Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quarterlife Confessional

Life is strange.

Enough so that I’ve abandoned belief in coincidence. Some things are inconsequential enough to come together without force. Other seemingly simple things strike at moments too opportune for me to negate even the possibility of divine orchestration.

One juicy, delicious blessing I have in my life is that of a Best Friend. Movie and literature portrayals don’t touch this. We've been together in spirit for over a decade now, distance has come, gone and come again, and the friendship grows ever stronger. When I think about it, I really, truly can’t believe the amazing and profound influence this has been on who I am. I’m grateful for our connection every day, every moment I’m alive.

Relationships like that don’t just happen. And they don’t grow without effort to be a true friend to the other person, and to be a person true enough that one would want to call friend.

I read back through my blog the other day, musing on the musings. There’s been a giant snowball barreling down the hill of my life the past few years. It looks like self sacrifice, it’s fueled by insanity, it manifests in my ability to overbook and over commit, and it grips like an iron stranglehold. My vices are my vise. I like being busy, I am fond of challenge, I’m relatively capable. So I take on new things, I try to do it all, I make sacrifices.

It’s not working any more.

I’ve distributed my energy too far and wide to have any left over for myself. I stopped reading. I took on more jobs. I gave up much without realization, but my efforts were too diluted to count for lasting satisfaction.

I just got a B+ in a class I could have spent five minutes more to get an A, for example. The non-profit I edit for is still waiting for me to hit a week, maybe two, old deadline. I got a ¼ of my flooring in before realizing I’d dead ended the flow and had to turn back, pull it up, and start over with the end more clearly in mind. I’m just not being effective or striking the mark with accuracy the first time around.

Who knows what else I’ve lost in my frenzy.

All I know now is that while this madness I’ve created could be sustainable, it doesn’t have to be. I’d like to regain something of true, authentic and raw happiness. I wasn’t born to be a robot.

It’s three months minus spare change til my next birthday. A lot can happen in three months. I can’t effectively and permanently change my habits overnight, but I bet there’s a lot I can do in the range of three months to hone in what gives my existence real meaning.

Also noted in my blog scan – I’ve failed to record some crucial, intrinsic quarterlife goodies, such as the developments surrounding the ‘what I’m doing with my life’ dilemma. Total quarterlife material right there, and I’ve never even bothered to mark the progress or muse on the journey. So here it is.

I’m declared as an English major, news which didn’t stun the ears of former teachers, but took some growth and increased perception for me to accept. I didn’t want to be an English major. I didn’t want to be a teacher when I grew up. I wanted to be an icy, powerful business woman, and here I am in the middle of the humanities field – right where I discovered, albeit with reluctance, that I need to be.

I need school. Like oxygen, like water, like vitamin D. Need it. Because it is the hallowed ground I walk to prove a challenge to myself, a birthplace of invaluable relationships and experiences, the refinery where my raw materials are gathered for development and consecration. There are other places where this occurs, but school is still irreplaceable. It’s not for everyone, but it is for me.

All things hideous and beautiful considered, I’ll be around Academia for a while, likely a good long while, as my vision has expanded and I aim now for not only literacy but expertise. Bridges will be crossed when arrived at, I can only speculate what they’ll look like, but I aim to reach the end of the line in the career path I choose, to attain the ultimate degree available in my field.

I feel shy saying that. I don’t know why. I’m pioneering my way through college, no one in my heritage has been there. It makes me feel like a gawky strangeling in a new land.

Anyway, it’s late and in summary, I have recognized that if I am to give the things that matter the energy that will make them happen well, I have to prune back my outreach and implement improved time management policies. I’ve identifed and said as much for a while, but it’s time to go and do it. And do it better, and not strike out.

I am grateful for friendship that keeps me in check and lets me know when my feet are on solid earth, gently pulling back to the soil as needed.

With love,
JH

5 comments:

haikitay said...

Good on ya J. It does take a lot of wrong turns before you realize that you do have limits. Good for you for figuring that out now. It took me 5 years of motherhood and a life changing disease before I figured it out. Now stay healthy and happy and study!!!

Anonymous said...

I too like to muse on the musing. SO much to say and so little time.

Jessica said...

Love to you now and always. Happy to along for the ride :)

Natster said...

Sweet Jenn,
How I love to read your writing. It is so beautiful. I am happy that you are going into English. You will be an incredible teacher. In fact I wish I had had an English teacher such as yourself. :)
As for feeling like you have so many irons in the fire, I recently discovered a remedy: Focus only on the true priorities in your life (you know what they are for you, it's different for every person) and the other irons that truly need attention will become noticeable (ie..HOT), or will just melt away. The man upstairs will show you the way.
I don't know if that will help. I hope it does because for me letting go & humbly admitting that I can't & don't want to do it all has brought a level of peace to my life that I cherish. You're great, just know that.:)

postcollegiate said...

Just wanted to say I really love your blog posts! You're a great writer!