Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Road Goes Ever On and On

On the last day of the year, I am compelled to read through my blog posts from the year that is coming to a close. I can't help it. I guess I feel that this blog is, if nothing else, a record for myself... a mark left to remind me of what I thought and felt, of the slow rotation of the seasons, of the changes in my life. It is good, when I feel that the year has gone by too quickly to remind myself of how much I managed to fit into that year. If I can't make time slow down, then I may as well fill it up to the brim with living...
I think I did that this year. I worked hard, and I made some leaps. Last January I was overwhelmed and anxious. I seem to enter every new year with a certain amount of anxiety. At least I have since about fourteen or so. I always wonder if I will be enough, if I will be able to take the challenges in front of me. I wanted some things so badly and wasn't really sure they would happen. They did. They did in measures I did not expect. I found a lot of love in a lot of places this year. I found a sweetheart (or maybe he found me) who, for whatever reason, still hangs around me. I found a school, a school that I love dearly, a school that fits just right. I found out once again how much my family loves me, enough to let me go away. I found new friendships, friendships that helped me though a scary first semester. I found an increased sense of passion and love for what I am studying. I am hopelessly and irretrievably an English major at this point. It was a full year, a challenging year.
However, I am learning that to be challenged is the only way to live... I am entering this new year with less anxiety than usual. Partly because so much good has come to me, and I have so much to look forward to. With that I have grown a nagging fear of losing what I have gained. Are things too good? I don't know. What I do know, and what keeps me going, is that whatever comes, whatever happens, I will deal with it. I will learn, just as I have in the past. I think that is what I have learned this past year. I do not expect everything to be easy, but that is a good thing. I have decided that I am going to live what I have and love it while I have it. What else is there to do?

Life rolls on and I am just trying to keep up. It is my wish that each of you has had a full year, brimming up with all that living. It is also my wish that next year is full up too, good and bad, come what may. We will take it all as it comes.

Happy New Year.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
- J.R.R. Tolkien

Thursday, December 18, 2008


So. Christmas is a mere week away. This sudden awareness shocked me, sent me into a veritable tizzy. Christmas, really? Usually I have so much time to prepare mentally, usually the expectation grows as the weeks draw towards the holiday. This year, however, I have been monumentally distracted. So much so that Christmas has sprung itself upon me without warning.

It is hard not to be unnerved.

You see, if Christmas is coming, then so is the New Year... that one, arbitrary day that sends me into weeks of retroflection. I will not go there quite yet, though. No, right now I am trying to hold onto my Christmas before it's over and done with.

I have always tried to make Christmas a time apart, ever since I started to get older and Christmas started to lose some of it's innocence (you know you're growing up when you suddenly realize that Santa doesn't exist and all along it's been your father leaving those presents under the tree). Still, I try. I try not to get distracted, I try to pay attention to those things I hold dear. I try to slow down just a little. I don't want Christmas to morph into that stressful thing that only needs to be dealt with so our lives can resume along normal patterns. I want it to stay at least a little bit magical.

That becomes more difficult this year, I think. It is good to be home. I needed to come home and see the little smile my mother gives me when I wander into the kitchen. I needed to sit and talk with the people I've missed. I needed to hear my father make yet another lame Christmas joke. I really needed to sleep in... However, this year has been one of such massive shifts that I still feel dizzy and discombobulated. Sometimes I don't know how to act, or what to think. The dust, it seems, is still settling on a lot of things. This is also my first Christmas after moving out (for the most part). I dream of the way to used to be, only when I come home it feel like trying to squeeze myself back into a life that doesn't fit anymore. I sleep in a room that isn't mine anymore, and I realize that my family has kept moving and will keep moving whether or not I am there. Just as I've kept moving. And I will spend the next couple of years bouncing back and forth between the two. School to home, home to school. I feel displaced, as if I'm in some kind of limbo. Most days, I don't think about it. Most days, my sense of identity and passion for what I'm doing is enough to make me feel stable. In some ways realizing this makes me incredibly sad, and in other ways, incredibly excited and hopeful...

However, I think Christmas might soothe rather than compound these feelings. That is what I am trying for, anyway. I am trying to relax, and enjoy what I have. Which is a lot, if I think about it. Really, I am a very lucky girl.