Fri, May 17, 2002 12:18AM -0600

T minus 13 days 7 hours 42 minutes

So the Big Day looms, and I am once again in the throes of abject madness. Things have changed in so little time, and right before the battle, I'm left with having to bandage my wounded heart while everyone else is preparing their weapons. Yes, I know. All I have to do is survive. Nothing matters beyond the Day of Reckoning.

Melodramatic? Perhaps. At the beginning of this ordeal, I had thought that I could just sprint to the end, run with the exit plan, forget any of this ever happened, start anew. But two days in, I'm already having anxiety nightmares about being late for the exam, waking up in the middle of the night with palpitations. During the day, I'm swinging between manic terror, hopeless depression, and burning rage, knowing full well that this is not a viable strategy, wondering if I'll even be anything approximating human by the time this is all over.

You know you're in trouble when your only aspiration is to become a veritable machine. No emotions, Vulcan style. Logic is the only viable strategy.

And yet my limbic system is running overtime, my adrenal glands spewing their magic into my veins, and I'm not sure my heart can take this. Everything else that has happened has come to nothing, and at this point, all I know is that my only purpose in life is to do the best I can on this exam, that nothing else matters, not love, not money, not hope, not happiness. The end-all, be-all of my existence is that resultant three digit score. Yes. Despite all my attempts to the contrary, in the end, I will be nothing but a number.

Oh, I know. It doesn't have to be this way. But I can't handle additional failure and disappointment right now. The bubble has burst. Stark reality stares me in the face minute by minute, and the folly of all my dreams has been laid bare. This ordeal is the only thing I can grasp onto right now.

But I know there are people rooting for me on the Outside. In time, I will cross that Wall, leap out of this prison of fear, self-loathing, and despair, and maybe, just maybe, finally understand that I am loved. Until then, I'll have to get by.


The design for this page was adapted from Mark Olson's design Retooled, which can be found at Open Source Web Design. Download the sample page.