“You are dodging deadlines, the slowest bullets in the world, and somehow still getting hit, over and over and over again.” – Bry LeBerthon
Fiction. Based on a true unfolding.
By Leanna Glenn Markham.
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.
When I face a deadline, I can’t help but remember college finals, those life-or-death determiners. Those things for which some would deprive themselves sleep and food. I’m not much into self deprivation, but I was never beyond getting sick over a deadline, even as young as 12 or 13. Fevers, chills, the works. (Parenthetical thought—Who needs a pandemic when you’ve got that?)
Once, when a college meeting at church was breaking up, I asked one of our leaders–a wise older woman—to pray for us because it was finals week. She smiled and looked at my dad, who also helped with this group. “We’re always taking finals, aren’t we, John?”
I had no idea what she meant at the time. Decades later, I do. Life has a way of calling us to account, requiring of us everything we know and are. The tricky thing is, unlike deadlines and finals, life doesn’t let us know ahead of time when the accounting is due or when the test is coming. It lands on our face when we awaken some mornings or arrives unannounced on our doorstep.
As for the known deadlines, I keep thinking I should have mastered the skill by now. I’ve had enough practice. And I must say in the last week or so, I have succeeded where I’ve failed in the past, rather to my surprise. Now I’m wondering whether a year of dormancy in a COVID chrysalis was perhaps a metamorphosis rather than an unproductive sleep. Hope lurks in this unlikely musing that I thought would be an exercise in self-battery over past failures. Instead, I feel my new wings stretching out in the sunlight.