Hi, my name is Carrie and I'm having a quarter-life crisis.
If you didn't already know.
Focusing on races and regaling you with nothing but tales of my training would be fine and well if I myself was fine and well. But I'm not.
Physically, because my body is staging a horrible, unprovoked, unnecessary rebellion against my training. I have, on several occasions since booking it, considered canceling my physio appointment tomorrow. I don't want to pay good money for bad news. I know what they are going to tell me, and I don't want to hear it. How can something that makes my heart sing make my body hurt the way it does?
Mentally, because I have hidden the sad truth of my situation even from myself. I only recognize myself in small fragments, but on the whole, I don't know who this person is who stays inside all day and can't find work. I don't want it to be me; I hide my eyes from my own reflection. I'm sick of telling the kind souls who ask that no, I haven't found a job yet. Sick of explaining how yet another disaster has blown up out of nowhere and scattered my flimsy little life all over the place.
When you can't drive, freedom isn't a whim - it's a long series of measured steps, planned hours if not days in advance. You can talk all you like about your healthy, hippy, walking lifestyle, but in the winter you still feel like a second-class citizen when to get to where you need to be it takes two hours on the city bus. When you aren't making money, every single time you enter your pin number into a debit machine, it feels more like you are agreeing to have your blood drawn from your veins. "You can't take it," you seethe silently, "It's mine and it's precious and its in limited supply." When you don't work and don't know the people where you live, and on top of all that, your cell phone provider is even charging you for incoming long distance, you make-believe that the people in books and in tv shows and on twitter are enough for you, that their accomplishments suffice; and that you really value all this time to yourself anyways.
More than anything though, you're angry at yourself. You can't fathom how you got here, no matter how many times you discuss it and mull it over and sicken yourself of both the latter and the former. You second-guess every decision you've ever made. And you curse yourself for not being more grateful. Who are you, after all, to complain? You have people you love you and those same people keep propping you up so that you can eat and pay your bills and take your two-hour bus rides. At least you thought ahead and registered for two races for this year in the last. At least you can walk. At least you can read. At least you have hot water in the shower and cool water to drink. At least you didn't lose everything in a tsunami. At least you're not dead.
I really am grateful for those things. I do know that I'm lucky. And I know that envy is a horrible, no good, very bad thing. But it's awfully hard not to see the things that everyone else has, and wonder why their age group race wins/uncomplicated relationships/travel adventures/photos with friends/happy, successful day jobs/puppies/forward momentum can't be a part of my life too.
People I hardly know are liable to make me all kinds of promises about all the great stuff that's lurking around the next corner for me. But for the past four, almost five months, I've opened doors that lead to brick walls and tried to climb through windows with impenetrable glass. As much as I sometimes feel like I've run out of steam, I know that if I don't keep trying, throwing myself into rejection and potential calamity, that change will never happen. So I push on. I hope that one day I will look back and see a moral in all of this. Maybe, like the Nazca Lines, it will only be visible from far above and beyond.
I wanted to thank you (all of you who know who you are and all of you reading, too) for being patient that this blog has lately been less about awesome than I had once hoped. For caring and saying nice things like this:
Fall down seven times. Stand up eight. -- Japanese proverb.
I am trying my hardest.