A Marathon of Sprints
In January, when this semester began, I took off at full sprint. I do not regret it. It did not wear me out to early, or make it impossible for me to keep running. Simply put, that initial sprint was great foreshadowing for this semester.
While every week, every day, is a full sprint at full speed, the semester is 15 weeks long. It is really a “marathon of sprints”; one after another for the entire semester.
My physics professor gave our class these “I love you” balloons on Valentine’s day. Physics is a miserable class. Our homeworks take approximately 23 hours a week to finish, and on top of that we have to learn the material. He gave us the balloons in order to do a homework experiment (stand on a bus, tie keys to the end of the balloon string, what happens?)
I should have gotten rid of this balloon a week ago. It is not a profession of real love. It does not hold sentimental value to me. It is not even the type of love profession I normally enjoy. Write me a note and read me poetry any day. I think balloons are tacky, and Valentine’s Day even tackier. But the balloon stays.
I like the balloon because it has something to say and it’s bold about it. I LOVE YOU it screams at passerby’s. I LOVE YOU it yells as it is loosing strength, deflating into my bedroom wall. I LOVE YOU it will say long after it is flat and tired, and has been unwillingly trashed and driven to a place where it will never, ever decompose because it is made of weird plastic cellophane.
I like the balloon because it is deflating, and so am I.
I had a glorious winter break. I relaxed with my family. I read some really incredible books. I even wrote a short story. I came back from winter break a full balloon, ready to take on the semester. Like the balloon, things have been consistently hard. No one is trying to stab me with scissors or snag me on a door-frame. I have not run into a field of cacti or children who squeeze me too hard. For me and the balloon, the hard part is simply staying up.
But we are getting there, me and the balloon. We are continuing to hang high in the air, and though we are deflating, we are still proclaiming.
I LOVE YOU says the balloon.
This morning I have been thinking about what it is exactly I am proclaiming. What am I yelling at the people on the street? What kind of encouragement am I offering those around me? I LOVE YOU says the balloon, but what do I say?
I ate a donut for brain power.
I think I’m proclaiming, from the middle of the marathon YOU YOUR BEST THING, YOU ARE. Which is, most obviously, a tribute to the encouragement I wish to contribute and my most favorite author Toni Morrison.
In this marathon of sprints, I want to be like the balloon. I want to proclaim things that are encouraging and uplifting as I deflate . I want to encourage those around me. I want to remind people that the marathon ends in may, and that we are almost there. And I want to remind myself.
So dear readers,
I LOVE YOU. YOU YOUR BEST THING, YOU ARE.