’s an applicable metaphor or not, but going with it), but when I get sick, I’m laid out. He came over with soup and a cupcake, both of which were delicious, and then held me while we caught up on Game of Thrones episodes that we’d missed.
Carlos is going to be very grumpy when I have to go back to work tomorrow; he’s been spoiled with eighteen hours of snuggling per day and I know that my absence will annoy him.
And above all, I am so grateful for Tobias.
“I’m serious,” he said. “I’ve met tens of thousands of people in my life. You are one of the most positive people I know. Your energy is infectious.”
“You’re one of those rare lights in the universe,” he told me. “I only wish you could see how bright your light is.”
“I’ll keep repeating it until you believe it,” he said. I finally laughed.