Keeps me going

October 24, 2008

Yet again, I’ve made to beloved Friday–day of dates and the dreaded 11-6 day of work.  My life has turned into a seven-day schedule that ends with a huge repeat sign.  I’ve realized that my semester is nearly over (although I still feel as if I’m establishing myself in all my classes) and thanksgiving and winter break are only a few calendar pages away.  I’ve picked my spring classes, (almost) decided what I’m doing for spring break, and (tried to) set my work schedule for next semester.  In all due time, everything will be complete.

The last few days I’ve really focused on settling into myself.  As odd as this sounds, I have learned that there is much in my world that I’ve never really been comfortable with.  I’m learning to take things as they come, accept what I can’t change, and realize what I bring to the table now rather than problems that may arise in the future.  I’ve learned that my worrying doesn’t solve anything (instead, it aggravates an ever-present stress ulcer) and that I’m not as bad as sometimes think I am.

I’m doing this all for me.

I have realized that everything I do–the work I create, the hours I put in at my job, the studying I do (or don’t do), the love I give, the conversations I have–really only come down to what I feel about them.  My diploma isn’t going to have my GPA on it, half the people I know now won’t know me in ten years; there’s little now that will follow me into my future.  I need to let go of the fears that are limiting me and instead just throw myself in head first.

This blog isn’t for who reads it (because, to be quite honest, I’m not sure anyone does)… it’s for reflection, rambling thoughts, stream-of-consciousness that tends to be entirely incoherent.  I am not exceedingly concerned with public opinion, because in the end, the only person I’m going to have to answer to is myself.

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Here Comes the Sun.

October 21, 2008

The days are speeding past.  I feel as though my comfort with routine has slowly turn into a love-hate sort of relationship; instead offinding happiness in predictability, I’m growing  less content with knowing the sequence of events day in and day out.  There is always more work that needs to be done, more things that are being neglected, and less time to finish it all.  I should be working on my Creative Video project, but I can’t figure it out.  I should be memorizing slides, but I can’t find it in me.  The things I want to do are limited by the things I have to do, and there’s not nearly enough time in a day to get it all accomplished.

The weather has finally shifted which means:

  • dressing in layers and not being hot all day
  • warm fall-esque drinks (like hot cider and pumpkin cappuccino!) 
  • frost on the windshield (not so good, but part of the territory)
  • fall leaves! 
  • beautiful colors!
  • almost the end of fall semester
  • getting to wear sweatpants to be
These things have made it considerably easier to make it rhough each day.  
Now I’m off to print resumes, figure out what in God’s name I’m creating for my Foundations project, and to probably weigh a balloon or something for my science lab.

Figuring it Out.

October 13, 2008

In my latest attempt to understand the inner-workings of the entire universe and why exactly I haven’t felt very calm in the last few weeks, I came across something really interesting.  I came across something that probably is the biggest defining aspect of me as a person.

I serve as a tour guide at my university.  This seems pretty mudane, but in all honesty, it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve had the chance to do.  No, it’s not because I get to show off all my knowledge of the school (anyone can memorize a book) or because I’m essentially selling a $40,000+ something-or-other to anyone.  It’s because I get to talk to people.  I LOVE talking to people.  It’s something that used to get me in trouble in elementary school for doing over an addition lesson or during “quiet reading”.  I thrive on being able to hear what others have to say and getting to share my insight.

This week I had a “special needs” student.  I hate that phrase, special needs.  She had a walker, but she had determination that I have never seen.  She didn’t baby herself during the trek across campus (which, mind you, is hardly handicap accessible) while talking to me about what she liked: writing, her school’s literary magazine, and her desire to study at Oxford.  We had a great talk and at the end of the tour, her parents asked me for a card so they could email my supervisor.   I gave them both my card and his, and as I sat in the reception area, the father walked back through, letting me know he told the President of the college how great I was.  I was astonished by this; what did I do?  He said I had patience.  I said any decent person would.  He said I would be surprised by the lack of decent people left in the world.

I guess I really am.

I love getting to know the stories of others.  What inspires them, what makes them wake up in the morning.  I think I find it so interesting–especially now–because I myself am trying to figure out what makes me wake up in the morning.  It’s becoming tougher lately, but with these tiny revelations, I find so much that I didn’t have before.

Can’t Stop.

October 7, 2008

There has been no time for me to do this.  Last night I mentioned how I feel that I wash dishes constantly, between attending classes and sleeping.  My apartment fell into a state of disorder between my lack of time and care for it, but thankfully, it was remedied this weekend.  I’m still behind, but not by much.  

I will do this when I have something coherent to say.

It’s been longer–much longer–than I would have liked it to be.  I’d credit that to the immense amount of schoolwork that’s been assigned (and forgotten) about over the last few weeks.  Somewhere between getting my life back on track and staying on top of my apartment, I’ve just seemed to forget about this.  With this tiny gap over the next few days, I hope to really catch up and get back into writing… something that has just been neglected in the whirlwind that has swept me up.

The good news is that things really are back on track; the tragedies of two weeks ago  have found solutions, (most) of the friend problems are mediated, and despite being behind in two classes, I’ve realized that I’m not that far off track.  Something about tiny successes that really make you feel as though you haven’t fucked up that much and that there’s time to finish everything else up.

In the past few days I’ve found myself really contemplating this college thing.  While I’m within three–or even two–semesters of graduation, the lines between learning and application have finally begun to blur.  With the exception of Science and Civ, most of my learning is done through application; projects being completed, filming, processing and enlarging–I’m no longer a sponge in a seat.  The defintions between student and professor have also finally meshed the way I’d like to see them.  I’m learning to really come into my own creatively and I’ve found that projects are much easier to complete… and defend.  I’ve found myself becoming much more confident in my presentation and my thoughts as an answer to a prompt; I don’t always second guess like I once did.  I am thrilled with how things have been going with school lately… it’s a great feeling.

But despite the success and happiness I find between 9 and 4, there’s other things that I still just don’t get.  The idea of finding purpose–or giving my life purpose–still sometimes escapes me.  I feel as though I’m going through the motions and just completing menial tasks; that the things I’m doing are not shaping any amount of meaning and that despite the time taken, it will eventually be forgotten anyway.  It’s rather pesimestic to be thinking this way, but in the same breath, I find it hard not to.  I look to invest time in people, in processes, only to realize that those people forget, those projects fall apart.  Sure, I have a handful of truly great things and great people, but it’s those few that can really put a damper on the bright eyed view that I attempt to hold on to.

And then I think of the lady at CVS who gave me the coupon.  Or the woman who walks the dog on my street and lets me play with him when I walk by.  Or the child at the grocery store who smiles incessantly when I smile back.  Or the professor who really seems to care about me beyond a name in a grade book.  Or the boyfriend who wakes up with me in the middle of the night because I have a question that just has to be answered.  Or the mother who always picks up the telephone, even if it’s a bad time.

And it really doesn’t seem all that bad anymore.