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If you’re going through hell, keep going.

October 25, 2015

I spend a lot of my time wondering, whose life is this? It feels like a dream, a strange dream, where nothing is recognizable and no one is familiar, not even myself. I keep thinking I should call you, tell you how my life is going. When I see something beautiful, my instinct is to share it with you. I wake up in the morning and it takes me a few minutes to remember that you’re gone. I remind myself every few moments that you are gone. I thought it would get easier, but it’s just getting harder.

I woke up this morning and remembered where I was a year ago. How different everything was a year ago.

I have trouble conveying my feelings and thoughts to other people. No one understands. No one gets it. I am in a strange place, literally and figuratively. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I moved to a new state, I started grad school, I’m living with a partner, and my dad is dead.

I am making a life, and I’m trying to build a career and a family, and my dad is dead. I spend most of my time listening to people talk about academic subjects, books I know they don’t understand or care about and I just keep thinking mydadisdeadmydadisdeadmydadisdead over and over again. As people are talking to me I zone out and can’t stop thinking about how tiny and insignificant everything feels in the face of that.

I enjoy teaching. More than I thought I would. I like the kids, I like hearing them draw connections between the material and their lives. I want them to think this stuff is relevant to them in some way.

I live in a strange place, a tiny bubble of privilege and false progressiveness and every single day I’m here I can’t help but think how weird it is. I am supposed to be enamored with the natural beauty here, and it is beautiful, breathtakingly so, but it feels like this is a strange interruption to my “real life”, and to the real work I want to do. Sometimes it’s hard to make the connection between this place and what I’m doing here, and what I set out to do.

I just want my dad back. I want my home back. Home as in a person, not a place.

I didn’t expect to live with my boyfriend, but we’re doing it. We wake up happy to be next to each other, we hold hands and we smile, we eat breakfast, we go to the grocery store, we fight about the laundry, we turn towards each other, we feel safe together in this strange place.

This is a great opportunity, and I remind myself often, how lucky I am, how privileged I am to be here. I tell my kids that all the time. We get to learn, we get to read, we get to be in a space that is about education. So many people don’t get to do that, so we owe it to ourselves and the world to really appreciate that, and be present for that, and to do something meaningful with that.

I cook a lot. I write messages to myself on my bathroom mirror, Siempre Pa’lante greeted me for a month. Now, one of my dad’s sayings, Do your best.

Do your best. It’s all you can do. Whose life is this? It’s mine.


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