school–how i’ve longed to be back since i first said goodbye. stints were had at gtown and nova, but part-time attendance did not satisfy the itch.
so i placed my goals in fast forward (with a significant tweak) and got back to school.
here i am, juggling five courses and a decision that will largely impact the rest of my life: choosing an adviser. while i have practical visions of working for a sports company, researching, designing, and creating tools to help athletes become stronger, faster, healthier, the path is difficult to see. with where i am, i have plenty of clear paths to rehabilitation engineering, neurological biomechanics in the realms of cerebral palsey and duchenne muscular dystrophy, and a future in plush academia or a government lab. but these research modalities do not appeal to me as of yet. i can only see them capturing my interest if my dear little bean were to suffer from one of these ravagers; in this case i would pursue cures and management with all humanly passion.
but supposing we are blessed with a child (and children after him) free of these diseases, i would like to work with athletes; i would like to focus my efforts on optimizing movement as opposed to restoring it. it may not be as noble, but i threw nobility to the wind when i decided against becoming a theoretical physicist: a philosopher poet who speaks in tongues of mathematics, if you will; a profession that would have brought me as close to God as i could ever be.
which leads me to the decision which weighs even more heavily on my mind. in only the silliness i can muster, it is a decision of the past. it is my decision to leave physics, to leave austin, to leave a future that i knew and with which i was comfortable. i dwell on it now, when for so long i thought i had made peace. “why?” i beg myself, when i’ve beat myself to a pulp. “why do you wish for the future behind a door now long shut?”
i cannot give a logical reason, for such wishes are folly and poppycock. instead i can only say that this reality i’m living seems a poor mimicry of the future i imagined then. and so, i’ve fallen into the trap of comparison; as always, the cruelest are the weighings between who i am and who i believe i ought to be, who i am and who i was, and who i am and who i could have been.
when i am malevolent, as i am wont to be, i paint myself in sordid light:
i had the chance to be in the top astrophysics school in the country, with a cushy stipend in addition to the full ride. instead i attend an unranked school with a small department in a new field lacking tradition or respect, must fight for a scholarship each year, and feel as though even grocery shopping is a luxury, (one i exploit far too often.)
i had the chance to live in a city that was loose in stress and rich in sunshine, the chance to ride my bike to school everyday and take boomer with me into class and cafes and bookstores. i had a chance to live in a city that breathed music, where i could explore that other half of me that longs to paint sweet notes for an appreciative audience. i had the chance to join a university weightlifting team and participate in the greatest community of crossfit outside of california. instead i commute up to two hours a day, spend at least half an hour looking for parking despite my golden parking permit, can hardly squeak a melody out of my rusty pipes let alone strum a tune on my dusty guitar, and am part of a gym that threw my dear husband out like smelly trash.
and oh my husband; such a large part of why i changed my path was to be with him for our first year of marriage. but would not our marriage be stronger now if i were happy with who i am?
and therein, dear readers, dear me, lies the rub. i am not happy with me. after such a long time of struggling to make peace with my outside, i seem to have neglected my insides. surprisingly the peace with my outsides came with a decision to -be- at peace with my outsides. i did not want this bean to have a momma who obsesses over every inch that grows around her waistline or every inch lost from her legs or the pathological asymmetry of her broken-jaw-ed face. so i put that away. sure i become frustrated at the strength and gains i’ve lost, but i do not let these annoyances ruin me or my spirit for very long.
it is different with my insides, with my thoughts, with my soul. the flow of my consciousness, so ugly up there in pink, shows the glut of pollution in every eddy and burping bubble. i am so mean to myself (those two “i”s again). i bully myself. i beat myself up at every corner, at every stoplight, with every breath of my body. and because of it i am small. i am battered. i am near helpless. i keep abusing myself for the decisions of my past, for the person i chose to become. in doing so i arrest my growth: i am so busy taking punches, i do not have the strength or the time to become who i want to be. frankly i don’t have the time to live.
this is perhaps why the past month seems a blur. why it does not seem at all full of living.
i haven’t lived, not in this world.
i won’t, until i decide to be at peace with my entirety. it’s time to return to the blessing that is now: to the sweet husband who fights so hard and carries his crosses with grace and patience, the dear pup who models love for this loveless woman, and the wee babe that grows inside of me.