Mondays kind of suck. They’re welcomed with nagging alarm clocks, sleepy hands fumbling for snooze button one too many times. We drag by the watercooler, to our desks, coffee in hand, lazily thawing the work frozen by the weekend. Positivity culture tries to flip this. “Every Monday is a Mini-new year” Social media chimes. Eh. I don’t know how much I dig that. But I’ve been alive for 1342 Mondays including this one. Most are an unremarkable hum of weekend blues and overwhelming inboxes. Most are just another day, and then, it’s not. That Monday becomes something great or terrible. It comes and goes. The following are a handful of Mondays.
March 7, 2011: There was the Monday I couldn’t fathom going to school because I lost the State Speech and Debate tournament. I couldn’t tell my peers how feverishly I wept. It wasn’t just losing that tournament, but that I’d lost everything that year. I lost my dad to Indiana and my mom to the struggles and my brother to his rage and my other brother to college. I’d lost my dream school to the merciless financial aid office. I’d lost my pride and my privacy, and speech was the one thing that loved me back but now it didn’t. This sounds dramatic, but when you’re 17 and your life surpasses your coping skills, you have no proof that this is not the end of the world. No, speech drowned into the typhoon that was my senior year. That was a Monday I thought I’d never crawl out of bed. And then I did.
May 30, 2011: I turned eighteen on a Monday two months after the one where I didn’t leave my bed. I was an adult.
May 11, 2015: The Monday after I graduated from College the day before. The day I awoke and everything was as it was before, only thousands of dollars of debt weighed on me. I had no full-time job. I went to my job at the statehouse at 7am– staring at the speckled ceiling I’d looked at for the past 3 years, wondering if this is all there would ever be for me.
November 2, 2015: I started my first full-time job. Clueless, brimming with vigor, I toppled into young adulthood.
November 1, 1999: There was the Monday my little sister was born– a rainy November night after cake when my mother’s throbbing contractions shouted her arrival into the world. And then, there was Bridget. Seven pounds of answered prayers in my arms.
February 11, 2019: An inbox is a strange conductor– how a screen and text stirs emotions– can rise panic attacks from the calm of my chest until my breath is a wildfire I cannot tame. This was a bitch of a Monday. This is the kind of Monday that causes you to call in sick on Tuesday. But I didn’t. I just cried and clung to everyone good in my life, and they kept me afloat.
January 1, 2018: 2018 began on a Monday. 2018– a year that I bloomed, that I traveled to New York and LA and abroad. The year I advocated for myself enough to understand that I needed intensive therapy. A Monday started it all.
There have been Mondays after the Friday I turned in my two weeks notice. A sudden lightness flurrying over the whole week, like my labor was suddenly inconsequential and my stress no longer looming. Some Mondays brought my favorite songs.
Then, there are Mondays like this– where everything goes wrong and my head is a lifeless boulder. I sit at my desk, throat closing, eyes welling with tears. My whole body is a floodgate on the brink of breaking. There are these ruthless Mondays– cast in the false glow of fluorescent lighting. These Mondays want me to hate all the other ones like them. But I can’t. How could I hate the day of the week that gave me my Bridget? Or made some damn good appetizer and drink specials? On average, Five thousand people said “I do” to their significant other today. Ten thousand babies were born in the USA today. Today, Monday, February 18, 2019, forty-two million hugs were doled out– I got one of them this morning. Four people will win the lottery and six hundred people got promoted. Nine million mouths have said “I love you”. And yeah, this Monday sucked. It kicked my ass. This was not my Monday, but next Monday might be or the one after that. Every Monday, with a sleepy hand and heavy eyelids, I hope for one of those magic Mondays. That 1344 just might be my lucky number.