I felt awful for much of today. I wanted to walk out the front door of work shortly after noon and just keep going. I wasn’t thinking about where I’d end up or when I’d make my way back, I just wanted to get out. I was so angry.

I vented a bit. I cracked some darkly hued jokes. I recognized that my desire for a cigarette was making everything seem worse. I commiserated with co-workers who know the feeling. I left as soon as I could (which was still more than 8 hours after getting there) and did the rest of my work from home. I called it quits after an additional 2 hours and decided to do the remainder tomorrow. I ate almost half a box of cookies.

I wonder what would have happened if I had allowed myself to go. If instead of forcing myself to stay in a meeting I was in at the time, I had gotten up and walked out when I first had the urge to so desperately. I wonder what the rest of my day would have been like, what I would have felt like. Despite my fears about breaking rules or getting into trouble, I can’t imagine my day would have been any worse.

I still live as though I’m in junior high and getting a detention would shatter my personal world. I’ve just replaced teachers with supervisors, detentions with write ups, and suspensions with getting fired. I’m still worried about being the “good student,” and letting other people determine a) what makes a “good student” and b) whether or not I am one. I’m giving up little bits and pieces of myself for the sake of an illusion that I might be the only person buying into. It’s absurd. And tomorrow, I’ll probably do it all over again.