This is me, coming up for air, after a long semester.


Almost after.

I have one class left to teach, one syllabus left to revise, one paper to proof and turn in.

I thought that at this point, I’d be feeling some sort of euphoric glee, you know? The post-effort afterglow of a job well done, and done and done.

Mostly I just feel like dropping back under the surface and disappearing for a while.

Maybe I’ll go Christmas shopping all by myself in a town really far away where I won’t run into a single soul I know. (Yeah, right, when’s the last time you went to a place really far away and did NOT run into someone you knew?)

Maybe I could borrow a wig and some big sunglasses.

Maybe I’ll spend an entire day trying on bras and blue jeans and find exactly the right style or maybe I’ll sit on one of those benches in the changing room and just stare at the wall for an hour or so.

Speaking of wigs.

A woman I know just found out that she has breast cancer. She is the mother of my daughter’s friend. She dated my husband in high school. I’ve visited her home regularly for a year or so because in our church, that’s what you do–you pair up and you go visit a couple other women in the congregation once a month and make sure they’re doing okay, etc, etc.

I know her, but I don’t know her, if that makes sense.

I’m not sure why it bothers me so much that she has cancer. I know lots of women who have had cancer and it was a shame, but it never rattled me beginning at some place deeper than my own breastbone before.

I don’t even think that it has to do with her age (mine) or her body type (mine-ish, only she’s way more fit) or the fact that she has little children or a daughter the age of my own.

Or maybe that is it. I don’t know.

And maybe that’s why I don’t feel any sense of euphoria as I surface today. Maybe I look around me and nothing has really changed, for all my learning and all my struggle and all the hours and days and nights spent working and writing and revising and compiling lesson plans and all the thousands of dollars on tuition.  Maybe I tread here in place until the tidal wave of the next semester hits to pull me under and even though I know that all of these things are for our good–that every struggle brings strength and everything I have ever needed has been supplied–still… well.

It bothers me, okay? Do I really need a reason?

6 responses to “*GASP*

  • psphoenix

    It’s like a neighbors funeral on your special day.
    You should be very happy, pleased and proud of yourself for all that you have done. And then you recieved bad news, and feel bad for them and kinda obligated to feel with them. You compared your body, age and family life to this person- of corse that is going to bother you. Bad stuff happens and it serves as a wake-up call to everyone to question their life- how they are living- what their beliefs are and what direction they are going.
    I hope you do something special for yourself and think only of yourself for a time. A celebration however you want. We do not celebrate our life’s accomplishments enough. We just tread water and then bury ourselves in work and forget about our accomplishments almost to the point of denying we ever did anything.

    You are amazing and have done an incredible job doing everything you have this past semester. I am sorry to hear that your friend is sick, and hope for her speedy recovery.

  • kimkiminy

    No, you don’t need a reason. Just go with it. Your feelings are totally valid.

  • ladywise

    I know exactly how you feel! I was so exhausted after the semester I spent last year was over I didn’t even want to think, let alone head into the next semester. I did it living alone and you did it with all of the other stuff that you do! You definitely should celebrate some how, some way. You are awesome Kimber and I have missed having you here terribly!

    I’m so sorry about your friend too. That’s so worrisome for you I know. I hope she does well.

    • kimberlybbert

      You know–the stupid thing is, it shouldn’t be worrisome to me, you know? We’re not that close–not close enough for it to bother me as much as it does! But thanks–I’m glad to be back!

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