Lately I’ve been thinking about my deeds. What I’ve done. What I’ve accomplished. If striving has been a part of my goals. Striving to be a better person. Striving to be more knowledgeable. Just, in simple words, trying to be the best form I can be. That kind of deep thinking always starts at 2 a.m. on a weeknight. The air in my room is cold, so I cover up. Then, two seconds later, I’m hot, so I kick the sheets off of me. What is this, early onset menopause?
“No,” says the voice in my head.
“Then what is it?” says the other voice in my head.
“What do you think?” the first voice asks.
“I think I have to sleep because I have to teach fifteen first graders tomorrow…but…yeah…I’ve been a bit depressed.”
“Really? Why?” asks the first voice.
“I don’t like who I’ve become. I used to think of myself as a warrior. I used to be able to speak for the truth, but it seems the truth doesn’t want me speaking on its behalf anymore,” says the second voice.
“Don’t you think you’re being hard on yourself?” asks the first voice.
“You know why! You were there. You saw what happened. Another teacher slammed a couple of books against my student’s desk and I said nothing.”
“So, next time say something.”
“Yeah, next time. But what about this time? What about that poor student who looked to me, with eyes screaming for help, and I said nothing. I said nothing. I did nothing. I am nothing.”
“You can’t be perfect. You’re not designed to be perfect. What is perfect anyway?”
“I know I’m not supposed to be perfect, but I am designed to try. What perfection is, on the other hand, is simple.”
“Really? Enlighten me.”
“Perfection is trying your best.”
“Don’t you believe you did your best given the circumstances of the situation?”
“You seem to be very confident of your answer. Are you on a mission to defeat yourself?”
“No, not at all. But…if I’d done everything in my power, I wouldn’t feel this gut wrenched.”
“So, what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. There’s nothing I can do.”
“So change isn’t an option.”
“By saying something…at least as the first step.”
“It’s too late. Some things need to be dealt with at the moment.”
“No, you misunderstand me.”
“Then what? Please, I need to sleep and have no patience for a voice beating around the bush.”
“Fine. But I’m not the one controlling this conversation. You are. So you’re obviously trying to say something to yourself. Now, stop beating around the bush and just say it.”
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!