I've been feeling sad lately. I haven't wanted to say anything about it. I thought it would pass. Maybe it will pass.
For a month or so now, I've been overtaken most days, mid afternoon, by a sinking, swamping sadness. My heart literally aches. I feel pressure behind my eyes, a rising tide of tears without an obvious source. When this becomes unbearable, I slip my sneakers on, take myself out for a walk, a run.
It works, this infusion of oxygen to my blood. The tide recedes.
But come the next afternoon, I'm back where I started.
Sometimes, it isn't sadness, but panic that hits me. I feel as if I've been riding a lawnmower all day, drinking coffee by the gallon. Even my skin seems to be vibrating. I've had headaches most nights this week. I never have headaches! And for the record, I haven't mowed the lawn in six weeks and I don't drink coffee at all.
I toured the MFA program at the local college the other day, walked away (in the pouring rain) feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. Academia, I am reminding, is not to be entered into lightly. "I'm not sure it's the answer," I told my new, and very wise friend, C~.
"What's the question?" she replied.
I told you she was wise.
It took me two days to realize, the question is this: If not motherhood, then what?
There are a million perfectly good answers, some of which excite me, at the right time of day. But at this moment, they all sound like "get a job" or "go to school." And frankly (can you guess what time it is?) my heart isn't in it.