Something sad happened. Details aren't important – I won’t even remark on whether it was personal or professional. But I’m so wrapped up in it right now that I can’t think of a good analogy (or even a mediocre lie) so I can talk around it. But what are blogs, especially of this type, for if not to be self-indulgent and mopey?
The silly factor – the thought that makes me shake my head at myself – is that I could, and perhaps did, see the end of this opportunity from the beginning. It just would have been so cool if it had worked out. I would have had the best how lucky am I? story. I guess I do have that story – I learned from the experience, met some amazing people, opened up a bit more. After all, parts of it were wonderful.
Then I watched it start to fall apart – wondered if I wasn’t working hard enough or if there were circumstances beyond my control. Certainly not, I told myself. If this is special, then I can make it better again. But I started reading and talking to people and seeing television shows, for crying out loud, that made me wonder. Question if I was headed toward something really cool or if the timing was just off for this idea to ease into reality.
I’m like that in research and life – guess and check. I have an idea and want to try it. Spend just a little time calculating risk, expense, resources, then jump in. Most of the time, someone stops me before I skip too far in the wrong direction. Rarely can I talk someone into skipping with me. But when they do? There’s all this extra energy! I get to try to talk colleagues into being excited with me, hoping for the best while barely acknowledging the worst. This is why I don’t want to teach, by the way. I’m often wrong, and don’t want to feel responsible for leading younger students astray. I’ll stick to those who should be older and wiser than I am.
Maybe I wasn’t wrong this time – it was an endeavor that strikes me still as completely worthwhile. But it didn’t work, and for now, knowing it was worth every second of time, energy and emotion doesn’t help the pain of losing it.
It wasn’t even that big of a deal, I keep telling myself. Nobody died. Lost a job. [Or a third really bad event that I can't come up with right now.] People have much bigger problems. But when I find myself using words and phrases specifically associated with this situation? Hearing songs from the ever-present iPod that remind me of a person or event? Knowing that I once invariably smiled when hearing one specific artist, and now brush back tears that shouldn’t be there? It hurts.
Understanding doesn’t offer ease right now. Remembering what parts were good, noting the decline in quality, seeing quite clearly that the end was near even hoping it wasn’t. I get it – completely respect the reasons behind the sadness. I'm not at all angry or frustrated or anything other than sad.
What does help? Distractions. Other projects at work, the thought of a weekend at home that I just can’t find time for in the next few days, talking to someone on the phone for hours tonight – laughing and thinking and being present in that moment rather than this one. I smile when I think of my phone call this evening - it offered complete rest from this sadness. Time heals wounds – even the small ones. Putting space between my heart and that which hurt it – carefully archiving the relevant emails so they're saved but out of my inbox, tucking away the notes I’d written that lingered on my desktop, taking the necessary websites off my bookmark lists so that I visit them a little less often. All important steps to moving on, yes?
The awful factor? The part that should make you roll your eyes at me for continuing to be stupid? Learning too little too slowly? I still want it to work. Will find myself planning a second chance at this neat opportunity. But do I really want to be here again at some point? Resigned to unavoidable sadness?
Perhaps I do. Maybe the important parts of life are hard to get. I’m willing to work for them, ache over the pain when they go wrong, flutter over the happiness when they go right. But for now there are excellent distractions in the form of friends – old and new, work, family, my yard that once again needs to be mowed, and faith that things will work out for me. Maybe not right this second, but eventually.
There’s something out there worth waiting for, hurting over, working toward. There just has to be. And if there isn't? Well, get ready for a post that's a whole lot more whiny, self-indulgent and sad than this one was.