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April 19, 2012


remember the time i had a phone interview with a very important person to talk about a story i'm pitching to this magazine? remember when his assistant notified me at 9:00 this morning that the only time he could talk would be at 2:30 today and i had to say, "i completely understand. i'll be on a bus between appointments so i will keep it brief. i know how busy he is." remember when i called and was told he was in a meeting and would need to call back in five minutes? remember when i called back five minutes later from a packed, loud-as-hell bus just to be put on hold for five more minutes to then talk to him for seven minutes and by talk i mean i had to shout over the intercom and my fellow cell-phone wielding passengers. remember when he had a thick accent and i could hardly hear him? remember when i couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of the moment as the bus made whirring/let's-lower-ourselves-to-the-ground noises and announce our presence in this depot as loudly as we can?

remember when i walked into jim's office and said, "this is my lunch" and showed him a 20 oz. bottle of diet coke and he shook his head and said, "i don't like that." and i said, "i don't either, jim, but it's been a day and it's been a week. it's not all i'll have for lunch." but it was all i had for a few hours and i started to cry as i said, "i haven't been good this week. i need balance." because that's an old pattern and i don't want it in my life.

balance. i need balance.

remember when i sat on the floor outside of the library, the only quiet place i could find, to call a female sports writer and talk to her about her job and why there is a shamefully low number of female sports writers in the city? remember when i sat there and felt both hopeful and exhausted in the same breath? remember when she said, "i don't even think about it. i'm there to do my job," and i felt proud.

but i'm angry about this. and i'm going to keep writing about it and i'm going to keep asking questions and emailing people and knocking down doors. and pissing people off because sometimes that's what i do.

remember when i wrote this just a few weeks ago? remember how i haven't been following it for shit? remember when i went to dinner on tuesday and ate too much food and felt guilt consume me the entire time i sat in a beautiful restaurant?

"the portions were small. we did not eat a lot of food."

she's right. the portions were small, but it was a hearty meal. it was a meal. and i don't allow myself things like that. and i woke up at midnight that night and felt sick to my stomach and berated myself for eating, for eating like they do in italy. slowly, with purpose, with the intent of feeding myself.

"am i ever going to be able to sit down to a meal and not be consumed by my thoughts?"

"yes, when you learn to disconnect-," jim says. i cut him off.

"disconnecting means i don't have control," i say.

"poor choice of words," he says.

remember when a week just catches up to you. when you feel a cold coming on and you have interviews and questions to type for two articles you're excited to be writing. excited and hopeful, but overwhelmed. that theme never seems to go away.

control. control. balance and control. patience and kindness and fucking forgiveness. forgive yourself, girl. no one else can do that for you. no one else. forgiveness is an act of love. listening is an act of love. listen to yourself.

"remember to breathe, rhi. just breathe."

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