What is left when everthing is gone?

Tired, beaten, worn down, exhausted, I write this entry. With the end of the semester quickly approaching, having so much to do yet no motivation is left. No energy remains. Reason quickly fades out of existence. Normality has been gone for months. It seems more logical to play hours of flash games than to finish projects. It appears more rational to stare into space than to try and bring what little focus remains and finish.

A year of work. Fifty years of experience. And...seemingly 5 weeks have past. I woke up in September, went to class, ate, did homework, and now I go to bed in May. May 6th or May 7th...maybe if I blink it will be the 14th. The days run together, and time seems as abstract as the convergence of the atypical power series that stares me in the face, daring me to solve. Daring me to care.

Only in the last week of finals would I find it more plausible to write a blog entry than to finish my homework for Calculus II tomorrow morning, grade the stack of papers on my desk, OR finish editing my final paper due tomorrow afternoon. Not to mention studying for my finals.

My mind is thinking analytically right now. Well, more than normal.
I pose a question to you: what is left when everything is take away?

I began the year full of life, energy, desire...all those beautiful things. But everyday wears at me, everyday breaks me down a little more, everyday eats at my soul, daring me to continue, watching for me to fail. Everyday equations run through my head, constantly finding new hiding places in my brain, trying to settle down in the swirling mass of mystery that is my brain. Not to mention other classes trying to fit their words into my skull. Meaning is lost. My brain moves about in a pattern similar to a discrete math function: unconnected, only scattered points. I have nothing. What is left?

My body cries at me at the abuse I have put it through in the past year. It begs for me to sleep, to eat something besides cafeteria food, and to get sunlight. And I give it...naps, grease, and artificial light. What would I do without you, overhead light? I don't even remember the last time I got up for breakfast. The extra 20 minutes of sleep is vital.

What is left? Worn down to the bone...no...past the bone. Scraping at the cell structure, I am being eaten alive. Can it all be taken? Is there anything deeper than what I have presented?

One thing: heart.

Every athlete knows the feeling of being in the last period of the tournament game, the last round, the last...whatever. The potential end. When every bit of training has gotten you this far. When adrenaline is running out. When muscles ache and brain functionality has ceased and you play by feel. When pulled muscles are ignored, blood is wiped away, and joints are beyond agony. At this point the only thing left is the amount that you want to win. No, it's not longer about winning. It has become survival. Do you want it more than the other team? Skill doesn't matter. Speed doesn't matter. Heck, bribing the ref barely matters. The only thing left is heart. Play with emotion.

At this point all I have left is survival. It is no longer about winning. It is about coming out alive. It is about that first night of sleep on my bed at home. where I sleep until I feel like getting up. Even if that's not for a few days. Right now is about being positive, knowing deep in your heart that you DO have something left to give. You have your final act. And you are going to astound the crowd, and they will ask for more. This is the one trick you've been working on all year, perfecting it for this very moment.

Be free from what your mind tells you and think through your heart. You don't need to listen to your mind, telling you how tired and worn out you are. Thought has ended. Now we play by feel, we play by heart, we play with emotion. Do you choose to push through or simply succumb to the forces that be.

A line from Bioshock drives this point concisely:
"A man chooses. A slave obeys."