The spaces we don’t need anymore.
This new job is amazing. I haven’t worked for a college in years and I didn’t realize how much I missed everything about being on a campus. There’s a sense of life here that you don’t get with other types of work environments. There is a feeling of ‘opportunity’ for lack of a more elegant way of phrasing that there’s hope on college campuses all over the country. Hope for the future and hope for the contributions that are just waiting to be made.
The funny thing about returning to academia is that I have to remove almost everything I learned about religion over the past five years. Well, much of it. I have to readjust and last week I thought about how much I had to ‘forget’ when I took my last job. The beauty of learning something is that you can almost never unlearn it.
One small thing that I learned this week, and I learned it from a copyeditor, is that I don’t need an extra space after a period and before a new sentence. For years I have just added that extra space because that’s how I was taught when I took my typing classes in high school. Space. Space. Word.
I’ve followed that format for so long that I realized it was second nature. Now, I’m trying to remember not to add the space and it’s been a little tough because it’s habit. Space. Space. Word.
That extra space is like padding. All of these years I thought it was there to protect the start of a new sentence from the end of an old one. And in many ways, isn’t that what space is about? It’s about protection.
The more I thought about this extra space, the more I realized how many walls I’ve erected in my own life. Space. Space. Relationship. Space. Space.
Why do I need the protection? Well, because broken hearts hurt like hell. They make you cry and they make you doubt. Who wants to cry and doubt? Not me. Space. Space.
Even with all that space, there’s a chance a heart will break. Ouch.
And that’s why I’ve been so lucky to have friends in my life who stick by me even when I’m lamenting this or sobbing over that. I’ve felt almost crushed these past two years. I’ve waited. Then not waited. Then waited some more before saying fuck it. I write often about doing because it’s what happens when I start to think – for me, thinking and doing go together. I seem to be happiest when I’m juggling. Or maybe it’s just that I worry less about things I can’t really control when I’m too busy to think about those things.
So the spaces I’ve been holding have started to slowly feel unnecessary. I expect to have many more heart breaks, and I also expect that I’ll recover from each one. I don’t know why but part of it is that I don’t want to apologize for not being enough anymore and part of it is that I don’t really feel like I’m not enough at all. I feel like the thing I deserve most in life is love. Not a facsimile. I want live, not Memorex. And I want to be selfish and hold onto it as long as it will allow. Then if it goes, I’ll maybe write about it – maybe not. More than likely will. Are those real sentences? They feel pretty real.
Maybe me and my spaces will bump into someone else removing space and have a chat about the next big thing. And maybe they’ll let me write about our conversation and someone else will take their extra space and realize they’ll be fine without it.