There are two reasons I usually need to go running. One, the need for exercise and endorphins and exuberance, has been with me for most of spring term. It’s a good thing, and it’s something I know enough not to indulge when I’ve only had four hours of sleep (as I did for most of this past week).
Earlier tonight I felt the other need, the bad old kind, the fall term kind. It’s not as nice and it’s not rewarding. It is, as it took me a while to realize, a form of self-punishment.
My friends are hurting right now and I don’t know how to fix them. I want to be able to fix anything, but these are human problems with unknown quantities and there’s no easy solution. I know that. But.
This weekend I won one argument: I managed to convince someone that what happened fall term, what made me need to go running, wasn’t her fault. I’m glad of that. I lost another argument: I wanted to visit someone who wouldn’t see me, not because she doesn’t want to, but because she needs time for herself. I don’t mind losing in itself, but I still wish I could talk to her.
I can’t make the cause for the second person’s time alone go away; I can’t fix what’s making the first person want to blame herself; I can’t fix people who are sick and tired, I can’t fix people with misplaced affections, I can’t do much of anything except give of my time.
One of the most important things I learned during my internship, though, is that time isn’t free. My time isn’t free. There’s only so much of it, and I’m more conscious than ever of the fact that I can’t run on four-hour nights indefinitely.
This entry isn’t a question, and it’s not a cry for help. It’s just a monologue. I know people will read this and try to think of ways to help, and that’s beautiful: I hope you know I appreciate it. But I don’t need help yet. I just need to figure out a way to proportion the time I give–to figure out how much is mine to give, and how much is already bought.
That’s one problem I will figure out, I believe. I believe.