*This piece talks about mental health, and some aspects of this piece may be triggering for someone recovering. If you are in need of mental health help and are a current UVA student, please contact CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) at (434) 243-5150 during the day. If you are in crisis and need help after hours, please call 434-243-5150 or 911 if you need immediate help.
I have a confession to make: lately, I’ve been struggling to keep myself together. I miss deadlines, forget to text people back. Turn things in exactly at 11:59pm. Call it the mid-semester reckoning, or midterm season, or simply being burnt out, but I (and I’m sure many of you) do not know how to manage it lately. Work is boring, I wake up more tired than when I went to sleep. I can’t find inspiration for anything.
A soft recovery is vulnerable. Fragile bones in gaunt skin, delicate like egg shells, stress the word wan. Weak.
Another day waking up anxious. Eyes fluttering open are accompanied by a tight chest and a churning stomach. There are no butterflies. September to December brought a four month long writer’s block with one poem and a headache to show for it. Outside grows steadily darker, but the blinds on the bedroom have been broken. It’s been dark since 3:00 pm.
The Road Not Taken
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both”
- Robert Frost
Two sides of the same coin
Stuck on the edge
Between the grooves
Waiting to fall
Now I’ll go
Traveling through the path chosen
Opting to have another
Always does not mean
Does anyone else get how absurd it is?
To hope, you have no choice but to do so wholeheartedly; it is faith and grace and courage, the heaviest and hardest, yet packaged as airy and leavened; it’s “the thing with feathers”, of course.
Even just saying the word, it’s impossible not to open up your mouth and chest, letting out an exhale after.
The average color of the universe is cosmic latte—a light beige. Not a dark, swirling black or a brilliant flash of yellow. A warm, boring, in the middle beige. Perfectly suited for Goldilocks. I’d like to imagine that if all of my experiences were poured into a glass jar and mixed like a can of paint, a pristine shade of cosmic latte would emerge.