Strange Sunday

Yesterday was one of those strange days where everything conspired against me to keep me rooted in my spot, unable to do anything but think. Think about life changes, about the need to do something, anything else. Think about the future and whether or not it’s going to be what I always imagined it to be. Think about how much I’ve failed myself or my loved ones, even if it’s not true. It never leaves me that doubt of myself and fear of disappointing someone. While I am generally an optimist, there are days like yesterday when I wonder what I’m even doing.

City of Edinburgh-20120629-00541
The view from my favorite spot

In Edinburgh, when I felt like I was going to suffocate under the weight of my dissertation and my emotions were strung so high there was no telling when I’d scream from frustration, I dropped everything and ran. Not actually run because I hate running, but I walked quickly until I finished climbing an extinct volcano—Arthur’s Seat. There was a problem with Arthur’s Seat, though—too many people. But I found somewhere else, somewhere away from the crowd of tourists and still nestled in Holyrood Park. Unfortunately, where I live now is not within walking distance of extinct volcanoes. So yesterday when my mind was full of questions and anxiety and no easy way for me to clear my head, I did the only thing I could do–lie on my bed and think. (I didn’t say it was a great option.) What happens when you lie on your bed in the dark and think? Even more worries surface. It might just be me, but when it’s dark, they seem easier to handle and grasp. Maybe that’s why I like night so much. Everything comes into perspective in the stillness and the quiet, the buzz of cars and conversations dying down to a whisper until they’re almost all gone. I do my best work at night when no one is around to disturb me, but it’s also when I’m my loneliest.

Do you ever get the urge to talk to someone? Anyone really? Nothing is particularly wrong with you, you just want to talk. You want to know that someone is there listening even if all you’re doing is rehashing the same thing. Maybe it’s because most of the time I am the one who is there to listen, always ready for a call or text from a friend who needs someone, but yesterday, I needed someone and didn’t know who I could talk to. That’s not to say Smarty Pants or any of my other friends wouldn’t be there for me if I asked. They’re all busy, though, and I don’t want to interrupt. So I didn’t say anything and kept to myself, but then my phone blinked. I had a text message. One of my friends sent me something inconsequential, but I smiled nonetheless. There is someone to talk to in the end.

Maybe what I need is not someone present, but an outlet for days and nights like those. Writing this post helped me more than I thought it would. But I’ll never object to a real life person who can sense when I want to talk and when I want space, be it a friend or romantic partner. We can’t always live in our heads and with our words. We need people and to be a part of the world.

I woke up feeling a lot better, save one niggling worry that will eventually manifest itself in one way or another. I don’t believe we could ever be completely free of worries, but I choose to take them one at a time. So when days like yesterday come, I can step back and consider it a success because I didn’t implode or explode. I found a way to work through it, not to mention the new story idea! I am well aware this post lacks a certain peppiness to it, but I think it’s ok to be vulnerable sometimes. We’re all human after all, and humans are far from perfect, each with our own insecurities to combat. Because of that, whenever I see someone, stranger or not, I smile, knowing full-well that it may not do anything to augment their mood. Then again, maybe it will. Perhaps my ultimate goal in life is not writing children’s novels but making people happy? If I smile at people and they, in turn, smile at others, who knows, but maybe down the line someone who’s having a really bad day will find it just a little bit better.

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