These are some good-looking ruts.
Last week when I got on the elliptical after lifting some weights (it's always time to do arms), everything was perfect and the "running" just happened and it felt good and I was trying the whole way through.

Today I forced myself out of bed, slowly, but not too slowly, because it is always better to get out and up and start thinking and doing. But I didn't do anything, really. I now know that I should have slept in. I should have gone back to sleep at the moment when the curtains were still shut and it was that perfect gloomy grey, and I felt the covers against my skin and I knew, I just knew that being asleep would be perfect.

But I also know, intellectually, that getting things done feels better, at least if they are worthwhile things, and especially if the worthwhile things are accompanied by dish-cleaning, so that all the surfaces everywhere are clear and easy to look at. So I got up. I pulled on leggings instead of clothes—I'd like to be working on the habit of getting fully dressed when I get out of bed, like I used to in high school, but so far, no luck—and I checked the evil internet and then I ate some cereal and then I just couldn't.

Or I didn't.

I didn't do anything besides finish reading an article I started last night, and plan out my evening, reluctantly, because do I deserve a social evening when I didn't have a productive morning?

I think I'm broken. My boyfriend said I'm in a rut and it's so true. I'm in a series of ruts, though. I slide from one rut to the next. Each rut has a set of anxieties and guiltinesses and warring impulses, and together they are inescapable. (Free time, money. Exercise versus reading blogs versus reading literature versus reading about translation versus translating versus friends versus cooking versus drinking versus shopping. Knowing some of what I want theoretically but not wanting it in the immediate moment, and not knowing in the long term.)

Maybe Emma's instincts are right. Maybe my boyfriend is right. Maybe we have to obliterate the entire terrain, so that there are no ruts, but also no tracks. Nothing to trap us but also nothing to lead us.

My boyfriend says that my commitment to incremental progress may not be enough. In terms of livelihood, I know that's true. There's got to be a leap somewhere. Not necessarily a big one. But no more of the same thing—not a better-paid job like this one. Not another restaurant. New things, new lessons.

Emma wants to move away. A fresh start. A bigger place with new people and more opportunities (and less driving).

But I really love the people here, and an escape is not necessarily a solution.


Jane said...

Move to Atlanta.

Unhelpfully yours,

Unknown said...

Unfortunately moving cities does not necessitate changing your lifestyle and everyday habits. From New Berlin to Madison and Freiburg to DC to Milwaukee, I have been unable to seriously restructure my life or change how I spend my free time. We're creatures of habit, and that's an unfortunate (in this case) reality.

Marisa said...

Jane -- I'll keep that in mind. I'd most likely piggyback on Emma, though, and she wants to be closer to the sea. That way, she'll be able to follow through on all her threats. "Cooper said what?! Tell him I will throw myself into the sea!"

Ooh, how about Savannah?

Jeff -- I know. I know, and that is one reason I'm not like, "Let's blow all this stuff up and go somewhere else!" But I'd have to quit my jobs, and then I'd have to find new ones (YIKES), and maybe the new one could be better. OR WORSE, because desperation, new place, many expenses.

Psychologically, moving would be great because duh, tabula rasa, but then, of course, while you might discover new things about yourself, you will also be reminded of how things stay the same. Framed properly, it could help. Brave and cowardly at the same time. (Something about "unknown unknowns" and "known unknowns," etc...what crazy looking words those are.)

Maraia said...

New place = same ruts minus Your People = lonelysadlonely