Sunday, October 28, 2012


            Balance, they say, is healthy. Do too much of something, and you’ll burn yourself out. You’ll drive yourself mad. You’ll send yourself to an early grave. Without balance in your life, you will be a stressed and miserable excuse for a person, teetering on or flying, screaming, over the edge of insanity. Everyone needs time to relax, time to think about other things. No one can focus on anything forever. You’ve got to recognize that you’re human and accept that. Cut yourself some slack. Go easy. Step back and firmly inform your harried mind that it is not a robot and, being such, cannot act like one. Even if it wants to try. We are all human, and humans are fallible, and that is perfectly fine and normal, and you’d terrify everyone if you were perfect all the time. And they tell you this over and over again, and pretty soon you can reach back into your head and press a little button, and a perfect audio recording of them saying it plays back in a practically endless loop because you can’t find the button that makes it stop. Then you wish you’d never pressed play, but you get the irritating feeling that it would probably have switched itself on even if you’d never touched it. 
            No one likes being told that they aren’t capable of things, and now you’ve got that stupid tape going in your head, and it’s even less willing to stop telling you you’ve reached your limit than the actual person was. Clearly, drastic measures are needed. Let’s look at the options available. The one the voice seems to like the most is giving in. Admit that you’ve stretched yourself too far and actually do something about it. That, however, is unacceptable. It would be way too hard. You know you’re right. If you were to even consider that you were wrong… No. Those thoughts are locked away in an underground vault with twelve-foot thick walls of reinforced concrete for a reason. The doors, though, are in terrible shape. You distinctly remember ordering that one twelve-inch steel door be put in place, but somehow during construction, you ended up with seventeen splintery wooden doors plus a rather inexplicable yellow plastic cat flap. They’re holding, but you’d rather not get too close. Besides, you’re not supposed to listen to voices in your head. Obey them once, and pretty soon they’re telling you to brutally murder everyone you love. 
         What else is there? Becoming that robot everyone says you aren’t seems like a pretty attractive possibility. Of course, even robots have flaws. Walking, for instance. Even the ones that are capable of walking aren’t fantastic at it. The band director would be extremely displeased, and he’d probably kick you out which, if you think about it, would reduce your workload, thus obeying the voices. Robot’s out. Time travel? Lovely idea, a shame it’s still in the gruesomely imperfect testing stages. Besides, the risk of destruction of the universe or, at the very least, discovery is simply too high. Also, more time for the same amount of work would be basically the same as the same amount of time for less work, so that would probably please the voices, and we really can’t have that. You want to crush them, not appease them so they leave you alone. So no time travel either. 
          Let’s see – gah! Look at the time! And you’ve still got a physics worksheet and history reading and a chapter of chemistry and those pre-cal problems you should have finished a week ago and that English project you were assigned a month ago and haven’t even started working on! You can’t waste time thinking about whether you’ve got more work than you can handle, you need to get it done! How could you let it go like this? Forget about the stupid balance issue, that pesky sanity thi – Wait. Forget about it? Yeah, OK. Ignore it. Maybe it will go away? Stop thinking about it. Right. Physics. Let’s see… 
         One moment. Is that… laughter?

-Emma Foster

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