Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Cares

I like the winter time. It is nice to see nature settling down into itself, to see the still crispness of it. It's a little calming during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I spent some time re-reading my posts from this time last year ... I was preparing for London, chafing at being home, worrying about making my relationship a long distance one. The cares and toils of this December are different, certainly, but they are there. I've stopped expecting Christmas to be carefree. We make what we can of it. I am grateful that my family makes the deliberate choice to stay home every year, to relax rather than building up pressures and expectations for how things should be. I am looking forward to some quiet time at home (so different from last year).

Some things are the same, although the stakes feel higher. Last year I wrote about the opportunity unfolding in front of me - how anxiety and excitement are so intertwined. I feel that ever the more this year, with graduation quickly approaching. I still worry about my relationship sometimes ... after almost three years things get increasingly complicated. Passing the holiday apart in separate states doesn't help and it's making my Christmas feel quite blue compared to last year.

I think, I hope, that this year I have more clarity at least. A vision of what I want out the next few years, out of my life, is beginning to form tentatively in my mind. I've just finished up the most intellectually and emotionally challenging semester yet and I made it. Not only am I still standing, I owned it. I am starting to feel a real sense of ownership over my abilities and my passions. I am more willing to stand up and defend my decisions, to defend my needs, to defend my views. That's got to count for something, right?

And so, the stakes do not feel so overwhelmingly high because I know that one way or another I will do all right. I have a lot of time ahead of me. At least this winter break is giving me time to settle and reflect, and I am grateful for that and for my family (and friends) near and far. I am also grateful for the time to do needlework and to finally read "The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet."

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some of the most overwhelming and astonishing experiences come after weeks of frustration and pain. At least, that's what happened during my English capstone presentation. The culminating presentation of my English major, of my undergrad degree, and it just took on a momentum of its own. I was so nervous before it started, but once we got underway I knew we were in the zone. It was big, it was important, and it was meaningful. I got chills during the conclusion.

Whew. Anyway, now that it's all over I feel that I should be done. But I have two final exams and a paper to write yet. Urg. So, I'm off to work on that.

Just wanted to give a last nod to my intellectual and emotional euphoria.