Extricating You

Every time the phone beeps, I eagerly grab it to see if it’s what I’ve been waiting for. Disappointment clouds my face right after said moment. A watched phone doesn’t beep, I tell my mother as she and I have lunch and I glance at my phone every few seconds. I try to stop myself from thinking about it but the truth is that I’d like to stop everything else and take this up as a full-time occupation instead. Staring at my phone in anticipation, that is. Until I get that email I’m waiting for. That email which will let me find out if the world I want to explore is open to me for the next few months. So much hinges on it. I have my flight booked already so if I’m going to have to argue with them to have it canceled, I’d rather do it sooner than later. Wouldn’t you prefer that too? Plus, I desperately want to buy some boots (desssssssssperately) and I don’t know if I should buy them now or wait until December. It depends on that one email and the actions following it. Nothing to do but wait. (Do you know that poem which goes: “Nowhere to stand but on,” etc.?)

Meanwhile, in between checking my phone and the computer for emails, I have some time to think. You’re faced with a troubled situation and you immediately take it upon yourself to resolve it. I have to fix this, you think to yourself. Maybe consciously, maybe sub-. And then you go about doing your best, trying every trick you can think of, solving little puzzles along the way but never stumbling upon the great clue you’re looking for. Maybe, in this case, any perspectives are tough to change; they require an overhaul, not just tweaking. Maybe, in this case, all you can do is try and try and then try some more to fix it. But what are you trying to fix? Is it the unrelenting situation, or another person, or your own self?

Be careful. Not everything that appears to be broken really is. Sometimes the sharp, jagged edges are part of the wall; it’s just how it was built, and you shouldn’t try any more to get to the other side. You have to stop looking for a solution because it may not exist. You just have to let it be. Not everything can be fixed. While you’re on this hunt which you won’t give up, you lose sight of so much else. Don’t dig so deep that you lose yourself in the abyss you discover. Your life is waiting for you to come back to it. Know when to stop. Free yourself. Step away. Maybe you’ll take it all in stride. Keep walking. This can’t be fixed, and that’s okay.

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