I started today with deep internal conversation. I was determined. This week, I said to myself, yes this week will be better. I will not end up exhausted just from spending nine hours in my office each day. I will not lose my temper. I will not withdraw into myself to pout and mope. No, this week will be better. Yes, I have lots to accomplish this week, but maybe, after the sadness and the contemplation of last week, I’ve gotten it out of my system and I can get to the office and work instead of pouting and bitching and moaning and hating my office.
But then, as the internet goes down, as my email fails, I pick up The Chronicles of Narnia that is sitting on my desk. I open it, read it, immerse myself in it for a few brief minutes before turning back to the computer and to non-internet related work. Then, the boss returns from where ever he was, sees me reading the Chronicles, leans over my shoulder and shouts “nerd, nerd, nerd, nerd, nerd!” and I am, at the very least, catapulted back to the doomed feeling of last week, to the wretchedness of wanting nothing other than to curl up in a deep, dark hole and sleep for the next three months.
And so it starts. Yet another week of this feeling, this beaten down feeling. It is illogical. I have prided myself on having tough skin, having the will to fight back, having the ability to let things roll off, but lately those things have become nonexistent. Every snide comment, every remark that would have been funny three months ago is hurtful. I am not myself. I am super-sensitive for no reason. I am, in a word, exhausted.
I am different in the office. More stressed. More prickly. More bitter. More every-negative-trait-listed-in-the-dictionary. I leave for lunch, I get sunshine on my face, I laugh and joke with N, and I am fine. More than fine. I am happy, peaceful. I come back into the office, still thinking of the sunshine, and I am okay. Briefly. The negativity all comes back eventually for reasons I cannot explain. I count the seconds until I can escape the office, even if the escape is only for a few minutes. I anticipate getting the mail because it means at least 15 office-free minutes. After the mail, I nearly hold my breath as I watch the minutes pass, waiting expectantly for the end of the day, hoping to hold onto the ceasefire for 97 more minutes, 63 more minutes, 38 more minutes, okay now, just 8 more minutes until it’s over, just 7 more minutes. You get the idea.
Is it possible that after nearly 33 million seconds spent deployed I am finally starting to get that caged feeling? Maybe. But I am comforted in knowing that I have barely 7 million seconds remaining until it’s over. I have completed 83% of the deployment and have a mere 17% left. Yes, that’s right; leave it to me, the Sociology major, the hater of math, to be comforted by numbers. Cold, hard, logical numbers that promise to me in these moments of exhaustion and sadness (yes, they are but mere moments, not days as my most recent blog posts would have you believe) that things will, given time, change. (Wait, change?! I love you, change. I hate you, change. You make the world go round, change. You make life suck, change. Change, you’re a tricky bitch, but I’m content in loving you while contemplating your demise.)