color key — blue: mental health; green: relationship to self; black: suicide. contrast of light and dark correlates with bright and somber tones of voice.

Relay

Relay

Relay

Relay

Older — and some wiser — people say life is a marathon. You don’t rush.

You just run with the pace you can handle and reach the finish line. One has to practice, of course, and build stamina. Sure, it makes sense.

Life is a long-ass, boring, and sometimes exhausting journey. Sounds so much like a marathon.

Some of us give up in the middle, some of us work hard to get to the finish line. Some with good stamina will reach the goal faster, and some with weak stamina will be left behind. Everyone is at his/her own pace, heading towards a finish line, but what is a finish line at life?

Death? Maybe. I don’t know. If death is the finish line of life’s marathon, then why do we even try? Maybe I am just a very pessimistic person.

Life, to me, is more like a sprint. In fact, a sprint relay, where an athlete passes a relay baton to another in the run. In my game, it’s more like passing the baton to me, from me. Wait, does it confuse you? Let me elaborate.

Each week, I sprint and hand over a relay baton to the next-week-me. Then I start a new week, running with a new baton, then hand it over to the next-week-me. Basically, I’m the only person in the run but with a new baton each week. It’s like a dog chasing its tail, I know. It’s a never-ending circle.

Last week, the baton was an email from a scholarship coordinator. This week, my baton is a Friday night dinner with my boyfriend. Next week, payday will be my new baton of the week. I don’t know what my baton will be after the payday, but I do not have time to think about what it will be because I will be busy looking forward to the payday, planning how I will manage my expenses.

I do not have an ultimate life goal or anything. I used to have those and I didn’t like myself with those pretentious and ambitious life goals. I got extremely competitive and easily jealous at other people. When things did not go in the way I wanted, I got angry, disappointed, hated myself and other people, blaming them and myself. So much hatred and exhaustion. I was a walking disaster, emitting negative vibes.

Now, my outlook on life has changed. I just look forward to insignificant but decent things/events each week to get time passed. Sometimes I wonder what I would do without all the little things to look forward to, then I unconvincingly told myself that I’d have many more batons. I mean, I haven’t totally become a bubbly, cheerful person who spreads positive energy only. Maybe I will never become one, but that’s okay. As long as I have a new baton each week, I’ll be fine.

I think life can be an extremely suicidal odyssey for someone who doesn’t hope.

Life may be a marathon for some people. But for me, it’s a sprint relay. With a little hopeful baton each week, I’m sprinting and I am so much happier.

© Midnight Woman 2021