Shelter in Place: Day 57

Hello, fellow Earthlings,

For the past few days, I’ve been witness to that certain spring dance, interwoven rain and sunshine, the wind building temples of cloud over the Bay.

I’ve been here so long that I can no longer remember if everywhere is this beautiful. Or if it is only that the simple things have become unbearably beautiful to me.

Seeing people’s faces, sharing a conversation, watching the trees move and the poppies blossom and fade. Everything has become burdened with joy.

I walked to Home Depot today. It felt horribly normal. I felt on the walk, as I often have, that this is all just a strange dream. I will wake soon and it will be March again. I will have just turned 27. I will still be going to work every day. I will still be waiting to hear back from grad programs. My uncle will still be alive.

But it is no more a dream than the rest of reality.

Something I have been thinking about, something that has been keeping me awake at nights, is this intense desire to be “good”.

What do I mean by good?

I mean everything. I want to be a good writer. I want to be a good person. I want to be a good sibling, offspring, grandchild, friend. I want to be on the right side of history. I want to do everything correctly the first time and never be wrong.

You know, good.

And, of course, by good, I don’t really mean good, I mean great. I mean the best. I mean this coal that burns in my heart telling me that I will never be enough unless I am utterly perfect in every aspect of my existence.

You know, good.

This is a battle I’ve been waging my whole life. The battle to accept myself (and everyone else) as human. It is brought to the forefront when I am under stress. It pushed its way forward following the 2018 election. It has returned with a vengeance now.

I care so deeply sometimes about doing everything perfectly that it prevents me from doing anything at all. I care so much about being good that it stops me from existing.

So, I’m working to re-code “good” in my brain.

Good means waking up. Good means getting out of bed and drinking coffee. Good means feeding Scout, maybe brushing him. Good means stretching and brushing my teeth. Good means watching endless hours of The Simpsons because that’s what I need to do some days. Good means replying to emails. Good means not replying to emails. Good means calling my mom.

Good means making mistakes and crying and getting angry and being frustrated and forgiving myself and forgiving others and forgiving myself some more. Good means ordering DoorDash without feeling like a traitor.

Good means allowing myself the room to breathe.

You know, good.

As always, I will continue to work. I will continue to write.

Sending love to you all. Hope you are all good.




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