22 February 2012

Giving up

Last night I had a dream about a friend coming to work and showing off his new girlfriend to everyone and I decided it was time to quit. Not the job--nothing sacrificed in or to the world of a dream this morning--but the things in life I try and hold in the palm of my hand that are too heavy to even touch.

Give up, and start breathing
better ...                                  
I gave up on my Black History series days ago, and to some extent it was okay because in the end I don't think too many people noticed and those who did aren't saying anything so I feel blessed in my decision. But also to a larger extent because it made me tired to be writing up a history only some people know and never focusing on my own. It was exhausting. It was like running a marathon and sometimes I would finish a post breathless and remember my days of fatty-asthma where I couldn't breathe not because of genes or environmental factors but because my lungs and the rest of my body were trying to send me a message that they, too, were quitting on me if I didn't start taking them more seriously. Those Black History posts were my asthmatic-time-to-call-it-quits moments. Even writing about them is taking my breath away a little bit. So I think I'll give up on that, too.

I don't think of giving up as a failure. Not a complete one, anyway. But look ... once you've tried so hard so much for so long you're allowed a break from trying. Or maybe, your universe will tell you it's time to take a break from trying. Or maybe it's God breathing in your ear, "Hey, honey, what I'm trying to tell you is just stop trying so hard." Or maybe that's your roommate. Or your family. Or if you're honest it's nobody but your body is starting to wear out on you and your bones ache in the mornings and your nose runs and your stomach turns and everything around and inside you is just saying, "Okay ... enough."

I went to bed last night around one and one of the last thoughts I can remember thinking was thinking, "Am I Black enough yet?" and in a dream I was checking my hands in the dark and when I couldn't see them it was enough.

I wrote in my journal that I can't tell if my students stay in my classes because they like what I'm doing or they're just stuck with me and no better alternatives and I closed my journal on the signing of my name thinking that's enough.

I started thinking about a song I used to love called "Small Enough" in which the singer sings, "Oh, great God, be small enough to hear me now" and now all I can think is that maybe God starts singing back, "Yes, you, too" and I wonder if I'm small enough yet but I don't think so.

Today I'm giving up on being big and giving little a little room to breathe.

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