Having an Exit Pencils Crisis
We love SpongeBob in my house. There, I’ve said it.
The other day the girls were watching an episode and SpongeBob’s best friend, Patrick (a starfish) was in the middle of doing something and forgot what it was and he said, “Why am I here?” Then he panicked and said, “SPONGEBOB, I’M HAVING ANOTHER EXIT PENCILS CRISIS!”
I, of course, cracked up hysterically and Ana wanted to know what was so funny.
Me: “It’s supposed to be “existential” crisis.
Ana: (blank stare)
Me: (not really sure if I’m remembering it at all correctly) “Existentialism is this thing where you question the reason for your own existence.”
Ana: “Oh!” (as if she totally got it)
Me: “That was a gross over simplification”
Ana: (Already ignoring me and watching SpongeBob)
I’m exactly like Patrick. I, too, am having an exit pencils crisis. Maybe it’s been simmering under the surface of my consciousness for a long time, just waiting for an excuse to come out. Or maybe it’s just that watching my child go through a hell I’m entirely unprepared to watch her go through has made me question everything I’ve ever assumed about life.
What’s important? Why are we here? What is my plan? Should I have a plan? How can I possibly go on living my life the way I did BEFORE Ana got sick once she’s better? What if she doesn’t get better? What then?
These fears are always with me, eroding my ability to mold reality into something comforting and normal – the way I did before August 25th.
But as I cling to each day with Ana here, each flicker of light at the end of this long tunnel, each kind word from all of you – I’m starting to realize that I don’t want to be the same. How can I possibly be the same? I’ve taken the red pill. I can never go back.
It’s like there was this whole reality that existed just at the periphery of my vision and I was somehow able to completely ignore it. It was the “we’d be in trouble if one of us got sick,” school of thought. But I never really believed one of us would got sick. I never thought if it did happen, it would be one of the girls.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I hope I learn something from this. I hope something good comes from all this pain. Faith. Love. Community. I hope I can find some meaning in my life beyond the day-to-day frenzy that seems so meaningless. Just busy work. I know this has to be the case because there really is no going back.