2 comments Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's always hurry up and wait; behind the barrel or under the gun. I can't seem to find the happy medium. I can't seem to find the place that will allow me to feel at ease as I progress forward.

Perhaps I am being stretched too thin? I have so many projects to take care of, so many organizations I lead or take part in. I am here. I am there. I am in-between. I am everywhere and nowhere.

Or maybe it just seems that way.

The truth is, this semester has made me feel more bipolar than I ever thought possible (and I am not even clinically diagnosed!). One moment I am excited and motivated to continue working, studying, researching and writing. The next, I am vexed, tired and uninspired. Unfortunately I can't figure out the source of these oscillating emotions and moods. I suspect a great deal of it comes from stress, the ebb and flow of assignments to do and to grade. One day I am ahead, and then the next day I am behind.

Additionally, I believe that the drama—the rumors, mumblings, and uncertainty—is eating away at everyone. While it may start of as a contained thought or concern, the drama often manifests itself in new ways. It becomes aggressive. It swoops into conversations and thoughts and holds them hostage. In the end, we end up discussing things to death out of concern and worry. And in those discussions we lose sight of what we believe in, what we have been working towards. I think we let that drama consume the best of us not only because it is so overwhelming, but because it is so easy to sink beneath the turbulent waves of it. We are inundated with these confusing messages that negate all we've been fighting for and, instead of pushing towards the surface or paddling harder and faster, we let the waves crash down.

Don't get me wrong. It is hard to push, to paddle, to swim instead of sink. I know that I have a hard time doing it. I know that I have let many waves crash down around me. Yet, at the same time, I keep trying to push, to paddle and to swim. I am not going to let uncertainty and fear guide my actions and lead me into inaction. I know better. I am stronger than that. I am better than that.

1 comments Sunday, March 16, 2008

My thoughts of graduate school have been increasingly better as of late. This semester has gone progressively better than the previous, and I am starting to feel as if I have carved the groves of my niche. Still, these thoughts are constantly changing depending on the day and the news.

Graduate teaching assistant (GTA) positions are up in the air again, and I am excited to have the chance at securing my position for another year. However, I learned earlier this week that a person I knew from the debate team applied to be a graduate teaching assistant in the department. Obviously it would be sheer folly to speak ill of this person, especially since it reflects poorly on me. Still, I feel justified in saying that I do not support this person's presence in the department or as GTA. Indeed, I would hardly say this about anyone else, but this person warrants and elicits this response from me.

I have known this individual for five years and he/she has never been honest, authentic, compassionate, or concerned for anyone. Instead this person has been consistently selfish, unkind, dramatic, and unapologetic in all of his/her actions. He/She never even felt bad about the damage his/her words inflicted when spoken. There was never repose nor reflection; no broad insight into the damage done.

When I heard that this person was highly recommended by certain people, my heart sank. Flashbacks from three years ago instantly flashed through my head. Each moment filled with intensity, drama, and disdain. I remembered the words this person spoke, telling me and others that we weren't worthy. I remembered the malicious actions this person took to hurt others and to feel better about their place in the world. Mostly, I remembered how much I disliked this person, but not on principle. I remembered that I disliked this person for what he/she brought out in others, for what he/she made others do, and for he/she made others feel. When I think about it in this sense, I worry about what he/she will do if they get the position. I worry about the way he/she will shake the stable foundations in place. I worry about how he/she will try to make everything a personal issue and cause pain in others.

Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about this. As much as I believe this person is not qualified nor deserving of the GTA position, I do not decide. Instead, I can only sit back and observe the action the department takes. I can only wait and see.

In the event that he/she receives a GTA position, I'll accept the actions taken by the department. However, I will not accept this person as a friend, colleague, or peer. Perhaps if this person had been apologetic or reflective in his/her actions, I would feel somewhat better about lending a helping hand. I cannot justify helping him/her, though. He/She sowed the seeds of his/her discontent and unraveling a long time ago. Now it is time for him/her to reap what was sown.

1 comments Friday, March 14, 2008

I turned 23 on March 9th and it was a blast. I must admit that I was apprehensive about my birthday, hanging out with new people, and getting old. However, it was, without a doubt, one of the best weekends and birthday's I ever had. I enjoyed great food and two wonderful movies with a great friend on Friday. On Saturday, my newer friends and I stormed downtown and had a picture/video scavenger hunt and barhopping fiesta (there are pictures on facebook if you are interested). Sunday concluded the festivities. My brother and I had dinner at a local Japanese Steakhouse and joked about getting older.

I couldn't have asked a for a better birthday!

Lately, though, I haven't been feeling too well. Unfortunately, I think I picked up the flu or food poisoning. Hopefully it is the latter of the two. In the meanwhile, I am sort of "relaxing" at home while working on school work.

1 comments Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I've been taking time to reassess my current situation and, so far, it has helped me feel better. I am still not sure why these existential questions keep lingering, droning out my usual thoughts, but I am taking them as they come. If anything, though, they have helped me rethink what I am doing, what I want to do, and where I am going. In this regard they have been a bit of a blessing, albeit a tumultuous one.

As I have struggled through these times, though, I have been thankful to ask myself, "Where are you?"

"Where are you?" has served a reminder that I am here, in the now—I cannot be in another place nor in another time. "Where are you?" has guided my actions, focusing my movements and intentions, letting me know that I can only move forward from where I am. "Where are you?" has made me see that the past the collection of events trailing the present. Most importantly, "Where are you?" has made me positively refocus the haunting thoughts of chaos/uncertainty/crisis.

It is a fragile defense. A mere stream of words accented by a question mark. Yet, though it is frail, it is an idea—a progressive thought—that has helped me power through. And if I can just recall it—if I can just feel the burning fire within me and the air of hope around me—I know I will be alright.

5 comments Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I am almost twenty-three and I feel lost in the world around me. I know where I am and what I am doing, but I feel like I have more to learn about myself and my place in the world. Moreover, it is a feeling I cannot shake. I keep returning to it, wondering why I feel uncertain about where I am.

I know part of my uncertainty comes from the instability I feel within the department. Yet, I also feel a longing for something more, something entirely novel and beyond myself. I want to feel that sense of joy and adventure again--that feeling like I am experiencing life in the fullest. I want something beyond what I know and do well.

I suppose it will happen in time. I know I will continue to grow and figure out more about myself. Still, I long for adventure and new challenges.

Perhaps, one day not too long from now, I will find that adventure. Until then, though, I will continue to be where I am in the present. I will try to find the joy in each new day while I continue to hope for something better down the road.