Someone, someone could tell me
Where I belong
Be calm, be brave, it’ll be okay
I went for a run last night right before the storm. It was the first time in weeks that I ran more than a mile and felt like stopping because I was tired, not because I was in pain. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to wheeze and feel like I wanted to fall over.
The whole time I kept thinking about this place. It seems hard to describe existing now only as a memory. A beach house on the marsh. The night air is stuffy, humid and mosquito infested. It’s dangerous to walk out on the porch without bug spray or maybe a death wish. But the sky was clear with so many stars, it was hard to focus on one place. So many stars spanning out over the marsh and toward an open ocean. In the distance there are muffled voices and music, but they don’t stifle the air. No, they make it feel more crisp, more real. And beneath the sky there are miles of tall grasses infested with insects and creatures, teeming with life. The lightning bugs are so many that they mirror the open night sky. They blink on and off ceremoniously. And there is nothing but dimly lit houses and just space.
I’d like to be there now. I’d like to feel that freedom. I’d like many things that are unlike what is turning out. What is so often the case. At times, the things I hear myself say seem dramatic. It seems everyone is making due. And how many times have I been told I won’t get my dream job right away? How many times have you taken a job that you have to convince yourself more into than you can out of?
The way of the world frustrates me beyond explaining. When I applied to school, it wasn’t really seeking out some dream and making it real. It was applying where I could afford and where I could get in. Honestly, I feel angry with the ideas so ingrained in me that I should dream big and search out these huge ideas. I think it could be more simple. I think people could be more honest.
So, here I am. Almost employed by a job I can’t quite find a reason to feel happy about other than it’s a job. And I’m ashamed to feel the way I do. I know so many people don’t have a job at all. But the fact that I have to take a job simply because it’s a job makes me feel like I’m succumbing to something I don’t want to.
But one run can make me calm down, can make me forget that I haven’t been able to sleep for nights. It’s a rhythm I’ve been missing more than anything else. Mostly because it is the most free thing I have. There is nothing inhibiting my actions except the muscles and bones I drag along with me. And sometimes I have to even forget what they tell me. When my knee is aching on every step. When the pain puts a constant grimace on my face. I have to push through the last mile because I have the freedom to do so. And perhaps that pushing will only make things worse. It will make the pain grow and swallow my knee, shoot up my thigh and leave me hobbled. But at least it was my doing that made it that way. The air is abnormally humid and despite the tightness in my chest, it felt easier to breathe than ever before. Running in the calm before the inevitable storm. It felt nice to forget that there is nothing simple about the lifestyle I’ve stumbled into. And I yearn for a time where I may feel free to do what I really want to do. A liberty I’ve never truly had, but I miss it like I miss dark, humid nights watching distant lights turn on and off. I want to remember dreams and hopes like I remember that night on the deck. I want them to feel real, touchable, and innumerable.