This morning I woke up to discover that my internet wasn’t working. I went downstairs to solve the problem. I fiddled with buttons and wires, turning things on and off, trying desperately to reset. Nothing worked.
I grew increasingly frustrated. I began cursing and then screaming and then banging on things, knowing full well it wouldn’t get me anywhere. It was such a minor, petty thing, to not have internet access, to not have this luxury work properly. In a more logical state of mind I would have reminded myself of that. I would have seen the bigger picture. I would have told myself that there are people in this world far worse off than me.
Instead, I sat on the floor and cried.
Because once you allow yourself to feel one thing, you can’t stop yourself from feeling more. And suddenly I felt it. I felt everything. It all connected in this moment of weakness. All of the frustration and helplessness and sadness and loss that had been building up these past few months rose to the surface. And I broke. I broke down. I lost control.
There are so many things I have no power over. My emotions, for one. Other people, certainly. Malfunctioning electronics, apparently. Life, which I should know by now.
It’s not the end of the world. In fact, it is the world. This is just the way of things. We aren’t built to always work the way we should, or the way we would like to. We don’t live systematic lives. Wires get crossed. Energy levels deplete. We get spilled on and banged on and cursed at. There are no reset buttons. Sometimes all we can do is just sit on the floor and cry.
I’d like to tell you that that was the end of it, that I rose from my pathetic meltdown and left it all behind. But life doesn’t always work that way, as it should, as I’d like it to. Instead I carried all of it with me through the day. I didn’t shut down and reboot. I simply kept going. Because the world doesn’t wait for me to restart.
But what I can say is this: I’m enjoying the quiet this evening.
After spending an hour on the phone, I can at least connect directly to the modem downstairs, enough to blog and wish happy birthdays on facebook. Meanwhile, upstairs, I can open this computer for the sole purpose of writing. No distractions, no pings and pongs of the outside world demanding my attention. I am simply here, in the solitude of my own thoughts, listening. I am, if even for this short time, happy to be disconnected.
It is a minor, petty thing. I’m not claiming that this is any great revelation. Turning off the internet is not the key to happiness. Still, this is the best I’ve felt all day. This is the most I’ve felt like myself, the closest I’ve come to connecting everything that’s happened. This is the furthest I’ve felt from that girl crying on the floor.
And I know that I haven’t solved any problem. I haven’t figured out what will work. I am still trying to process everything, and it will take a long time to complete. I’ve only just begun the long task of sorting through all that’s been stored in my memory.
But for a little while, I can sit here and type and feel something like happiness.
It isn’t eloquent. It isn’t beautiful. It doesn’t sound like much of a victory. But for today, it’s enough.