Today was a day. Literally my first step out the door I slipped on black ice and gave myself a possible slight concussion. So knowing I’m gonna be woken up throughout the night (because comas) while I plan for precalculus and wonder just how long I can put off grading those related rates calculus quizzes, I figured I might as well write a bit.
Because I had an amazing idea in the elevator this morning!
Sometimes we’ve got a weight on our shoulders, keeping us down and preventing us from moving forward, and sometimes it’s more of a weight in our pockets–we feel it, and it’s not going anywhere, but we’ve got to carry it forward until we’re able to let it go.
Letting go isn’t always an option in our control. Right now the monstrous weight in my pocket is the wait to marry the man I love, just to see him again: we’re a binational couple going through the immigration process, and even though this burden grows heavier every day, we can do nothing to set it down any sooner–it’s in the hands of someone else.
So we do what we can to pass the time. This is how I’ve carried these pocket monsters.
My fiance holds the gift I gave him on the eighth night of Chanukah. Dec. 23, 2014.
With the Season of Giving going behind us, it seems fitting to take a moment to say thank you–both to the people who gave me gifts personally, but also to all the people whose generosity helped brighten the lives of others. It’s always seemed fitting to me that the gift-giving holidays are all clustered during winter, when we (in the northern hemisphere) most need the cheerfulness to keep us warm until the spring.
As any gift-giver may know, the easiest gifts to send are those that give themselves–like cash and gift cards. There’s something special about tearing off the wrapping paper and seeing precisely what you want to get, but for as long as I can remember there has been a different kind of excitement when I open a gift card–now I’m holding potential, opportunity, and I get to go on an adventure to decide precisely what I want.
What My Experiments with Baking Have Taught Me About Life
Or: I want to talk about cookies, so let me make it a metaphor.
I like cooking (and I like eating what I cook–most of the time), but like blogging, being in school (and often over-committing myself), it’s not something I get to do as often as I’d like–so when the opportunity to cook arises, I jump at it. Team potluck? Let me try my hand at salmon casserole, spicy chicken dip, or cranberry kugel. Need a dessert for a bake sale or snack at the meeting? Let me make a hundred oatmeal cream cookies (those were a hit! and they lasted for months, great snacks between classes!), gluten-free black bean brownies, or red velvet cake batter cookies. My mouth is watering at the memories!
So I’m going to a friend’s housewarming party tomorrow night (no spoilers, Katie, stop reading) and I decided I wanted to surprise her with some made-at-home cookies!
Today I went on an adventure within an adventure, deep into the center of Mexico City. Or not that deep. It’s hard to measure depth over a lateral distance. And for the past few days, I’ve been walking to pick up my boyfriend after he gets off work, so I’ve gained a few tidbits of wisdom for how to cross the street in Mexico City–in case you should ever be there and find yourself in need of help.
Fundraising should be fun. Many people think “fundraising” begins with funds–we need money, we don’t have money, so let’s get someone to give us money. The truth is–and I think I’m realizing this–is that “fundraising” actually begins with fun (and we can ignore that fact that, technically speaking, we can derive an even shorter start to the word, but such obscenities might actually deter the act giving).
So would you care to join me for a spot of fun-raising?
I figured I’d update you all on my progress sooner than this–but I’m not surprised why I’m only here now. I haven’t written anything today. (Please ignore for the moment I’m an afternoon-evening-night kind of writer, so it’s not late enough in the day for this to be atypical yet.) And yesterday? My smallest wordcount all month. Yes, I was riding a night of no sleep, I had work and a workshop and they both overlapped, and I was preoccupied by math and hexaflexagons all day, but I wrote fewer pages than I had on any other day all month.
Exhaustion is the theme this semester. Actually, “exhaustion” is not a theme. “Exhaustion” is a topic. It would be much more appropriate to say that “Intense schedules lead to overwhelming exhaustion” is a theme since themes must be complete sentences that communicate a message to the consumer. By “consumer,” I here mean any readers, watchers, observers, et cetera, that observe a piece wherein some creator intended some deeper meaning. That’s theme.
I mentioned in my last post that I’ve felt exhausted a lot lately. I had hoped this weekend–my second foray into the world of the National Association of Campus Activities, where I got to meet Zach Wahls (!!!), attend live group sex therapy, and had “Bazinga” airbrushed onto a hat–would rejuvenate me, but…well, at least the comedian was uplifting. Laughter does inspire. And live music is like imbibing poetry to regurgitate later. But the overall effect was not as I had hoped for.
Memories and bravery may get us far, but both are second when the world is a bottle of chaos and you’re stuck somewhere on the inside, shaken up and shaken apart. I tend to feel like this at the end of the semester. It’s all just a messy blur of moments and meaningful if miniscule messages of all the things I’ve learned. Dizzying, stomach-churning, exhaustive. That’s the life of a modern-day full-time college student with multiple jobs, a family, and oft-forgotten hobbies.
People like to ask what I do in my spare time. I grin a bit (I swear my eyes must sparkle with mischievous light) and I ask, “What time?” Torn between studying, working, family, friends, and sleeping (as much as I’d love to go without it, physiology says I can’t), there is no time. Not until break. Or more specifically, not until the semester ends (those breaks in the middle? They’re for catching up, nor for resting, what did you think?).
Free time. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with it, but when finally I’ve remembered how to use it, well, it’s the best thing all winter. Forget holly and mistletoe. Forget eight nights and everlasting light. It’s the free time that I’m thankful for today.
I’ve written a lot lately. In fact, since my last post here I’ve written over 23,000 words–or the equivalent of approximately a month’s worth of posts, if we assume I post about twelve times a month and each of them are slightly less than two thousand words a piece. Then again, this is what I expect during NaNoWriMo: A lot of writing but not a lot of writing here. Or on school papers. I’m so glad they’re not due till December.
Lately I’ve also been hung up on saying “the truth is.” Well the truth is I don’t know why I’ve had this obsession, but I’m almost certain that the two might be related.