*note: I’ve just been working double shifts into 12 hours shifts and am watching the weather that is currently tearing through Iowa. The next three letters will be up tomorrow. Here is a letter for today.
You work too much. Everyone is saying it…those you protect, those who serve with you, those who barely know you. You wake up, go to work, go home, go to sleep, and hit repeat. You’ve had 1 day off in the last 3 weeks, and that day off was almost cut short because you answered your phone without looking. What are you doing to yourself? You don’t even have the energy to do your own challenges because by the time you get home you pass out, and you wake up with just enough time to go to work!
Why are you working so much? Is it to really pull yourself out of debt, or are you scared? Are you scared to be by yourself? Are you scared of what having free time means? You spent the last 22 years being busy. Did you know that? You had to of, because you started Head Start before you turned 3, and have had activities to do ever since…girl scouts, karate, soccer, little league, honor societies, school, student for a free tibet, students against violence in the environment, Teen Outreach, basketball, volleyball, track, newspaper, Pride, tutor, lover, performances….so much more.
Quiet days rarely came, even on days you had nothing to do, because the noise in your head was just deafening wasn’t it? So now, are you afraid of the abundance of free time adulthood creates? No practices….no study groups….no student government….Just you, and a laptop….and a few words. You’ve dreamt to be successful, but you can’t do that if you are the one getting in your own way! You finally have time to write….so why aren’t you writing?
You are getting sick, I know it. There is a tickle in the back of your throat and your acid reflux is acting up; you felt the painful sting of bile today. I know it, because you start drinking juice again instead of water; enough sugar to fool your body into thinking that you are eating. Your voice is getting scratchy again and you are popping tylenol like tic-tacs. You haven’t felt like this since junior year, and you were hospitalized when that happened. I understand that the money will make life easier for you, and that at least you are passing out and getting normal hours of sleep, but you need to have a life. You need to have fun! You work so much that people give up on trying to convince you to get a life. And you joke around and make excuses….but I think I know the real reason.
But you need to get it together. You have projects to finish and promises to keep and you are failing. This isn’t living, this is existing. You did it in New York and you are doing it here. I know you are searching for something, anything; a life that will flip what your current existence is, but that won’t happen if you don’t keep trying.
Just keep trying, and stop falling behind deadlines. Learn to police yourself. Do what you have to do but not at the expense of yourself. Please. World is too short to be wasted on hours that simply slip by, and dammit take care of yourself. I know you are tired, and I know you only have a few more days before you are back to a normal schedule, but these next few days are going to test your will. You are so close to the end. Just promise me you won’t lose sight. Promise me, and please keep that promise, because you are the only one who can keep you on your feet right now. And tell Wild Rose that if she says I told you so I will pelt her with corn.