Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grace Under Pressure

My father once told me courage is grace under pressure. That said, I've never felt particularly brave. I am the type of person that would rather feel angry than sad; I'd rather punch a wall than cry in a pillow. Sorry, Rosali, I cannot take up yoga because it is too peaceful. I cannot meditate my problems away, I need to run them out, or better yet, outrun them. I tend to run angrily, letting my mind wander to places I don't want to go. Each chord hit, is one step faster, one push harder. Maybe I literally run from my problems. I hate running because it hurts. My shins throb, I cannot seem to catch my breath, it's a push to keep any momentum going and pushing a 25lb child only makes it more difficult. But what is harder than any of that is processing emotional pain. I'll take physically pain any day of the week. And that is why I love running, and love to hate it.

I have always felt like I was fighting. Life just has a funny way of happening, regardless of plans or timing. Pressure. I'd like to cave in, close my eyes and float in the oblivion of darkness. Just for a moment. But where's the grace in that? Is it courage to keep walking? To keep trying? No. It's called living. And to some extent it's called loathing.

I read a book a few years ago, a woman's personal account of deployment. I wanted to scream at her, to tell her how much I hated her, what a horrible person she was and how she gave us all a bad name. She lamented daily, ignored household chores, moped about the house sleeping on the floor midday, and generally neglected her responsibilities to her child, her dog (which died), to her friends and to her husband. The icing on the cake was her patting herself on the back at the end of the book for how much she had changed and grown. I guess when you start at literally nothing, anything is an improvement, but for heaven's sake, be embarrassed, not proud.

God, I don't know where you are right now, but I know you are with me. I feel lost and forgotten, but I know you are still there. I never much cared for my living room floor anyway, it smells and is stained from far too many previous owners. Am I brave because I run instead of power-napping it on the tan abomination? Sure, I'm guilty of eating too many chocolates (I am still female...), but is it seriously reasonable on any level to just lay down and take it? Give up because life is hard? Author I despise, you have fun snuggling up to the abrasive fibers of base housing, I'm setting my alarm for tomorrow morning and trying again. They cannot all be good days, but they cannot all be bad ones either. I'm not brave, I'm not graceful, I'm not even particularly witty or interesting. I'm just living a life.


1 comment:

  1. This was beautiful, as are you. Despite the sadness in the message, I can't help but tell you to realize how wonderful you are doing--or how wonderful you make it seem you are doing. I remember envying've been more places and done more things in the last 18 months than I have in the last 4 years. It seems, sometimes, like you are living a dream. You have your baby; you have a fantastic group of friends (who you actually call), not to mention to friends you've kept in touch with over the years and miles. You live on a tropical island; you visit a new place, have a new adventure every six months. But there is also a void. It was abundantly clear throughout this post just how much you have to live without, in missing this one person. I don't know if you'd understand this, but I wish I was more like you. Despite this cavity in your heart when he is gone, you persevere--in unimaginable ways. The last two sentences of your post are not true. You are all of the things you think you are not. And nothing that you do qualifies as "just" living. You are phenomenal.