Monday, July 18, 2016

99,999 miles

Credit to my wonderful Aunt Melanie for this idea, because I apparently *needed* a reason to write.

Today, on the way to work, my car hit the 99,999 mile mark.  This is not terribly remarkable, because I bought the dang thing with 89,000 miles on it, but it felt like an opportunity to mark time, to plant a flag and state proudly "this is where I am; that is where I was and that is where I am going."

I thought I would hit the marker on Saturday, when I drove into downtown LA for 10+ hours of extra work to try to make some extra cash because I am still, somehow, at the ripe age of 34, a broke-ass graduate student.  It didn't, likely in no small part due to the fact that I was so fried after a full day of troubleshooting minor technical glitches and listening with fake enthusiasm to an introductory seminar for MBA students that I drove straight home, untemped by even the slightest detour.  Yesterday me, who had tried to make dinner plans with friends in the city?  She was an insane masochist with no concept of the finite nature of energy.

And I didn't hit it on Sunday for similar reasons.  working all day Saturday had left me drained, so I vowed to stay in bed and relax while watching tv shows on Amazon Prime.  And fell back asleep.  And ate pasta in bed, and eventually decided that it was exactly what a pregnant lady would do after working 6 day straight.  take one damn day off and do nothing.  So I didn't leave my house all day Sunday.

In a sense, my Sunday is an apt metaphor for my general feelings of late; mobilized; stuck somewhere between self care and self pity, avoiding a potential stream of thoughts threatening to overwhelm my mind at any moment.  A lot of avoidance.  In part because I am scared.

And there's this thing i do when I'm scared where I let fear sort of wash over and color everything else in life.  I'm afraid of my dissertation, of completing my degree, so now I am also afraid of my baby's development, of what kind of relationship I am in, of what my choices have been and are going to be...general fear washes and paralyzes.
Fun times.

In my experience, the first and best step in mitigating all of this fear and avoidance is simply sitting quitetly, thinking, talking with trusted friends, and letting the thing most terrifying, my thoughts or my success, just happen.  It's never as bad as the anticipation of it is. 

Which, if I were to try to tie this all together and wrap it up, is the whole point.  Life, death, change, growth, age, development, shock, fear, and shit are all inevitable.  Life and things rarely go as planned.  But the clock keeps ticking, and we strive to make better choices int eh moment, because in actuality that is all we have; our choices in the moment.  So I have been slacking off?  So what.  That was yesterday.  Today is pregnant with potential, and filled with moments for me to make the most of.  Chock full of potential.  The clock hasn't ticked over yet, and I am still at 99,999 miles, 16 weeks, 8 years, and 34 years, depending on what we're counting.  Life is good.