This week was an emotional rollercoaster of sorts, to be sure. From the beginning, I knew that it would be exhausting because of parent/teacher conferences and I did feel especially drained, and I suspect that to be the reason why I felt particularly emotionally vulnerable. I was uselessly anxious and worried about an observation that has yet to occur and find myself increasingly unsure of myself. My confidence wavers not only from day to day, but from class period to class period. I console myself by shrugging it off as part of the onslaught of nervousness that it is the first year of teaching, but in my darkest moments, I worry that I am not emotionally or intellectually cut out to be in education. I do not want to live my life endlessly yearning for Friday or for June; I want to be happy and even more than that, I want to be loved and feel wanted. With this emphasis on the simple things, I surprise myself by being so taken and so absorbed by the smaller complexities of American life; bills, societal pressures and expectations, employment, etc. I know I am not the only one who feels this way or has these concerns, but I find little comfort in that. Is it because I am narcissistic?
On December 21st, the basketball hoop in our driveway fell over onto my car and cracked the windshield.
It was not, though there were those who believed otherwise, the end of the world. But then, nearly exactly a month later, the basketball hoop fell over onto my car again, with strong winds being the culprit, and completely shattered my windshield.
Tiny shards of glass wink in the light from the dashboard and the front passenger seat. It cannot be driven, and it will cost around $200 to have it replaced.
Apex rejected my short story for publication.
No radio station has called me back about my request for an interview, and the library has not returned my call or my e-mail. I know I have time, but what if my novel is never successful? What if I am not meant to be a best-selling novelist? Can I live with mediocrity?
All of these negative ponderings that gnaw at the corners of my mind like some kind of feral, diseased rodent threaten to overtake me. I verge on succumbing to the depression and futility, but then there are small moments that save me. I prayed for snow, and though only a very few flakes fell, I was content because I was awake and outside to witness it. In the middle of my walk, the flurries landed in my eyelashes and on my fingertips and I smiled bravely, beautifully, and triumphantly up to the heavens.
I have lost seven pounds. Speaking of my diet, the goal this week was to limit alcohol. I usually do not drink very much, but this weekend, I was invited to a birthday dinner and allowed myself two glasses of wine, which is more than I usually have. No harm, no foul; the dinner was a lot of fun and I felt like I belonged there, which means more than extra fat around the middle.
My friends are still supportive of the novel, and have provided with me positive reviews. Whether or not these reviews are entirely honest is a point for debate but is also inconsequential.
The music of Bruce Springsteen always makes me smile. Today, while walking, I listened to a few songs and though I had been crying, the tears dried up quickly, and so did the frustration and helplessness I felt. Just a few growled lyrics to a simple, optimistic melody can make me feel like I am infinite.
I am writing again, easing myself back into a daily routine.
You win some, you lose some.