I’ve survived my first class. And I don’t think the students suspected anything. Of course, none of them know me, so they really have no way to gauge what is “normal” for me.
As soon as we wrapped up, I bolted from campus. I had to get home. I needed to be inside the safety of my own home.
On the 25 minute drive back, I began listening to a book my mom recommended: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. I’m so grateful I did! I’d enjoyed reading Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love roughly 10 years ago. After listening to the first 15 minutes of Big Magic, I already suspect that reading Gilbert’s insight and wisdom is going to be a life-changing experience.
What’s happened to me?
I used to be so fearless. I sought out adventure. I moved to Chicago a few months after graduating with a B.A.in creative writing. I traveled cross country on a solo road trip to California and back in 2002. I took a blacksmithing course at the local museum of art just a few years later. I’ve presented at academic conferences in New Orleans, Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Tarpon Springs (Florida), Nashville, Fort Collins, Denver, Albuquerque, St. Louis, Chicago.
I guess life slowly chips away at a person. It is like a mental corrosive — acid rain in the brain. Some days, I feel as if I am slowly dissolving. The only difference is that I am washing away from the inside out rather than the outside in.
It is as if I’ve become an expert at corroding away. Funny, because my Depressed Brain usually likes to convince me I’m good at nothing. At all.
I’m more afraid of the dungeon that is my mind than the dark, damp basement of my childhood home.
But maybe it is possible to delight in life again. Listening to Gilbert’s Big Magic, I feel almost hopeful. I don’t know if I’ve held on because of that hope or out of pure stubbornness.
Probably a little bit of both.
Next class is at 2pm.