On January 3rd I came down with a 101 degree fever, and spent the first few days of 2018 on the couch sniffling and crying. As I started to come down with this illness, I despaired. “NOOOOO. How am I already sick?! I was going to be so healthy this year!” Being sick in the first week of 2018 felt like a total failure.
But I’m not discouraged, and 2018 isn’t already ruined. In fact, I feel like it was necessary. You can’t just set all of these big, intense intentions and then go about your life. Your body has to account for that shift somehow. I feel like last week was my body acknowledging the intentions I set for 2018, and allowing me to clear time and space for it all. It was my body’s time to test me a little bit. I feel stronger after this sickness. Am I still committed to my health? Hell yeah. Did the fact that I happened to come down with a crazy rough cold change that? No way.
These realizations have been small but constant. Last Monday at work, I had this insane moment of clarity:
This doesn’t matter, and not in a depressing, existential way. In a- yeah, I can go to work, do my best and then leave it the hell there kind of way. Same thing with my school work. I can come to it, do my damn BEST, and then leave it all on the table. None of this matters! It is important, and I like the work I do, but it doesn’t consume me. What consumes me is the idea of going home and talking with Eli and making dinner and being happy together. What consumes me is my art, my writing, and my relationships. I am consumed with the notion of nurturing them, and nourishing myself. I’m happy, and I’m not going to let the minutia of the day to day make me unhappy. In this epiphany, I felt above it all. Above the fear, above the anxiety, above those low low rat race feelings.
All of this is to say: I’m not really bothered at the moment. My happiness doesn’t depend on what I accomplish at work. This is huge, because for a long time, it has. It is such a relief to leave work, and actually leave everything there. To come home free from any worries or doubts, and just enjoy my night in complete peace.
The difference now is that I feel like I’m moving forward even on a normal, ordinary weekend. I see my life zoomed out a little bit more- and I can see that not everything has to be done in one single weekend for there to be growth. This weekend I deep cleaned my apartment and made space here as Eli went off to Toronto to become a certified intermediate coffee roaster. We are both moving forward. It is slow. Slowness scares me, because I often confuse it with stagnation, and then spur myself along until I’m tired and bleeding. But now, in the quiet, I whisper to myself, “this is growth,” and it feels a little less terrifying.