My heart was pounding, pounding, pounding at my chest and I could feel sweat dripping down my back. My face was flushed despite the peppermint oil I’d been slathering on the back of my neck, and it was taking everything in me to focus on the work in front of me when all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball under my desk and hide from everything. Yesterday after an unfortunate series of events, I was forced to make a decision that I’ve been consciously avoiding for weeks, really months now. Because by mid-afternoon yesterday, I knew the time had come to have a conversation that I really didn’t want to have, because I also knew it was very likely going to take away the biggest reason I’ve been smiling so wide this year.
I woke up today after barely sleeping last night and surreptitiously wiped away the evidence of how I’d soothed myself to sleep with tears. I looked a mess: puffy, dead eyes trying to process that okay, things probably went as well as to be expected, but expectations fucking suck. I ambled about the apartment, staying distracted and busy and keeping my focus out of the previous 9 hours, trying not to feed into the raging desire to call out of work and crawl under my comforter in sweatpants, hiding from everything until everything stopped hurting. Instead, I put on my big girl pants and pulled it together enough to get to the office; now I’m hiding in a conference room choking back tears that have been on the edge of my eyes since last night. Or, if I’m being honest, tears that have been on my mind for the past eight weeks.
Through yoga and meditation, we’re taught to look at life in the present. The past can’t be changed; the future can’t be predicted. All that matters is the present moment. So worrying about the big meeting tomorrow, reliving the crippling anxiety from a moment in college where you did something stupid, even anticipating a reaction to a conversation you’ve been avoiding: all of those things don’t matter. Worrying about the future shouldn’t matter. Nothing but the present moment should matter and even that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. But today, everything matters. The past five months, the past eight weeks and the past 24 hours all matter; the next 24 hours, the next week, the next two months and the next eight months really matter. I’m stuck in this limbo where I can’t get my head out of the past and I can’t get my mind out of the future, and it’s taking everything in me not to completely lose myself in this tangled mess that I’m calling the present.
So I feel like shit today. And I’m going to keep feeling like shit because I don’t know how to fix my life when the two things I want more than anything are mutually exclusive. I don’t know how to make a decision when both paths will make me supremely happy and then extremely depressed. I can’t live in the past and I can’t see the future and I can’t handle the present because my mind is bouncing between the planes like a pendulum, swinging up, down, highs, lows. I feel like shit today and I’m probably going to feel like shit for a while. I don’t know why I felt the need to share all this, because it didn’t make me feel better to get it out of my head. But maybe it’s just enough to acknowledge that today is a shitty fucking goddamn day and that’s the best I can do for right now.