I sometimes get overwhelmed. I can only describe this feeling as being bitch-slapped by Life (that might be my first blog curse word). I get this way every once in a while, just simply overwhelmed by the weight of the world, both my own and that outside me. My health, my job, my friends, my family, war, politics, poverty, loneliness, confusion, separation, illness, frustration. I find it all too impossible to sort through. I hit one of these points this week. I do it to myself. Talking too much, listening too much, reading too much, thinking too much. I called my best friend, who I had seen less than an hour before, and sat with him for the next hour and a half, many moments of that time spent in silence, as he tried to help me come up with an answer. What to do to make it better. We talked about keeping busy, but not by enveloping yourself in the problems, as I am want to do. About finding a way to change the things we actually have control over. About letting go. About rest. About prayer, which I am skeptical of until I am desperate. About humor. About inspiration. About effortless joy. About What Not to Wear.
I had a professor in grad school named Alan Levine. He was basically an expert on support groups and on grief, loss and bereavement. He was by far my favorite professor and one of the only ones who I didn't find pretentious and full of crap. From what I remember, he was the only professor I had who acknowledged the weight and importance of our work, and how this may affect our perspective and our lives. I had him for classes my last two semesters of grad school, and on the last day of the second class I took with him, he gave us some good advice about living and working and maintaining a certain level of sanity. In life you need the 5 Fs--Good Food, Good Friends, Good Family, Good Fun and Good...well, I've already sworn once here today, so I can't say it, but it's there. I think this is true, and I have this...well most of it. Generally, the good food, fun and friends are combined, and this is the greatest blessing in my life. I have an amazing set of friends, with whom I can laugh and cry, eat things with gluten, lament the stupidity of my days, extol the wonder that is Justin Timberlake, confess and be accepted for my secret love of show tunes, be given the family that I've always longed for. And that just about covers it all.