“Now, I want you do me a favor. Print out the reading, but don’t read it before class. I know this will be hard.” She gestures towards the front row where I sit. “Especially for you guys.” (excerpt from a class today)
Last time I posted, it was a month ago, and I’d just started school. A month later, and I am surprisingly still sane. (Sane does not negate stress, it just means that I’m not going insane. Talk to me around finals for that revelation.)
Quite a bit has happened since then. I’ve written thousands of words of essays and read even more, but I’ve also managed to visit the National Book Festival (during which I met Don DeLillo at an exclusive event inside LOC, asked Susan Cooper a question during Q&A about Seaward, and got my copy of the aforementioned book signed. I’m staring at the poster that hangs across my room – a tree full of whimsical animals reading. It makes my dorm room walls a bit less prison-like). I’ve also seen National Players perform Macbeth and dragged a number of university folks to the farmer’s market during my somewhat-sporadic excursions. I’m going to North Carolina next month and going home next weekend and just trying to survive tonight’s homework. I should be reviewing notes for that committee meeting or drafting that film analysis, but you’ll pardon me if all I want to do is ramble on this little blog of mine.
I met Steve Vetter yesterday and filled my ears with stories of people and kindness and the world and sat in the corner chewing on my pen surrounded by a bunch of economics majors. Tomorrow I’ll dig my heels into the library and “how can I help you today” and “i’d be glad to find that book for you” and a few hours later catch the rattling bus that will drop me off a few long blocks from church. Maybe somewhere between that I’ll write an imitation essay – I’m thinking about imitating Virginia Woolf, but my professor thinks that might be too easy for me and I halfway agree. I can think in Woolf’s prose at this point so maybe I should pick up Diaz or Tolkien or God-forbid Hemingway or find someone that will be a challenge. Or maybe if I write this essay at midnight I’ll just open a well-loved page from Jacob’s Room or To the Lighthouse and be creative on my second draft.
Maybe between writing that last paragraph and now I just opened up my email and passed along funding information and read an article request that I can’t say no to and scheduled office hours with my advisor. I’m wearing a summery dress borrowed from a friend – last week I sat on her bed and we laughed about crazy life and realized again that we were two sides of the same coin and discussed boys and life and then loaded her dirty clothes into the washers and hugged and promised we’d get together again soon. We haven’t spoken since.
So until the next time I decide to pop on and say hello to you, friend; do great. Be amazing – you know you can be. Sometimes things hurt but a few hours later you can look back on it and realize that the little things are just little, and if they’re not, than maybe you need to open a new post on your blog or a new page in your diary and just write your heart out. Sometimes that’s the only cure, and as Susan Cooper said this weekend, “it’s cheaper than therapy”.
As always, feel free to drop me a note in the comments or on Twitter.
*photographs from my Instagram.