I feel like shit today.

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.

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A Weekend, in Parts

As I’m writing Part One of this post, it’s Saturday night, and I stopped counting how many hours I’d worked since Monday after it passed 70. I’ve never in my life finished a Venti coffee from Starbucks, and this week I had one every morning, plus another cup mid-afternoon at the office. I’m tired in a way that I’ve never experienced before, and little miss won’t let me have two minutes to myself to pee because she’s so desperate for attention after being stuck alone most of the week. And yet, I’m so, so happy right now. I’ve had some great times with my team at work, both professionally and personally. I managed to fit in at least a little yoga every day, and now I have a glass of wine and Sleeping Beauty on TV. There have been highs and low in the past seven days of long-expected crazy, but even though things aren’t necessarily calming down anytime soon, I can’t say that I’m in a bad mood. There’s a part of me that’s expecting to start feeling something negative: maybe I’m supposed to be angry, or upset, or annoyed, or whatever; but instead, I feel like it’s the perfect Saturday night to unwind a little before picking up first thing tomorrow.

As I’m writing Part Two of this post, it’s Sunday morning, and my chance to sleep in was interrupted by something I needed to do for work. I have no coffee in my apartment, and I can’t get in touch with my coworker to confirm she’s online so I can run out to Starbucks before this caffeine headache gets any worse. It’s a sunny, beautiful spring day, and I’m inside all day on my computer. And yet, I’m really, really happy right now. I have a built-in excuse to stay inside and do nothing, since it turns out it’s pretty cold outside anyway. It’s nice to lay on my couch in the sunshine that streams through the windows, illuminating the bright walls. I can roll out my mat this afternoon and practice on my own time, eventually seeing tangible progress in something I’ve been working on for months. There’s something about having a Sunday to myself again that makes the past week of crazy all worth it. Sure, I didn’t have my normal Sunday of yoga and Whole Foods, but somehow I’m feeling as refreshed sitting on my couch after a day of work as I normally do on productive Sundays around the city.

As I’m writing Part Three of this post, it’s Sunday night and I’m watching terrible television while eating a chicken Caesar salad and onion rings from my favorite deli down the street. My computer is open, but it’s been quiet, finally, after another busy day. I know I should go to bed soon, get a good night’s sleep and get to yoga in the morning, but there’s something so tempting about staying up just a little bit longer to watch that final episode of Intervention taking up space in my DVR. I can’t believe another week has already passed, and I think that I think we’re out of the crazy. I’ve been writing in fragmented thoughts all day, getting snippets of inspiration for new posts, writing this one in pieces, work punctured with blogging punctured by starting to sequence out new things for yoga, getting an early taste for what it will be like when I’m teaching in the future. This has been the longest two weeks of my professional life, even counting the time three months into my career when I was told I had to fly to Orlando and run the client booth at a conference by myself less than 24 hours before my flight took off. It’s been exhausting and stressful and yet so, so satisfying. We made it through the craziness and my team still has smiles on their faces. Celebrating success as a group feels almost as great as the extra hour of sleep I would have gotten had I not decided to stay up just a little longer, to savor the end of the longest week of my professional life.

As I’m writing the end of this post, it’s Monday morning and I’m back at my desk. I’m one Venti coffee in and I still need to put in my hours for last week, which means I’ll finally see the past week’s insanity laid out in a series of codes and numbers. I’ve had to pee for the past twenty minutes but I keep finding myself distracted by emails that need to be answered and tasks that need to be attended to, plus I’m desperate to finish this post to jump-start blogging again. I’m stress eating almonds because I just found out it’s going to be another late night here, and now I need another coffee just to keep me going. But looking back on the past week, I’ve had a series of ups and downs, crazy with calm, cranky with a ton of fun, and everything in between, and it’s been one of the most rewarding weeks of my life. I think I can manage another five days before crashing SO HARD on Friday night, a much-needed rest ahead of my partner-in-crime R’s birthday bash this weekend. I’ve learned over and over again that there’s no such thing as “back to normal” in my life, whether speaking professionally or personally, so much as I hope things will actually calm down by the end of the week, I’m expecting the unexpected. Maybe that’s my new normal now, waiting for things to change as soon as they’ve started. And even if it is, I’m finishing one week and starting another feeling accomplished, proud and ambitious for more. I can get used to normalizing all of that.