I think you can in Europe.

How do I begin to describe how I’ve been feeling lately? Overwhelmed comes close, but doesn’t hit the nail on the head. It’s more like everything is going wrong, wrong, wrong and coming at me at 17,000 miles an hour and I have no idea how to stop it, or how to hold up under it.

I am over a cliff, hanging on to a tiny tree branch by my fingernails, just trying to get a grip on something – anything. I keep thinking maybe it’s like one of those movie scenes where the lead keeps desperately trying to hold on, not knowing that the ground is two inches underneath her feet and if she’d just let go, she’d be completely safe. Like trying to stay afloat in two feet of water, thinking you’re in the middle of the ocean.

But I’ve looked and there is no ledge underneath me, and there ain’t no sand, neither.

It always comes down to this: maybe I’m just not cut out for any of it. Maybe it’s a losing battle. Maybe there’s no point anyway. Or maybe everybody feels that way.

In 1955 in No Man is an Island, Thomas Merton said,

“The deep secrecy of my own being is often hidden from me by my own estimate of what I am. My idea of what I am is falsified by my admiration for what I do. And my illusions about myself are bred by contagion from the illusions of other men. We all seek to imitate one another’s imagined greatness. If I do not know who I am, it is because I think I am the sort of person everyone around me wants to be. Perhaps I have never asked myself whether I really wanted to become what everybody else seems to want to become. Perhaps if I only realized that I do not admire what everyone seems to admire, I would begin really to live after all. I would be liberated from the painful duty of saying what I really do not think and acting in a way that betrays God’s truth and the integrity of my own soul.”
(125-6)

Struggling under the weight of all of these real things, and trying to keep up with the “realities” of analyzing Plato and Butler and Homer and all of it. There’s too much theory and too much analysis, when all I want is my pillow and a blanket and maybe a nice couch to fall asleep on.

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