I wish today were a day of contemplation. Instead it is a day of running. When I am running there is no deep thoughts, or profound truths to be found. There are no moments of clarity, or moments of perfect peace. There is just moving, and moving in so many directions that my thoughts simply can’t keep up.
There aren’t days that I enjoy. I have to speed to read, to make the next thing, and to finalize those fifteen things I have started but have yet to finish. I have to pretend I am qualified to be an octopus, and I have to pretend that falling a little behind is catchable. I have to be everything for everyone, and no one stops long enough to see my hair is falling out.
The good news is I choose not to have many of these days. I choose to find my center as often as I can, to ignore the twinges of desperation I often feel. I choose to create a world for me and my children that is logical and repetitive. I choose to find music that makes me slow down, and poetry in things that I can see out my window. I choose to leave the rat race, I choose to leave the day-to-day madness that others thrive in. And while I use words such as I choose, the truth is I had to. It was as much a requirement as the breath that leaves my body.
This disease, even when I am caught up on the meds and feeling good, can not sustain multiple of days of this speed and chaos. It simply can’t. I have learned that I can’t be a Chief Financial Officer of a mid-size corporation any more. I have learned that I can’t build a business from scratch and make it work anymore. Maybe I would rather say that I have done these things, and successfully, and I have no interest in doing them again.
Despite the impressive, and expensive, MBA I have to my name, I waste much of my talent in this little office that I now inhabit. While there are those that like to take advantage of the fact that I have the background and impressive, and expensive, degree the truth is for the most part I can get their stuff done and relax back into my life.
I have discovered that I am happier when I don’t have to figure out how to make payroll, and I am easier to be with when I am not being yelled at and pulled at. When I live a simple life, and find a simple world, I excel.
This, of course, was not the image I had in my dreams as a young child. I always thought that I would be on the top of some magazine, and despite the fact I am terrified of public speaking I would get so used to it that my fear would simply melt away. I had an image of a beautiful home, and of course there was never any debt, sick children or really any sweat. It was all going to come easy to me, because I was, in fact, perfect.
It is hard to reconcile the vision from your youth with the truth of who and what you really are. It is hard to accept that you have a disease that gets out of balance so easily, and can destroy even the greatest of your talents. It is hard to believe sometimes that it isn’t about hard work or dedication; that schooling doesn’t make the same difference. It is hard to remember that who and what we are may sometimes be less than what we could have been.
I know if my mother were reading this she would cringe. She was under the firm belief my whole life that I could do anything I wanted; and she pushed me to believe this about myself as well. But the truth is I don’t really want to do it all. I don’t want this roller coaster I am on today; I don’t need it to be my norm. I don’t need this fraction that causes me to be able to run three different directions to be my standard.
Those dreams of my childhood have changed. They have not died but they have butted against the truth of this disease and my own capabilities. They have realized that sustaining momentum and success is not as important as learning to find success in a different albeit slower momentum.
The treadmill that is others life, can not be mine. Instead I am the one all the fit and beautiful runners pass as they achieve another personal best. I try hard to remember that by being last, you are saving someone else from being the exact same thing.