CXXVII. Zoning in on Zen -

Last night I succumbed decided to make a list, tentatively a running list, though I’m almost positive I won’t be adding or even looking at it any time soon, entitled something best left unsaid. The bullet-pointed sentence fragments were written with the goal of finding a zen.

Stress is wreaking havoc in tangible ways: A rapid heartbeat, eyebrows that are permanently fixated in a furrow, and rumbling sounds caused by the vibration of the gut against the outer layer of skin, has made its formidable entrance.

I am at once reminded of college in the wake of having experienced the above symptoms.

I’m connecting the dots and am finding a pattern among the opportunities that I am not given, but rather pursue as a matter of will, not necessarily choice.

There is a palpable sense of misery.

“Brush them off,” I tell myself. Brush off those outdated, aging, egotistical superiors at the unpaid workplace.

“A means to an end,” I tell myself.

Phone calls are made on speaker phone, audio is playing on desktop computers without headphone-use, and Skype conversations are mingling with the nonadjustable air conditioning that is set to the unknown numerical temperature of freezer-box.

I haven’t found my zen yet - clearly.

My jaw is set to an immobile grimace induced by the possibility of chewing on an endless supply of sour grapes.

I’m forced to remain at your standard - do as you do, when you do, as if that is some kind of justification. Allow me to clarify: substandard.

My creativity is sanctioned and left to accumulate in my head, ironically forming an onerous burden.

Patronizing pointed chatter fills my ears and I’m forced to retain a professional politeness that is so obviously fake, I think about simply cutting through the facade and lashing out.

I am constantly debating whether or not to verbally let these self-absorbed people know of my educational pedigree.
I worked hard for that Ivy degree. So hard that the aforementioned symptoms remained with me throughout my years in the dormitory.

At home I am advised to do declare my affiliation with my alma mater loud and clear. I’m waiting for the opportunity to do so.

That is being professional -not blurting out whatever it is you wish to say. Stalling and/or waiting, politically correct directness is prioritized over passive aggressiveness, which is held at bay unless really needed; those times when you feel as though a torrent of rightfully driven speech that is embellished with explicit language is the only successful way of putting someone in their place.

There is a double standard - Having been told the correct way of doing something and doing just that, another one does the opposite but is left unscathed by the burrowing of beady eyes.

Upon heading away form this horrid space, I beckon time to pass without my knowledge by closing my eyes and muting the announcement of the stops being made on the train. I try to not to list off the next stop, and the one after that, and the one after that…

Almost reaching the first stop to my eventual destination, my naturally large eyes form a squint and are two sizes too small.

Having climbed up the stairs, I breathe in the outside air but am unable to breathe out the subway stench that has burned my nostrils.

Homeward bound, I’m starting to find my temporary zen: A warm shower, face cleansed, perfumed, and in pajamas, ready to sit down for dinner and embark on my individual duties for advancing my life forward and according to my own terms.