The world in the predawn is quiet. The coffee is cold (Adam made it sometime last night) but the girl scout cookie creamer makes it taste very yummy and very welcome. It’s the first not black coffee I’ve had in over a week. This morning, it is a very welcome change.
This morning I’m chilly, despite it being 75 degrees at 5am. I’m wrapped in a shawl but I’m not sure if it is as much because I’m cold as because I just want the almost hug of the shawl. I add a scarf/wrap to the outfit I’m wearing to work today. And my little stone Buddha…
My backpack is packed. Computer, gym clothes, assorted geek paraphernalia. DVD of Disney pictures to add to my computer at work…
I’m trying valiantly this morning to drown out the words, and the feelings that go along with the words, that keep running through my mind. It’s not working. Big shock.
Why is it that it takes so little to bring back all of the things that I have ever heard people say to me that have made me feel small, scared, and less valued and valuable? I don’t usually think about the things that I have accomplished. I VERY rarely bring them up. I don’t want to sound like I think I’m all that or that I think I’m better than anyone. I don’t. I’m not. I’m… just not.
But I still have my honor tassel from high school. I graduated in the top 10% of my class. When I do the math, that means I was one of the top 20 or so people. That wasn’t shabby. Yeah, I guess I was a scag and a dog and knowing what I know now, I was very much out of the normal realm of things. I remember sitting under the kitchen table (green plastic chair seats at eye level, the metal of the chair legs cool against my legs) twisting my ponytail in my fingers or chewing on the end of the ponytail hiding from the world. Maybe it was my way of hiding in the cream can that (had I been born in a cream can and everyone knew then what they know now) I might never have been let out of.
I treasure the day that I graduated from Pitt. A “4 year degree” is possible in 2 years and 4 months. It’s even possible with a decent QPA. If I had been able to do it the “right” way, I might have been able to have been a cum laude graduate. What I treasure most about that day was the fact that my kids (5 and 3 at the time) got to see me walk at commencement. And at least Adam actually remembers my graduate day.
I’m not stupid. This morning I struggle to remind myself that I’m not stupid. This morning, that isn’t easy. I want desperately to take a box of rocks in and sit it on my desk as proof that I may not be as good as anyone else, but I’m at least better than a box of rocks. I know that the symbolism would be lost in the posturing.
I go over and over and over the motivational pictures that I have squirreled away on my computer. I try all of the tricks that I espouse to other people. I wipe the errant tears on the sleeve of my shirt. I drink a little coffee and wrap the shawl a little tighter around my shoulders.
Today is a day to fight the words that chase around in my head. I do my best to beat back the words that, like chain chomp from Mario games, threaten to break the chain that tethers them to the farthest reaches of my mind… to fortify that chain and to poke holes in the feelings that they chase from the gloom. Today will be a day for the music that soothes the soul.