Getting through a fog

There’s been so much on my mind lately that I don’t know how to condense any of it to words or paragraphs that make sense together. Exhaustion lies on top of me like a sheet of dust, something I can’t get rid of most nights.

‘How’s your graduate program going? I’m sure you love it.’ This phrase follows me around like a shadow I don’t want. Because it results in an automated reply that I don’t mean: ‘it’s great- i’m enjoying it.’ The truth, I think, would shake whomever is asking. And I don’t think I could stop shaking if I offered the truth either. But here it is: for the first time in my life, I am not enjoying school. I never understood the complains of classmates in high school, let alone undergrad. I love learning- I could do it forever. But what I found during my 4 years in undergrad was a mission for myself. I found my goals, my spirituality, and what I now know to be my purpose. A passion erupted from me for the study of literature and the creation of it as well. I should have known that after such a love, most of everything would fall short.

I don’t quite know how to deal with certain feelings: the dread of driving to the university every morning, the relief of falling into bed at night, the insanely strong desire to be alone, the resentment for doing any homework. These feelings are unlike what I have ever felt before. There is an unhappiness about me always, but this is something else entirely. For the first time I am truly dissatisfied with what I am doing.

Reading and writing keep me sane. But I value the study and creation of literature for more than my own sanity. In fact, I value it for the opposite at times- for forcing me to dive deeper into my consciousness than I ever thought possible, for allowing me to fixate on the insane until I question what exactly it means to go mad. But I feel stuck, because the only time I can devote to literature is the surface level (writing a poem a day if I can, reading in breaks during the day). I deeply miss and mourn the ability to devote my learning to literature.

I doubt if I made the right choice in graduate programs. Although this option is practical and more secure, not feeling invigorated by the subject matter truly terrifies me. Literature reminds that the demons that exist within me are okay and necessary- that this black fog of sadness and hopelessness that sticks to me sometimes is something many others have withstood. Artists confront an inevitable sadness and loneliness, and although I try often to deny that this part of me exists (especially how prevalent it is), I know that without it, I couldn’t value creation the way in which I do or create on my own. As of late, the black fog is dense and I can’t see through to the light. I need to get back to my purpose: to appreciate and create literature.

One benefit of feeling out of place is that it allows me to find other ambitions in my life that I had not before thought of. Dancing has become a release. Meditation has become possible. I am able to feel a deep connection when I dance, a current of magnetism between my body and my soul, a reminder that I am still so deeply myself despite this temporary unhappiness.

I feel really lost and then a little bit found. But those moments in which I feel found are truly remarkable and inspiring. One such moment is what got me here, writing this.

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