I’ve been gone for awhile. The world got extra crazy towards the end of the semester and I spent most of break doing the bare minimum required of being a person. There was a lot of sleep and a lot of Netflix. There was a lot of avoiding the unpleasant truth that I thought things would be exponentially better when I got back to Indiana and they weren’t.
Over break, over the past semester, heck, over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time trying not to be where I am. It’s a struggle of mine. Always has been and there are only a handful of places in the whole world that ease it. But that’s not really the point. The point is that after this first week of the new semester, when things still didn’t get better, a.k.a when I still wasn’t magically in a better place, I realized two related things.
First, as my former therapist told me, “Sit where you are.” If you were watching me while I was writing this (shout out to the NSA!) you would see my shoulders tighten in a protective posture as I type that phrase. I don’t like it. I don’t like the idea of it. I’m a runner. I mean, not physically, because Jesus. Emotionally, however, I am a champion distance runner. I can run into a book or I can run into sleep or I can run into a project or I can run into my own imagination. As Regina Spektor sings, “Standing still is hard.” Nevertheless, even I have to admit that the longer I try to run from where I am the longer I stay stuck. I have to sit where I am.
She was right, of course. I thought that by taking time away from this place that I would have more time for other things. For grading and writing and sleeping and all the things that needed to get done. It turns out, that didn’t happen. The longer I was away from here, from writing just for writing’s sake, the less time I had for anything and the more unhealthy I became, literally. My immune system tanked and I had mild insomnia.
I need to work on being fully present in my life especially when the life I have does not particularly resemble the life I want and part of that is committing to writing because I suffer when I don’t. These observations, I know, are not exactly new or profound.
All of this is really preamble anyway. I just wanted you to know that I am committing to being here, to posting here. I’m starting out at three times a week. #TeachingTuesdays will resume this Tuesday and I’m excited about sharing some new teaching ideas with you. In addition to #TeachingTuesdays I’m committing, to you and myself, to post at least one other time during the work week and once over the weekend.
It always kind amazes me that anyone takes the time to read this. I appreciate it. I appreciate you. I am back and I’m going to stick around for a while.