This is how I feel today.

Published on December 19, 2013 by      Print
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By Emily Tally

I’m sick today. Yesterday I had a sore throat and clogged ears, and today everything is draining out of my nose and I’m exhausted and feverish.

I called in sick to my Karma Cleaner “job,” (one hour of cleaning equals one free yoga class), and my two tutoring jobs. I fear people won’t believe I’m really sick; they’ll think I’m making it up. I have a lot of fucked up neuroses like that.

So I’m sick today and feeling down. I usually feel down, though. I usually feel like the biggest idiot that ever walked the earth, despite having been told repeatedly that I’m actually quite intelligent. I don’t feel intelligent, though. Don’t intelligent people, like, know things? Don’t they know what they should do from day to day, what projects to devote themselves to? But I don’t know at all. I wish I had a concrete goal, some shiny, rosy orb of happiness that, after years of toil and hard work, would be delivered into my hands. I rarely spend much time thinking about the future, though; it’s too scary. The things I would like in my future seem so distant, and the things I don’t want seem so close and real and frightening.

So here I am, not unlike a little fish who’s lived her whole life in an aquarium and suddenly finds herself free in the Big Blue. There are so many options, every day. Soy, coconut, almond, or cow milk? To look at that list of the 26 most amazing photographs, 5 non-harmful techniques for whiter teeth, or 12 no-fail tips to spice up my sex life? Hot or not yoga? To attend or not attend that party where that one person is going whom I want to punch in the face?

Most importantly though, what thoughts do I think and what do I devote attention to?

We can choose what we think; did you know that? It’s true. No, really, it’s true. And I’m not some henna’ed-out spiritual die-hard either. At any moment, we can stop our thoughts and replace them with something healthier, or even not replace them, simply move our awareness to our breath or our feet on the floor; did you know that? It’s true. And it will change your goddamn life. Or at least, it did mine. Or maybe it wasn’t me who did that, it was that motherfucker, God, who did it, if such a thing exists. I’m not really sure. All I know is that about two years ago I started a home yoga practice while high on fucking hash and I have not been the same ever since. I have been a fucking mess ever since, actually.

Nobody bothers to tell you that yoga and meditation will tear you to shreds, leaving you a pile of ribbons on the floor to be swept away. And what is left? Not much. There is a shell of me, and there is some, like, inner fucking light, or way, or voice, or awareness, however the fuck you want to call it. And once you know that you can control your thoughts, how do you know what to think? The options in my physical life seem endless enough, but what thoughts to put in my head… this, my friends, is a limitless playing field.

Yoga gutted the parts of me that weren’t working, and gave me better tools.

But that bitch still tore my house down, and I have yet to build a new one. It’s a slow fucking process, too, full of trial-and-error, uncertainty and embarrassment that so many people seem to know things that I don’t. And I’m so goddamn aware of myself these days. God, what a curse this is at times. Nobody ever told me that freedom was so lonely.

So, today, I am writing to an invisible audience, thinking that if I put myself on electronic paper I will feel better. And you know what? I do.

emily

About Emily Tally

Emily Tally is an almost 29-year-old living in Bloomington, Indiana. She was born in a town called Lynchburg, in Virginia. She is really not sure what direction her life is headed, but mainly her time is spent with her 4-year-old son and her awesome roommate, and tutoring English to non-native English speakers. Oh, and she clings to her yoga practice like a shipwrecked rat to flotsam.

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10 Comments !

  1. Louis Cortese says:


    We all mostly communicate from our outer skin. It’s so comforting and intimate to be allowed inside your mind and see all the mess that’s in there, just like mine and everyone else’s. Thanks. It was great.

  2. Kate says:


    YES.

    Good for you.

    And so well spoken, too.

    This:

    “But that bitch still tore my house down, and I have yet to build a new one. It’s a slow fucking process, too, full of trial-and-error, uncertainty and embarrassment that so many people seem to know things that I don’t. And I’m so goddamn aware of myself these days. God, what a curse this is at times. Nobody ever told me that freedom was so lonely.”

    Just…Amazing :)

  3. Emily says:


    Thanks!! Glad to know I’m not alone in my craziness. :)

  4. Liberty Bell says:


    Nice post! The interwebs sends you love.

  5. niki says:


    Wow, this was great. It is funny how in the fixing of self, a strange distance begins to stretch out before you. The mind finally bears the fruit of the change that we have brought into our lives with pure brute strength hard work. And then, there we/you/me/us are, arrived! Here! “Better!” And left wondering: Well shit, what NOW?

  6. Emily says:


    Thank you.

  7. laura says:


    Heart breaking and inspiring at the same time. Thanks Emily for your honesty and great strength! P.S. Emily is the best yoga teacher I have ever had.

  8. Emily says:


    Thanks, Laura!

  9. Nancy Taylor says:


    Every word you utter resonates within me. Yoga has torn me down, and, in the rebuilding process, I’m never sure which way my head will be propelled. Leaves me feeling quite crazy and, yes, rather lonely most of the time.

  10. Emily says:


    We can be lonely together, Nancy! :)


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