I went from a hundred to zero in a matter of seconds. Or that’s how it feels. I was working and scrambling and barely keeping up. Then everything stopped. And I stopped. And I haven’t been able to really get going again. I’m at work, but my mind is elsewhere. I’m getting things done, but nowhere near the volume I was producing over the last few months. It’s weird to still be sitting at my desk but suddenly be so disengaged.
I’m feeling disengaged from a lot of things right now. In this weary state, what I want is to exercise, read and write. Nothing more. And the exercise can be social. I’m meeting one of my best friends for tennis tonight. I ran this morning with a dear friend. I went for a long walk yesterday with another new-ish but precious friend. I love engagement with people in that space. But other engagement is hard right now. I mostly want to be in my head.
I think some of it has to do with my trip home last weekend. I shouldn’t say home. Corpus hasn’t been my home since I was 16. But I drove by the two houses we lived in and both made me sad. The first house – the one I grew up in – is in decent shape, I guess, but the neighborhood is dilapidated. The fence surrounding the neighborhood is falling apart. Even the name of the neighborhood has worn off the entrance. And the one I lived in when we moved into Corpus proper looked unloved. The windows were covered, and the driveway was gated and blocked by a big boat that made it look more like a storage facility than a home.
I remember my childhood fondly. It wasn’t all easy, but I was a pretty happy kid, and I had a big imagination and lots of dreams. My dreams haven’t changed really. I want to be good at a sport, and I want to be a good writer. That’s what I wanted when I was writing Ralph Macchio’s biography in middle school. That’s what I wanted when I spent hours a day on the tennis court both before and after school up until I left for boarding school. Actually, I didn’t want to be good. I wanted to be extraordinary at those things. I still do.
I don’t feel extraordinary at anything right now. I thought as I aged that my wants might change. Maybe I’d settle into family life and raising a kid and working and taking trips and be okay with those things. Maybe that need to excel would settle. But I don’t have a family. I don’t have a kid. My work is not who I am. And travel, while I love it, is disruptive in a sense because it shows me an “other” than I don’t live, if that makes sense.
All of that to say that I feel like I’m preparing mentally to chase something right now. I know I am. And that chase is going to take more of my focus than is probably appropriate given my obligations. But I’m determined to engage in the chase. I felt the little kid in me when I drove through my hometown, and I want to honor that kid in a way that I haven’t to date.
I think she was a pretty cool kid. Not cool as in lifted collar and jeans rolled up. By that standard, she was most definitely uncool. But cool as in awesome. She had big dreams, a lot of determination, and a deep deep love for her friends. I felt that kid again this weekend. I think she had been lulled to stillness. But something woke her up. I feel her something fierce.