tandem.

i am exhausted. no idea why. mom’s in town (YAY!), which means my mattress is on the floor, but it’s still my mattress so i really have no earthly idea why i wouldn’t be sleeping well.

and yet i toss and turn and often find myself checking the clock at 4 a.m., thinking that it’s time to wake up and face the day.

when i told mom this, she asked me what i was worried about.

i have no idea.

what have i to be worried about?

it’s nothing in my life. i mean, the perpetual sword of damocles called my dissertation looms ever larger over my head, but i am about ready to tackle that in a big way. i am ready to be finished with it–at least the first draft of all of the chapters–so that i can move on.

i have other things that i would like to do, you know.

when i imagine life post-dissertation, i can’t.

let me say that again.

i can’t imagine my life post-dissertation. to not have it looming over everything that i do–to NOT have a perpetual source of angst and guilt cloud every book i choose to read and every weekend i choose to do nothing (or, let’s be real…every week) remotely related to academia–i just don’t know what that will be like.

knowing me, i’ll quickly replace it with something else. such is life. but i think when i finish i will feel a sense of accomplishment that i have never felt before. and perhaps a bit of a mourning period that school, for me, really is over. i’ll never be a student again. that’s weird. it’s how i’ve defined myself for so long.

i guess i’ll have to get to work redefining myself, eh?

but that’s neither here nor there. my point in writing, other than the fact that i haven’t written in ages and was feeling the bloggery guilt (good grief…what’s with that?), was to take you through my wandering thoughts about stress by proxy.

because boy am i stressed.

and it has nothing to do with me.

(well, that’s not entirely true, but i’ll get to that.)

the bff has had a week, let me tell you what. it really began last week with a government exam on friday. the weekend was good but packed with activity, between valentine’s day (amazing) and church and mom coming into town (they like each other! they really want to impress the other! yay!). religion exam on wednesday, for which he was studying monday and tuesday. rehearsals, as has been the case for what seems like THE ENTIRE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, for his concert coming up t0morrow and saturday (i can’t even express how frickin’ happy i will be when that is over…). an english paper due tomorrow. work meeting tonight. three work appointments. his mom coming into town for the concert (and to see her kid, of course) on friday. the whole my-mom-meets-his-mom thing at the concert. a duet with me in church on sunday. an english exam on monday.

and that doesn’t even cover trying to spend time with me.

i mean, seriously, just writing it all down turns my stomach into knots. i have no idea how he’s been doing it, but he’s been remarkably unstressed. he says it doesn’t help. (of course he’s right.) i don’t think he’s not thinking about it or blowing it off at all–just taking one thing at a time and doing the best he can do.

(you can see how such an example would be incredibly beneficial for someone like me.)

but i feel stressed.

stressed like my week is that busy.

stressed like i have two exams a paper four hundred rehearsals eight million work things to do.

i think that’s what happens when you’re a we, but i’ve never been a we like this before. we have this weird rhythm now. it made itself especially manifest to me when we were washing dishes, as strange as that might seem.  i didn’t even have to say anything to him. he knew exactly where i was going and what i was doing. while i washed the pans, he cleaned the counters. when we needed to be in each other’s areas (he needed something under the sink, i needed to grab something from the stove), we didn’t even speak.  we just knew, and moved aside gracefully and effortlessly to allow the other one access. it was the strangest, coolest, most impressive testament to how well we know each other and how much we have grown to become two parts of one whole.

so now, amid all of this hectic chaos and the disruption of our normal routine, i feel like i am joyfully filling in the gaps for him, trying to make things easier and better. today, he needed to leave for school and hadn’t eaten. so i made him lunch. i knew an hour before that i would need to do that and that he wouldn’t eat if i didn’t. so i did it.  i’ll make him dinner tonight because he won’t have eaten for one hundred hours and i’ll read his paper and i’ll be glad to stay up until two to do it.  and i’ll restrain myself from just doing it for him (hello…so difficult sometimes because when he’s this busy it seems like it would be easy to just really step in to ‘make things easier’) because i know that this is all part of his learning process.

and the weirdest part is that i love doing it.  i’m tired and stressed for him, but i love that i can help.  i love that i know what to do without him telling me. i love that the meager things that i do, even as helpless as i still feel, actually DOES help.

i love that we are two but that we work as one.

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3 Responses to “tandem.”

  1. …awwwwwww 🙂 I feel ya on the stress front. it’ll be over soon.

  2. your making me teary eyed. it is so wonderful to hear how you feel, how the two of you are together. i’m so happy for you. i hope you’re having some fun with your mom and i’m very excited about your duet. i’m mostly over the flu so i’ll be there sunday. miss you. love you.

  3. that “weird rhythm” thing….wow. I forgot how much I missed that. But it is that stuff that really matters in a relationship. That is when you know you have arrived.

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