Saturday, August 06, 2005

Trying to Keep Perspective

Sometimes blogging is therapeutic for me. I'm frustrated about something or angry and I can blog about it. In the process, as I'm choosing words and trying out the phrasing, playing with the language I'm crafting the experience in, some part of the anger and frustration gets siphoned away by the creative process. It's something akin to the Law of Conservation of Matter, only more metaphysical than physical. I keep a sporadic journal as well and if someone were to read that journal, they would think I spent my whole life depressed or anxious or furious, when really, it's just that those are the times that I needed to write, to get the poison onto the page where it can't hurt as much as it does in your veins, to tell someone the things that I don't dare say out loud to anyone else in the whole world.

But then there are the things in life that make you feel as though the rug has been pulled out from underneath your feet. You question your sanity because suddenly, the order of the world is utterly different from the order you've been forced to recognize suddenly. How do you bring your life back into perspective? How do you make yourself feel secure and grounded in reality again? How do you solve the puzzle when you realize that the pieces have a different shape than you thought they did?

With the distance of a decade and change, I've come to realize that a lot of adolescence is spent in this very state. It's why, as John Ciardi said, "You don't need to suffer to be a poet, adolescence is enough suffering for anyone". And for this very reason, I've come to really enjoy working with teenagers. I love seeing them working through the hormonal haze and forming the first outlines of the adults they will become, putting out those first tendrils of empathy and understanding that others are suffering in the same way as they are, that we're all lonely souls at heart, at least some of the time. It's one reason why my volunteer work with YFU has been so satisfying for me.

How, then, does an adult properly come to terms with this kind of tumult? I got up this morning and I did what I had to do. There were many moments throughout the day when all I really wanted to do was crawl back into bed and stay there, but I know that would be a huge mistake. So, instead I met Asako for coffee. I went grocery shopping with Will. I made it through today. Tomorrow is waiting for me and I'm trying to remember that if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, I'll make it through tomorrow and then the day after that and the day after that.


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