Whenever I ran in earnest, actually made a point of pushing myself and giving it a bit of effort, I loathed the endorphin rush afterwards. I would have much rather had a valid excuse to not have to run. During the run I always felt like crap, and this was a feeling I never got used to. Afterwards in the shower I would feel really alive. It felt like a betrayal. Couldn't I feel better while i was trying to do something good for my body? I suppose very few things really work that way.
Math is becoming like that. During class I tend to have moments of panic where I frantically flip through the book trying to find examples of what the teacher is doing. Then I look up and realize that during all this searching I missed the point of what he was trying to teach us. I stare at the board as if I'm trying to shoot lasers out of my eyeballs, and then, there it is. Not quite clarity, but something close to it. I grab onto my tiny corner of understanding and climb until I'm securely back on the plateau I fell from. Days I'm in class don't feel so great. But the day after is always a quiet, happy reminiscence on how I pulled myself from the wreckage of confusion and managed to solve a problem and get a right answer without any help.
Last night on the patio S looked at me and said, "You know you can do this, right?" He does this every now and again, offers an unsolicited ray of hope. He tells me I'm okay, we're okay, everything will be fine. We'll do better than simply survive, we will be triumphant in our daily lives, and we always have each other. Somewhere in my mind I most certainly know that I can do this. It's still nice to hear it.
For James Vance, and his family
2 months ago