I’ve been doing great. I’ve been productive and feeling powerful. I have been too busy to feel alone or sad or angry. I’m always at my best when I’m getting things done; when I’m killing it by finishing my to-do-list. It is no secret that I struggle with productivity. I’ve always worked in bursts – getting things done against the clock and then needing some time off to recharge. I’ve always felt that if only I could work at the same burst-like speed always, I would be even better, unstoppable. But, there always comes a time when I can’t do it anymore. Somehow, I’ve always been successful. I think that it irked M. that I wouldn’t study as hard, or spend as long writing essays, but that I would often outscore him. I was in a hard science, a pretty tough department, and had a higher GPA, graduated with more honors. I outscored him at the SATs, the IB diploma, the GREs… I got 5 acceptances to different PhD programs, while he didn’t get in and had to wait a year to start a less competitive master’s program.
I’ve been thinking a lot about “If-“by Kipling. Written for his son and elevating him to 19 and 20th century virtues, it is a poem beloved by many. When reading it post-divorce it shined in a new light. After all, this poem is about resilience and stoic virtues, this ultra British values. It is about being honorable in the face of adversity. The poem is a masterpiece, here is the first half of it, although I suggest you go and read the rest:
I had an above average week last week. One of those weeks when I have absolutely no problem believing that everything will eventually be just fine. I will have a safe and fulfilled future surrounded by people who love me (which is a lot like my present state). Then I went to therapy and I lost it, and I got extremely sad. In fact, I became sad talking about my sadness. For you see, the new bane of my existence is what I like to call the Unexpected Bouts of Sadness – UBS for short. Continue reading
Today was a good day. Not a “not sad” day or an “above average” day. Today was a good day.
I still woke up alone and went to bed alone. But I wasn’t lonely.
Today I had science, I had friends, I had flirting with strangers, I had my own mightiness.
Today, I also had to face some of M.’s fangirls. I was there, in his school, for hours and hours. I was riding a high from being with friends and being appreciated because I had volunteered to help. Some people stared daggers at me, people that I had called friends pretended I didn’t exist, some unknowing person asked me when M. was coming back from abroad. “Well, I don’t know, specially given that M. is currently staying with some other girl”. Yet, today was a good day.
For today, for an entire day, I deeply believed that everything will be okay. Tomorrow might be a day full of sorrow, who the heck knows? But today was a good day.
I has been two weeks since that day at the therapist when I was begging M. to give us a shot. Back then I kept playing this song from the musical “The Last Five Years” on repeat, “Still Hurting”. It is the first song of the musical, sang from Cathy’s perspective as she is telling the story of how her marriage fell apart. In many ways Jamie is very similar to M., successful, charming, needs constant validation, and ultimately unfaithful. Cathy and I have some things in common as well, we are both insecure and we don’t take rejection well, although I’m successful as well and my career hasn’t struggled. Here goes the song with a few comments:
Today was a good day. A decent day.
I set up small goals (very small goals). Mainly to just do some work and cook myself dinner. I accomplished both goals. Then, I went the extra mile and went to a bar with friends. It ended up being just two guys and me. It has been a while since the last time I just hung out with guys. I learned to play shuffleboard.
Today’s crying was minimal. Just a quick moment in front of my vanity when I was overwhelmed with sadness, but then I carried on with my day. That’s a decent day for now. A day with minimal crying.