There’s a time in some days, a time at the end, that I land on in my head and target. Almost subconsciously I think, “I just need to get there today.” Some days. On days where this moment is needed it’s usually impossible to see it in your mind’s eye. But sometimes it’s an oasis in a tempest.
I know there are lots of teachers in the slice challenge. It really is a job where you leave each day with stories. Stress. A need to purge. Some days more than others, but there’s always something. The ability to come home and decompress, to melt and vent? For those of you who have that type of outlet? It’s priceless. There are lots of parents in this challenge too. So kids on kids. All day. If you’re single sometimes it’s brutal to be alone at the end of some days. Either if you’re not with your kids or after they go to bed.
I’m trying to put positivity into my posts and get it out of them. After my slice the other day I actually went to a movie. There was a pocket of time that night in that dark room where, for the first time in ages my nomadic soul felt squarely and solidly at home. I wanted to hold onto that moment but it was like water in my hands and I knew it. Then I even watched some Tick Tocks. For a time it was a cool source of quick entertainment for me but I haven’t opened the app in a long long time. I was on a roll so I watched a few and even started this new vitamin thing I saw on there that’s supposed to make you wake up more bright eyed and bushy tailed. Why not? Positivity train is rolling!
But. Rollercoaster. In the middle of the day yesterday I got a text. An echo of what I can only hope will be the worst moment of my parenting life from about a year ago with my middle guy. He was being pulled from school and he was not in any way physically sick or injured, that’s all I’ll say here. It is a work in progress. Effort has been and will be needed. I worry and I try.
I haven’t been able to get to the gym lately. It was a rough rollercoaster day so I went there straight from work. Nothing I could do at that point on the son front. I generally gain and lose the same 5ish pounds every week lately. My middle guy is an athlete but rail thin. Like all things I worry he has body issues because I do, so when they’re with me I eat like a pig. When I’m not with them, when I’m by myself, I quite literally forget to eat for days at a time sometimes. I am body dysmorphic and it doesn’t take a genius to unpack why. Sometimes they say ballplayers “eat their way out of the major leagues”. I lost the two most beloved relationships of my life at the height of my weight gain during said relationships. I was dismissed in strikingly similar ways both times. Younger, richer, more attractive replacements. So. The gym is more than weights and cardio for me. And after the day I’d had I pushed myself beyond anything I’ve done in recent memory. There was even a period there where I knew I’d be slicing about this and didn’t want to lie in writing about how hard I pushed so I pushed harder.
When the workout was done my body remained shaky and hot for a long while. I took a slow shower. I literally could not exercise any more, but leaving the gym meant re-entering the void. Solitude and nothingness. I immediately dove into replying to texts from gym time. Was lucky enough to find escape in a couple student emails. Poured a Johnny Walker, put laundry in, and threw on the Bulls game. End of the day, solo in cold room on couch.
And that was the moment. I couldn’t do anything about being alone. I hadn’t fixed any of the problems of the day. There was simply nothing more to be done and if there was I was so physically and emotionally drained anyways. Couch lock, zone out, and find peace in simply breathing with the knowledge that the sun will come out tomorrow and we’ll all get up and try to make a dent. Try to be enough, knowing we’ll probably fail again. There has to, eventually, be an upside to trying.
“I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life
I know you’ll be a star
In somebody else’s sky
But why can’t it be mine?’