Lost it

At first the days were few, but now they are many. The days that make me say, I don’t know if I can do this anymore. I have kindly warned my roommates: I’m losing it. I’m losing my mind. Just so you know. So you can keep your eye out I guess.

But for what exactly? What happens when I lose my mind?

There is one clear moment where I think I lost it. In the middle of a serving shift I walked off the floor. It’s astonishing even to write it–it sounds horrific, neglectful, disrespectful. And it was all of those things. But also, you know, I lost it. I could give details about the situation but basically I felt like too much was being asked of me and it was unfair. Same reason five year olds throw tantrums. Not unlike how I feel at this very moment.

Not unlike how I felt at meditation camp (lol I mean the time I went on a 10-day silent meditation retreat). Every day, three times a day, we sat for an hour sit. We were discouraged from moving even the slightest. On some of these sits I lost it. At least I felt like I lost it. But what did that look like? Not much apparently. At the end of camp when we could finally speak, Mary–the woman who meditated next to me every day–asked, how was your experience?

Oh I hated it. I said.
She looked at me with true surprise. Really? But you looked so peaceful. You were so still. I wanted to be like you.
I shared in her surprise. Really? I looked….peaceful?

I don’t know what the point is here. I guess sometimes losing it looks like something and sometimes it looks like nothing. Maybe what we really want to know is what do you do when you lose it? How do you stop losing it or not lose it–is that possible?

One day at meditation camp I told the teacher, when I meditate I get angry. And then I get angry about being angry and I get angrier still and I become one big pile of rage and I can’t get out. How do I get out?

She said: sometimes you just have to take a step back and say, okay I lost it for a minute.

Oh okay. I take a step back. I look at myself: oh I’m losing it. I try not to turn away as I collapse into that bare expanse of the map. I watch like it’s one of the world’s many wonders: Me, lost.

On my first bike trip ever I used a real old-fashioned map. (Northern Spain, 2012)


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