Monday, December 28, 2009

It is so much easier to stand back and frame a photograph than to stand back and frame things in the bigger picture. I am not good at transitions, goodbye-for-nows, or letting go. I reach accpetance eventually (off and on) because I have to, because I know that we are both doing the right thing. But being home makes me feel cramped and trapped - like I'm in high school again. It hurts more than I thought it would, thinking about leaving the man in that photograph. It hurts even more not having the time or privacy to say the right goodbye before we both leave the country.

I am ready to leave right now, I want it for both of us. All this businness of shopping and packing makes me anxious and a little scared. The time between now and when I leave seems so long, and all too short at the same time. I am trying to find a balance between holding on to what I have here and letting go enough to be brave and just cut the ties. I want to let go, just let go and go away... but I won't believe that I'm actually going until my foot is inside that plane. Day-to-day tasks seem surreal knowing that I'm going to London so soon, and I bounce back and forth between being grateful, excited, ready... and not ready at all. Scared, frustrated, overwhelmed. And then I beat myself up for it, telling myself that I should just be grateful and excited for such an adventure. This is, after all, what I've dreamed of for years.

Dreams are complicated when they come true, though. Sometimes my relationship (going on two years soon now, oh my) feels like a dream come true. It is. But it hurts sometimes too. It's hurts to love that much. We hurt each other on accident sometimes, we can't have what we want sometimes. Part of me can see rationally and be patient; another part of me just wants to cry. I get angry when I come home because it feels like going backwards and I hate it.

And yet, things keep falling into place. I am lucky, so lucky. I have worked hard, but my open, desiring hands have not been left empty. I suppose it is better to have too much of life, rather than too little.

Friday, December 25, 2009

I Will Arise

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

-- W.B. Yeats

I suppose we are always searching for peace. I have yet to find absolute peace and contentment this Christmas. Life continues to be uncomfortable, and irritating, and overwhelming. It is also exciting and wonderful and I feel deeply the the love and abounding opportunity that is in front of me. I am happy. I do wonder if I will always chase after peace, dropping slow from the veils of the morning, just like Yeats.

Happy Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It is both very difficult, and very easy to live with people who have known you your entire life. I deal with this paradox every time I come home. It's wonderful in some ways. I slip back in with a beautiful ease, happy to be with people who have known me so intimately and so long. There's nothing like family, really. The hard part is trying to fit the parts of you that have changed and grown back into the comforting old role... It's painful and irritating because no matter what you do, things will never be like they were. You are different. They are different. My thirteen year old brother (who is now taller than I am) picked me right up off the floor when I hugged him hello.

I am looking forward to Christmas. A break is nice, although I feel like I've gone and left my brain at school.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I hate packing up my room so much. Packing to go on a trip is nice. Packing up your stuff so that you can deposit it in a storage unit for four months... not so nice.

I do not feel as emotionally overwhelmed as I have in the past. I'm looking forward to a lot of things. But the logistical difficulties of having my room in a state of chaos is so hard: wondering what should go where, and if I've covered everything, and which dishes were mine exactly? ...Uh, well, it's not fun. I am contemplating sleep so that I can do well during my final tomorrow, but the idea of sleeping in the middle of this mess is distressing to me. I am tempted to call my boyfriend for the third time today, just to have someone talk me down from my crazy-ness.

I always start listening to really angsty rock music during this time of the semester. Only the past few days have been odd because I've been switching between Bing Crosby and Weezer.

Oh I don't know what the point of this post is. I hate pointless posts too, but I don't know what else to do with myself right now. Please tell me packing makes you crazy too. Packing and finals. Urg.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself...

And so things come to a close. The semester is winding down. The last issue of the school newspaper for this semester was published Friday, and so ends my first foray into the world of college journalism. I'd say it was successful. I am glad I have chosen to focus on writing, rather than literature. I love reading great literature, but lit theory does wear upon me after a while. Ceramics is also wrapping up. All that is left is to wait for the kilns to be fired, and unloaded. I am very excited and very sad at the same time about this. Alas, I have one more test in my history class, and there is a mountain of packing ahead of me. I will make it through these things, though.

In the meantime, other things are opening up. I have my visa (thank goodness) and my class schedule for London. I can start to see the multitude of opportunities that are unfolding in front of me, and it's very exciting. I am not afraid anymore. I was talking to a friend the other day who said to me, "I am starting to feel more and more grounded." I agree with her. I have been thinking about a quote I wrote out for myself at the beginning of the semester. For a time, I had a hard time appreciating it, but it's been true all along:

"Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while a great wind is bearing me across the sky." -Ojibwa proverb.

Difficulty and stress has made me see clearer, now that I am on the other side. I know this peace and clarity won't last, but I hold onto the startling moments of faith as long as I can.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stand By Me

It really is nice, amidst worries about final projects and academic performance, to be reminded that you are a person outside of all those things. Today was full of worry and stress about school and deadlines. But tonight I was reminded that I am not defined by those things.

Tonight I was forcefully reminded of what it means to stick by someone. To be there with a sympathetic ear and a level head (as much as you can, anyway) ... every so often you get to see the result; the beautiful culmination of overcoming struggle and making it beautiful. That is something. It feels good to be proud, to be there in the audience thinking, "they made it!" So many people in my life have done that for me. It feels good to turn around and pass it on.

So. I am surviving. And I am so, so excited for London. Really, I can't tell you.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Home is where the house is...

I am home for Thanksgiving break. It's been nice: good food, Streetfighter 4, chill'in out time with the family. On the other hand, the whole homework thing is really hard to deal with on break.

Being home is unsettling. I keep thinking, "I want to go home," and I'm thinking of school. That's the first time that has happened. I miss my routine, my space, my friends, my professors. Even if school is stressful, it's stress that I've chosen for myself.

It just gets harder and harder to come back here... I feel a little guilty admitting that, but it's true. I'm just too attached to living on my own.

I want to go to London. Now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Have I found you, flightless bird?

It's funny how quickly determination and confidence can melt into anxiety and fear of failure. I can resolve to steel myself against the pressure cooker of tackling a story for the newspaper on adderall abuse, but being in the middle of it with a deadline approaching is another thing. An approaching history paper and a trip to immigration services on Friday morning also doesn't help.

It's all muddle. I am aware of my need to cope with stress because it won't resolve itself. Yet, I feel like I can't get a good night's sleep and my stomach hurts every time I eat. I fight with my boyfriend, and I wonder why my best friend is acting upset with me again, and I feel bad about not making time for everyone and everything. Yet... I don't feel quite as out of control as I have in the past. Maybe the lesson is that you should stop fooling yourself and understand that you'll just make it though ... because sometimes that's all there is TO do. I've stopped hoping for things to suddenly much easier, and I'm trying to settle in and focus on what's most important to me. Translated into today, that would mean playing some guitar to relax, making some tea and settling into my armchair to get down to business on this article.

It is a very gloomy day, cold, foggy, and wet. As my favorite professor once said, "I love this kind of weather because it give me an excuse to do the things I always want to do, like curl up with a blanket and read." I agree with that statement. What else is there to do but settle in and write on a day like this? Only one thing: listen to Iron and Wine while you do it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you ... I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.”

-Joseph Campbell

As much as my public speaking class annoys me, it has made me rediscover Joe Campbell at a very opportune moment. Amid confusion and doubt and stress it is good to be reminded of him.

I have accepted that from now until the end of the semester I will get no rest. I am deeply committed to what I am doing (most of it anyway, my history test not so much but that's ok). I am comforted by the fact that if you are committed and hard working and good at what you do, people notice. I didn't realize how much respect I've garnered until this week, and it makes me want to work even harder.

I am also starting to accept my call to adventure (aka London). I am ready to step on that plane and let the stream of life carry me wither it will. If only I could skip the paperwork...

Stress levels are being managed through my Bollywood dance workout dvd, and forcing myself to take the time to cook a good meal every day (even if that means making a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwhich; probably the most intense combination of comfort food ever).

It is both very difficult and very easy to stay in love with someone, lovers or friends. I find sticking around is worth it.

I am fighting with my need to study and siren song of my pillow. I think it is time the pillow won out.

Goodnight all, and pleasant dreams.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Last night I saw Paul Krugman speak. Awesome dude, depressing topic. I don't want to hide from reality, but the assertion that the unemployment rate probably won't even start going back down until well after I graduate was a little frightening.

Such is life, I suppose. Catastrophe is always more possible than we like to think. The recent recession being an excellent example.

On the other hand, my adviser (and mentor) told me today that it was quite possible for me to go out and just invent field to work in, to make myself a job. She said she's seen it happen. I love her for her mix of pragmatism and optimism. It's a balance I'd like to strike myself.

One good thought about the future: today I earnestly started to consider pursuing editorship at the paper next year.

In the meantime, it's hard to keep thinking about things like that when I have SO much to do. I've hardly had time to breathe the past few days. I am working very, very hard to stay centered and calm. The thing that keeps me going is the fact that I really do love what I'm doing. I know it's right for me.

It's tough not to let people throw you off balance. Even the people who love you, (and the people you love) will do careless things now and then. I am trying to focus on things are a part of me. My writing, my pots, my books... I am starting to realize that I need to give some weight to lessons about relationships, just as I do my academics.

I think my biggest goal right now is to be the kind of person (someday) who knows, deep down, what is really important in life, and what is worth letting go of.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Dear Lord, it is November already.

I have resigned myself to the fact that blogging is going to happen quickly and at odd times if it is to happen at all. This week has been trying: the highs were high, but the lows were terribly low. I hate crying my eyes out in the car, but I did that this week. I also hate having to get up the next morning and present myself with red and puffy eyes.

I love the opportunities I have been given, though. I saw Yo-Yo Ma speak and perform last Monday. I cannot even describe to you how inspiring that was. Maybe I will try in the next few days, but I don't have time now.

Getting to London will be the death of me, but I am sure I will be resurrected once I do get there.

In the meantime, I am learning to make choices. I am starting to think that maybe giving 100% to every single assignment is not wise, or even possible. I am starting to think that learning to let go of some things should be top priority for me. I am starting to realize that tying my sense of self worth to my GPA is inaccurate and (well) bad. I like the classes in which I am not concerned about getting a good grade, but doing my best simply for the sake of the work. Those classes are few, but I treasure them.

I realize that I may have already realized these things and then forgotten them. I think I'm realizing them even harder this time around, though.

I went to my first college house party last night and stayed for a total of 20 minutes.

I am not a sports writer.

I am dead tired. Part of me can't wait for the end of the semester, and part of me is terrified at how fast that will happen.

Goodnight. That is all.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Cottage in the Woods

I have a strange love for travel. I don’t just mean going to new and different places, I mean the very act of travel. I enjoy being in transit, the odd limbo of car rides, airport terminals, and trains. Right now I am flying over an arctic landscape of clouds, tinted pink by the morning sun. I feel as if I am flying over an ocean of cotton candy. Straight ahead is the horizon, a hazy band of gold stretching across the point where land and sky must meet, blending the pink and blue. All of this is neatly framed by the tiny airplane window. I am off to Philadelphia, then Manchester, then Holderness. Holderness. It sounds like wilderness; according to my friend, that is about right. If I am lucky, I will also visit Boston and Connecticut. My friend and her mother have also theorized that I am secretly a New Englander at heart. We shall test that.

I am so glad to be getting away, to leave. It feels good to be up here, despite my cramped economy seat, the exhaustion that comes from staying up late and getting up early, and the fact that the bagel I ate this morning is not doing much to satiate my hunger. It is all worth it, just to feel the moment when the plane leaves the ground. I know that part terrifies some people. Noe had to grab my hand when we took off. But I love it, the feeling of somehow magically defeating gravity. Now we ride, tiny people in a tiny plane across a vast and unending sky, buffeted here and there.


I wrote that yesterday morning, in transit (obviously). Travel is exhausting, but inspiring and exciting as well. Flying up to New Hampshire has made me more excited about going to London (I am going, it's inevitable now). My appetite has been whetted.

Now I am settled cozily in to my friend's home, a cottage in the foothills in NH. It is very cold here; the air snaps at you when you walk outside, and the leaves are magnificent. If feels so good to be here, I love it already. My new fantasy is to someday (when I am ready to settle down and write my magnum opus) buy a cottage in New England in the woods and write, while a lazy cat dozes in my lap.

In the meantime, homework calls (the life of student never ends, not even on fall break!).