three days ago
I’m sitting at a picnic table in the middle of my residence hall’s courtyard, the clear blue sky above me made possible by the nine degree weather. I’m trying to spend more time outside while the air is fresh and cool, before it moistens again and descends like a thick, heavy blanket over the state. My journal is inside, four flights of stairs away, so here I am.
I’ve been in a funk for the last week or so, and I have no explanation why. I like my classes, I’m focusing on myself, I didn’t have a hard time adjusting to being back after five weeks away. It got to the point last week where I started avoiding my friends, simply because I didn’t want to take my moods out on them. When I went home for the weekend, I realized that this is how I used to feel all the time. Back in high school, even freshman fall. It scares me, not knowing where all this is coming from. Not knowing how long it’ll last.
I should be writing a paper right now. On Egalia’s Daughters, a fantastic book I read for my women’s studies class. I’m so happy I decided to take it, even though there’s a lot of writing, because it’s already opened my eyes to gender issues I hadn’t yet noticed or studied and I definitely want to take more classes in the department. I’ve struggled with my group for this book though, because I was so excited to discuss and analyze it and the other members either didn’t read it or failed to pick up on its brilliance. I want to talk with people who are smarter than me, or who are at least my intellectual equals. As cruel as it sounds, I have little patience for laziness or stupidity, which makes me wonder whether teaching is the right path for me.
I feel like I’m past it, the funk. I finished a book last night, All the Light We Cannot See, and by the end I was overcome with emotion; it’s a brilliant narrative with the most lyrical writing I’ve ever read. It made me think more deeply about war and how it affects all who are involved, even involuntary participants, even those on the fringes. Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever. We don’t know when the curtain will fall on our time here, but why do we view death as such a travesty? Everyone dies, it’s just a matter of when. Some people get longer than others. Life isn’t fair, so why should we expect death to be? Rather than mourn the time lost, I’d like to be thankful for the time I was given and all the things I did with it while I had the chance. Time in this world isn’t a given, and I wish we would stop treating it as such. I wish my dad would just go to Normandy like he’s always wanted to instead of saying he’ll go later; when is later? He’s fifty five and his health will, as sad as it is to admit, likely only worsen from here on out. The trouble is, you think you have time. All the wealth in the world can’t compensate for missed opportunities or time wasted when the end comes. Death seems a much less frightening prospect when I’m living intentionally, making the best of as many moments as I can.