I constantly say the words "Never. Give. Up."
So much in fact that it is my mantra when I actually get my booty out the door and run. "Never give up. Never give up. Never give up." The words punch through my brain and hammer away at the voice that tells me to stop.
I say it so much that I will refuse to quit anything. I'll go back to writing projects that I know aren't working. I'll stay in relationships that haunt me. I'll breathe life into the dead, expecting them to rise. The problem is that when something lacks a heartbeat, there is only coldness left. We all know that if you spend too much time without heat, you'll eventually freeze.
For about nine months after my last relationship ended I had a very rigorous schedule outlined for myself. I would wake up at a certain time every morning. Before I went to sleep every single item on my to do list had to be completed. Lunch had to be packed for the next day. My work out NEEDED to be completed, at least an hour every day. I was breaking my back, day in and day out. I was working two jobs and going to bed at midnight at the earliest. Sleep was put last. I was aiming for perfection and wondering why I still felt so imperfect. Looking back the answer is simple. I wasn't living. I was running away from the memories of someone who didn't deserve my fear.
The first thing I gave up was the perfection. It is so very okay to be frazzled. I embrace my mess now. I thought I did before but my inner voice was still such a bitch. "Why did you eat that? Why did you drink that? Why didn't you do ...." The list goes on.
There's a giant pile of laundry at my house that I'm in love with. It's organized chaos that says, "I have other priorities." I have quit trying to make it go away. My bed is made and the dishes are done. If I do that laundry I won't have time to write this blog post. If I do that laundry I won't have time to watch an episode of my new favorite tv show with my boyfriend later. That laundry is a sign of happiness. I just didn't know that before.
I buy lunch every day this year. I felt so guilty about this. Shouldn't I be making lunch and saving money? Except I like going to the cafe across the street from school. I get to escape the madness of teaching in the inner city for a few minutes. I don't buy my morning cup of coffee anymore and it balances it out. That's the key word. Balance.
I preach about balance but the thing is I suck at it. I suck at being balanced. More often then not the scale is falling in the wrong direction and I'm sprawled across the floor.
The last time I was on the floor was because I fell off my boyfriends bed as he played video games. I was attempting to figure out where I should write for a few minutes. When I hopped back on, I stuck my feet in his face. He laughed at me and gave me a kiss. The laundry isn't done, but I'm loved. The laundry isn't done, but I have a job. The laundry isn't done, but I'm happy.
I have no balance, but as I fumble it becomes more of a dance.
You don't have to be perfect. I promise.
We can quit ... just as long as we don't give up.
About the blog:
Emily Ann Hansen
I'm a writer and teacher living in Baltimore City. I'm originally from Chicago. I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Fiction. Instead of babbling, I will list a few of the things in life that make me happy: