“You know what takes real courage?” snarls Frank. “Holding it all together when the stakes are this high.”
Now, I’m certainly no President of the United States or someone with an ounce of the insane ambition of Frank and Claire Underwood, yet, somehow, I feel as though the stakes are rather high.
In the show though, Frank looks for every opportunity to raise the stakes until he ascends to the pinnacle of power. He’s on a frantic marathon, doing whatever it takes to claw up the ladder. In my life, it’s more like I live my daily life, and only when I stop to take stock of it all, I realize the water I’m treading in is slowly rising.
Of course, I’m no where close to drowning. Perhaps that feeling will come when I’m working full-time, trying to raise a family, attempting to “have it all.” (Can you tell I had to read Lean In this week for class? Can you tell that being a career woman with kids scares me shitless? But I digress…)
Yet, the journey towards that moment, when the stakes become far too high, is well underway almost without my realization.
I’m treading. I’m keeping up appearances, faking it until I make it. But why? I used to think it was because all of it (keeping my grades us, my friends close and a smile on my face) would make me happy. I’m not so sure that’s true anymore.
You don’t tread to find spirituality, peace, happiness. You tread because otherwise you drown. You tread because it is your duty, your purpose all in the name of self-preservation.
You tread because there is no viable alternative.
It’s inevitable that the water will keep rising. I have a decent amount on my plate but I still have enough time to watch all of Season 3 of House of Cards this weekend, for example. It’s not a matter of draining a pool that’s being filled faster than I can empty it.
It’s about figuring out some way to swim.
Pardon the cliche metaphor, it’s all I have right now and while it’s about as cheesy as one can get I believe that the sentiment is there.
I do my reading, I go to lecture and I get eight(ish) hours of sleep a night. I ask my friends about their days, tell my tutee to work hard in school and reply promptly to emails. I run errands, respect my bosses and listen to the traffic outside of my dorm room window. Amid it all, I’m not fulfilled by any of it as I once was.
Perhaps this is the sophomore slump in me. On top of it, the cold weather encourages me to curl up in my room, I don’t walk to clear my mind. So of course the pattern of the past couple of weeks – eating Nutella with a spoon as I
do homework surf the web – gets old quick.
I tell myself it’s that, it’s only that – temporary. After all, twentyteens are notorious for their mood swings, their flip flopping and general instability.
Yet, there are moments when I’m treading where I swallow some water, sputter, choke, cough, gasp – breathe, breathe, breathe –
it’s okay, it’s okay –
breathe, breathe, breathe –
but everything is so fragile – breathe, breathe, breathe – everything is precarious – breathe, breathe, bre-fuck it
everything is not okay. i’m neither courageous nor in charge nor fulfilled. i’m losing steam and worst of all, i don’t know how to save myself.