Song of the Week: Your Heart is an Empty Room by Death Cab for Cutie
Last week was hard for me. I didn’t get the chills, and — this may shock you — there are a lot of weeks that I don’t. I tell these stories about the moments I do, particularly for those weeks when I struggle. I hope that by remembering them with you, we can know that we’ll be okay again. So, here are some moments from last week that made the hard ones not so bad.
Burn it down, till the embers smoke on the ground, and start anew when your heart is an empty room.
On Monday, I was distracted and slogging through my homework, worried about tricky email exchanges and a big assignment, struggling even though we had the day off of class. I had also scheduled an appointment to donate blood, and although I was happy to be doing some sort of service, I was feeling increasingly nervous about how much time it would take and scared about the fact that I’d never done it before. Luckily, I had a really good friend with me. He drove me there, and sat with me through the whole thing, distracting me with conversations about our dogs and the ethics of pig-organ transplants. He was patient and reassured me when I got lightheaded, and he got me ice cream on the way home.
Spring blooms and you find the love that’s true, but you don’t know what to do.
Wednesdays are my busiest days, truly the hump of the week. Halfway through the day, I realized I never got tested on Monday and had a panic, frantically trying to schedule a test off campus. It quickly grew into a formidable feat; I’d have to walk 30 minutes there and back, it was freezing cold, and I needed that time to work on a big assignment that I was already behind on. And then a friend who works in the Wellness Center told me they had testing that day. Instead of over an hour, it only took me 15 minutes (and I ended up being negative).
And all you see is where else you could be when you’re at home.
Even though I’d gotten through most of the week, I was still feeling down on Thursday. I had one last assignment due that night that I just couldn’t get myself to finish. It was the early evening and I didn’t have anyone to eat dinner with, so I was walking quietly by myself into Warch, when I saw a little sign that wasn’t usually there.
“WELLU Pet Therapy dog: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Warch atrium”
When I checked my watch it was only 6:20, so instead of rushing to get dinner and get back to keep working, I slowed down. In December, I read about a man on a meditation retreat who was told to meditate everywhere. Eating, showering and even walking. So I breathed, and felt each footfall, the way my weight shifted from my heel to the ball of my foot as I walked down the stairs. By the time I had my food and got back to the third floor, a woman was walking up with a furry golden retriever. I ended up finishing that assignment in less than an hour and getting to bed early. And I got to pet a dog.
And out on the street are so many possibilities to not be alone.
You know it’s a bad week when even Saturday is hard. I had plans with someone that evening, but as I got closer to them the urge to retreat into my room only grew stronger. I finally gave in and texted her an hour before to tell her how I was feeling. I was nervous and secretly, perhaps self-destructively, hoping she would want to cancel. But she didn’t. She’d had a hard week too and agreed that we should just do something chill and low-stress for both of us. We ended up watching Tiny Desk concerts and coloring together for hours.
And you shed not a single tear for the things you didn’t need, cause you knew you were finally free.
I hope you have a really good week. If you don’t, I hope there are little moments like these that remind you to breathe and make you smile. Thank you to everyone who made last week a little more bearable.