Spring Semester 2009 is ON, full intensity. Busy is good, and an exceptionally "good" week it was. To the demanding load of 17 credits, add teaching skiing 1-2 days per week, running a small business, writing for the school paper, social events, and come what may... eeesh.
On a positive note, every class session was filled with that vague, euphoric sense of having so much to gain from the coursework in the syllabi - nerdy but thrilling to sit and know that over the course of months, my understanding is going to be kneaded, spread out, formed into something new and increasingly comprehensive. Learning is awesome.
An unexpected highlight of the week: officially being hired on for my first paid writing job. I am now a stipend earnin' Campus Reporter for the SLCC Globe. This thrilling little twist in the plot of my spring term marks the advent of my next phase as a writer.
This blog has been a refuge for me, a place where my writing has gone public for the first time, albeit with limited scrutiny. SLCC boasts a ballpark enrollment of 60,000 students, and the Globe is available at every door of every campus. A fantastic opportunity to step into the public eye and begin building a portfolio, but seriously?! Bye bye academic wallflowerism.
Other than that, the second week of the 2009th year bearing the post-fix A.D. looks a lot like: smog in the valley and sunshine and soft, melted snow in the slopes. My favorite ski conditions... the air is pure, the wind on hiatus, my favorite runs are steep and soft and I can lose myself wholly in those moments of rhythmic reaching downhill, carving, finishing, flattening, reaching, repeating. On a particularily glorious ski day, Tuesday, I was riding solo on the lifts and contemplating the feeling of gratitude - how much I feel for health, recreation, deep breaths, good friends, long hard days of calorie torching shredding, followed by wholesome nourishment.
Being alive is great! Cheers to my faith in sustaining it through this semester. :)
I know I said I wouldn't. I know I said other things were going to take precedence over my education this Spring.
But in the final moments where I scrambled the funds together, made the payment, and registered for the 16 credits I'll be taking, the thoughts going through my mind were right on track.
The thing is, in my old age of 22, I've become increasingly goal oriented. It isn't as much about the cash-out value or trade-offs of going to school anymore - yes, I just eliminated the probability of skiing in Europe, Jackson Hole, and a handful of other 'really exciting adventures' - but I'm making a permanent investment in a long range goal, that ultimately serves to make adventure more accessible, life more stable, etc. I think of the quote "Pay me now, or pay me later, but either way, you're going to pay me." I see the face of The Man in that saying, a rasp in his voice. I'm going to pay that old bastard now, walk down the line and take my diploma a year from May, a document that may or may not make my skills more marketable, my abilities more recognizable... but will symbolize a fulfillment of a commitment I made to myself, and embody the unlocking power to achieve future goals. I could rant on and on about school, but in summary, I'm going! And I LIKE it! :)
Novel, the second subject of this post. I've had some characters growing in my brain the past few months. It's like being pregnant... I assume, I have no idea what that actually feels like, but I swear these characters kick the back of my forehead and lean on my hypothalamus til my sleep patterns go irregular and my appetite buckles. They want out. I want them out. I'm going to write them into being this spring, in the company of a writer's group I've been invited to join, which I am thrilled about.
Love. I hesitate to write this... but because things like this need to be borne, not suffocated in the confines of my skull, I shall. I've had this ongoing crushlikething for a while now, for a dear friend. I was talking to another dear friend about it a few days ago, and he said that this 'crush' is the one thing that makes him question my otherwise admired (by him) intelligence. Kind of stunning, really, like a bee sting on a pleasant summer day, the worst part of it being that I knew exactly where he was coming from. A few other good friends have made a similar point. I don't think that it's a particularly good look for an independent, whole woman to wear - this waiting, almost pining, thoughtfully patient "love." Dear friend #2, bee sting guy, says I should be 'putting myself out there more' - and he also scolded me for paying for my own dinner on dates, my typical policy. To all of this, I respond that sure, I could be more engaging in the possibilities of romance with random dates, and I guess I could let strangers pay for food I consume and would rather pay for myself, and I suppose I could forget for a while how every second I spend in the company of dear friend #1, crushguy, feels like home the way I remember it from age 9... unpretentious, comfortable, right. But hey, I don't have the time or energy to change my ways today. I'll think on it though.
And lastly, the New Year. Instinctively, I wanted to say "I hope it's good to you all." Instead, I say decide now what you want it to look like, summon your courage, fill your lungs, and press forward. 2009 is bound to be filled with unseen obstacles, challenges, trials, pain.... and possibly as much happiness and fulfillment as your soul can contain. This first week of it is the part where we address what we want the content to look like. The headlines will make themselves, the paragraphs that follow, where we record our reactions, express our rhythms, draw our character - that's all open, and is largely determined by habit.