Summer is over, and I don’t even know what to say about it. It was both terrible and wonderful. It contained both the best and worst experiences of my career and my life. At times I felt both more alive and closer to death than I ever have before.
In true Alaska form, the good things that happened this summer were amazingly wonderful and the bad things were outrageously terrible. So many things went wrong in spectacular ways and can only be described as all-around bad: no matter how you looked at it, there was no way out of them that would be any less difficult or distressing. They still make me nauseous. On the other hand, there were so many wonderful and life-changing moments, for me as well as for my students. This is dizzying to think about because the good and bad things sometimes happened simultaneously, or arising out of the same situation. I don’t even know how to wrap my mind around them.
I’ve always been a pro at the art of exhaustion, but I discovered even more shades and consequences of exhaustion this summer than I ever thought existed. I feel like I should catalog them because they are all so different in their despair. I’ve wondered, not briefly, if it was actually possible to die from exhaustion.
I’m trying to learn how to be myself again, how to return to my life after having put everything on hold and given up my whole self to my job for the summer. It is surprisingly hard to remember who I am.