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Brianna Wiest

A semblance of the whole.

Brianna Wiest's quotes about psychology

Falling in love for us meant falling into talk. We talked about our memories, broken bones, broken hearts and one broken marriage. We talked about our mothers, one Jewish and one Italian, constantly cooking and feeding. We talked about our fathers, neither of whom cooked or fed.

We talked about friends, come and gone. We talked about our careers, climbing the ladder of success, falling off the ladder, leaning in and leaning out.

We talked about our dreams: of traveling, of marriage, of how many children we would like and what we would name them. With those subjects addressed, we turned to smaller details and anecdotes, the stories about getting drunk, getting lost, crashing the car, stealing a candy bar and falling down a flight of subway stairs before a job interview.

Finally, we talked about the nonstories, the quirky facts and facets of personality: our favorite movies, what we liked to eat, what we wouldn’t eat. He hated Kalamata olives. He could do without cucumbers. I hated capers and marshmallows (and the end of ‘Ghostbusters’). He talked about rivers and rocks. I quoted Frank O’Hara and Mayakovsky. We compared 5K running times.

There was never enough time and so much to discuss. We talked about the colors of leaves, the shapes of clouds and why the word ‘warmth’ has a hidden ‘p.’

We talked about sex.

We talked about our wedding.

We talked about our new house.

We talked about furnishing it.

We talked about pregnancy.

We talked about the child.

Then the second.

Seven years into it, our marriage was different. After the machinations of getting the children to sleep, we would sit side by side in bed with computers on our laps, surfing the internet. We were not talking, not sleeping, so close and yet so far apart. This dynamic — of being physically together but emotionally disengaged — had also bled into the mundane of the everyday, with too much silence and space between us on the couch and with us cooking on opposite sides of the kitchen island.

Take a shower. Wash away every trace of yesterday. Of smells. Of weary skin. Get dressed. Make coffee, windows open, the sun shining through. Hold the cup with two hands and notice that you feel the feeling of warmth. 
 You still feel warmth.
Now sit down and get to work. Keep your mind sharp, head on, eyes on the page and if small thoughts of worries fight their ways into your consciousness: throw them off like fires in the night and keep your eyes on the track. Nothing but the task in front of you. 

Get off your chair in the middle of the day. Put on your shoes and take a long walk on open streets around people. Notice how they’re all walking, in a hurry, or slowly. Smiling, laughing, or eyes straight forward, hurried to get to wherever they’re going. And notice how you’re just one of them. Not more, not less. Find comfort in the way you’re just one in the crowd. Your worries: no more, no less.

Go back home. Take the long way just to not pass the liquor store. Don’t buy the cigarettes. Go straight home. Take off your shoes. Wash your hands. Your face. Notice the silence. Notice your heart. It’s still beating. Still fighting. Now get back to work.
 Work with your mind sharp and eyes focused and if any thoughts of worries or hate or sadness creep their ways around, shake them off like a runner in the night for you own your mind, and you need to tame it. Focus. Keep it sharp on track, nothing but the task in front of you.

Work until your eyes are tired and head is heavy, and keep working even after that.

Then take a shower, wash off the day. Drink a glass of water. Make the room dark. Lie down and close your eyes.
 Notice the silence. Notice your heart. Still beating. Still fighting. You made it, after all. You made it, another day. And you can make it one more. 
You’re doing just fine.
 You’re doing fine.

I’m doing just fine.