Speed Limits

Hi there. It’s been a while. Or, at least, it’s been longer than it was supposed to be.

I decided to skip making a post last Monday because, to be honest, I felt like that was the better choice. Heading into the preceding weekend, I had been mulling over a couple of topics in my head but hadn’t firmly committed to anything or started any detailed research.

That weekend, of course, was the start of Mount Allison’s fall reading week, which meant I had a week off from classes spanning in front of me. Although I didn’t have to go to class, I knew I had a number of assignments that I should work on, along with memorizing the script for a play in which I’m performing early next semester.

Furthermore, it had been previously determined that my parents would be visiting for the week, and their flight arrived on Saturday evening.

None of this was a surprise to me. I knew the circumstances of my reading week far in advance. That just made it all the more difficult to admit that I probably wouldn’t be able to make a satisfactory blog post for that Monday.

On Sunday evening, I stared at the blank space that I was supposed to be filling with text. I typed something and quickly erased it. I googled a few things, bookmarked a few sources, and couldn’t even finish my introductory paragraph. I switched to a different topic and lost any sense of the conclusion I planned to draw.

Eventually, I sighed, closed my laptop, and went to play cards with my parents at the kitchen table. I decided that I would rather spend the week enjoying the limited time I had with family and working on the projects that I absolutely had to finish as opposed to worrying about a “bonus activity” like making a blog post.

Earlier this evening — just over a week later — I found myself staring at a blank space again and wondering if anything had changed. My parents left this afternoon. I still have more projects and assignments to do. I don’t even know if I have my script memorized and I’m supposed to be off-book at a rehearsal in less than an hour.

I’m worried that I should have spent more time with my parents, because I don’t get to see them very often and our visits will probably just become less frequent in the future. I’m worried that I should have spent more time working on projects for university, because I know the end of term is coming up and I don’t know if I’m ready. I’m worried that my inability to balance all of that stuff with something as simple as writing a blog post means I’m a failure — or, if I’m not a failure yet, that I will inevitably, irredeemably become one.

I’m scared, and I’m lonely, and I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few years, months, weeks, days, or even hours. Every bone in my body is begging me to slow down, every atom has the weight of multitudes. I got out of bed this morning because it felt like I had forgotten how to fall asleep.

Please do not misunderstand me; this is not a cry for help. I don’t give up easily. This feeling will pass. I know it will, because it always has before.

On a Monday evening in mid-November, I stared at a blank space and didn’t know how to fill it. After a few minutes of still silence, I reached out my hand to close my laptop, but I hesitated. In a moment, I realized that that wasn’t the story that I wanted to write for myself.

I can’t promise myself or anyone else that things are going to work out perfectly all the time, or even some of the time. But I can keep trying my hardest, and that’s going to have to be good enough.

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