Sunday, September 28, 2014

the last weekend in september.

When I think back on this weekend, I want to remember a few things. 

I want to remember how foggy and rainy and gray it was the Friday morning of my first Car-fit event as a technician. I want to remember how random clusters of bees kept flying up at us, making us run around like crazy people. I want to remember practicing on each other's cars. I want to remember breakfast at Coffee Shack at 7:30, bright and early, before we set out.

I want to remember rushing home to write a SOAP note, scarfing down an apple and peanut butter, and hurriedly putting together an outfit that I hoped was appropriate for stand up paddle boarding (which is apparently called "SUP"). I want to remember the van ride with our SUP crew, learning the seat belt game and laughing the whole way there. I want to remember how scared I was when I first set foot in the Tar River, how scared I was when I felt the river's current trying to pull me out away from the other paddlers, how scared I was when I finally tried - successfully - to stand up. I was scared, but I still did it, and I am proud of myself. I am especially proud that I never even fell into the water once. That is something I was sure was going to happen. I want to remember the car ride back, when I was quiet and hungry, but then laughing about going as different parts of the homonculus for Halloween.

I want to remember changing at Rebekah's and having lime Perrier. I want to remember dinner at China 10 and having two glasses of cab and laughing as hard as I could. I want to remember the fortunes we grabbed and how one was about friendship. 

I want to remember feeling pretty ragged when I woke up on the couch on Saturday morning, and how I couldn't wait until Justin got home, partly because sleeping on the couch multiple nights in a row isn't fun, and partly because I want someone to share the job of taking Tahoe out, but mostly just because I miss him. I want to remember trudging down the roads outside before the sun came out. I want to remember how it was just a pink and orange streak in the distance. 

I want to remember my first Habitat for Humanity build day. I want to remember the banter and the sore legs and the hammering in linoleum flooring. I want to remember how proud Kalyn and I felt that we had actually learned a new skill that day, and that we had worked together and problem solved and just generally owned our task.

I want to remember breakfast with Rebekah at 1:30 p.m. at the Scullery. I want to remember that delicious veggie scramble, toast and jam, and the CHEESE GRITS. But mostly, I want to remember the conversations over multiple cups of luke-warm and somehow still delicious coffee. I want to remember feeling that comfortable feeling of knowing someone is listening to your stories, laughing with you, and sharing their stories as well. I want to remember how much I needed that, how much it helped me to de-stress and remember that this school thing is something to really experience. Not something to stress over.

I want to remember chatting with Mom on the drive home, telling her all about this weekend that I want to remember. I want to remember my long talk on the phone with Dad when I got home. We talked about wheelchair transfers and SOAP notes and gait belts and other things therapy-related. I want to remember how happy I am that we now have therapy in common, that, by the end of my schooling, we will both be therapists.

I want to remember everything about this weekend. And now, it's down in writing, the best place for it to be. 

The main thing I want to remember tomorrow, though? All of my Foundations information. To not stress. To take things one day at a time. That everything is going to be ok. That school is going to fly by at the blink of an eye, and that now is the time to enjoy it and experience it, not when there are no tests on the horizon. 

Now, I sit at the table, about to make a schedule for this week, in order for it all to work. I sit and wait for Justin to arrive home. I sit and I study. And I clean the house. And I start reading the Bible daily again. That's today. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

on transition.



Lately, the only thing that can get me out of bed is the phrase, "... and then we can go get coffee." Even if it is an internal monologue, prompting me to get up and get ready. Even if it is Justin telling me we need to take Tahoe out. 

It's funny, because every time I sit down to write about life, to write about anything, it feels as if there are at least fifty different ideas and perspectives pulling me in different directions, shouting their opinions in my head, making me hesitate. 

I guess the best way to describe that phenomenon is with one word: overwhelmed. 

We're moving into the fifth week of grad school over here, and I'm still overwhelmed. My routines still aren't back to normal. I'm still not writing daily like I was over the summer. I'm still not reading the Bible like I had been doing almost daily since March. I'm still not acclimated to a good workout routine.

But, on the way to Starbucks to meet a friend to study on Thursday, I had the realization that I am finally settling into the rhythm of my new life, into the pace. And that, my friends, is saying something.

I probably go through at least eight different emotions within the course of a day, but I am making it. 
The ever-present ache for home is still there, even though it feels like home is different every time I go back.
People and places and things are altogether different here, yet altogether the same.
I miss feeling secure, surrounded by friends, but that feeling is slowly seeping into our lives here.
My words feel unfamiliar in this space, but they are making their way back to me.

And the list of feelings goes on and on. Transition is a strange, surreal collection of moments strung together in an awkward fashion. But that is life, and this is my life. And I'll keep going and feeling and wondering and wishing and enjoying and loving.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

let's simplify.

For the last few weeks, as I finally launched my brand new career as an Occupational Therapy student, I had a lot to think about. Making new friends among the twenty-five other OT students in my class, figuring out how on earth I was going to stay on top of all of my readings, assignments, quizzes, tests, & meetings, how I was going to eke out some time to work out, & the list goes on & on (and on, further than you could ever imagine).

You always think you’re ready for these life transitions. You daydream. You make “schedule proposals” in your journal. You make plans. You make promises to yourself & others.

And then, you begin the transition. And suddenly, nothing looks at all the way you imagined it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a startling, unnerving, un-tethering thing. Suddenly, your proposed schedules are so far off point that you may as well run them through the shredder, along with your sanity. Suddenly, you are busier than you could have ever imagined. Suddenly, you arrive home at five o’clock, & you have no idea where the whole day has gone. Suddenly, one day passing feels like an entire week. Suddenly, you are on a rollercoaster each day: at the peaks, you (figuratively) scream out,

I CAN DO THIS.

And you believe it. In the valleys, you wonder to yourself,

How will I ever accomplish all of this?

And you are genuinely concerned.

Through all of these feelings of excited chaos, there was one thing that kept running through my mind. One thing that had absolutely nothing to do with OT school. Amidst the quizzes stressed about & taken, the homework assignments tapped out in wavering confidence… It was there, probing, annoying, begging to be answered.

How will I blog through all of this?

To most people, I’m sure those closest to me included, this seems a bit of an inane worry.

Who cares about blogging? You are on the cusp of a new career.

They might be saying. And I know it’s true.

But there is something that blogging does for me, that it has been doing for me for over 12 years. It gives me something that is completely my own. A creative outlet. A way to express myself. A way to save my life for all posterity. A way to scrapbook. A way to reflect. A way to make everything feel special.

That is what blogging – at its simplest core – has always meant to me.

But how am I to continue this practice, with the mountainous to-do lists I now have teetering & tottering on my psyche each day? How will I make the time?

The answer: I will simplify this space.

No more “series” in which I will attempt to tell myself what I am to write about that day. No more scheduled monthly favorites or empties. No more scheduled editions of The Sunday Currently. No more telling myself when a post MUST go up into cyberspace. No more being so serious about it. No more attempts to convince myself that I need to make money off of my blog. No more feeling inadequate if I don’t.

No more schedules and pressures, in short.

This blog, from this point forward (well, as far forward as I can see right now, which is about a day & a half, truth be told), will just be… Me. A collection of photos & memories & thoughts & questions.

That’s it.

This way, when I am struck with that feeling to share (which happens a lot), when I am struck by the beauty – sadness – wonder of something, I know I will have somewhere to put it out into the universe, where like-minded or un-like-minded people may take it in & do with it what they will.

For the longest while, I was struggling with where this blog was going to go. I was having a bit of an existential crisis:

Why do we share things on the Internet?

I wondered to myself (and aloud to my closest people).

Why am I sharing that photo on Instagram? What am I trying to prove? Who am I trying to be? Who am I trying to impress? At my core, I realized I didn’t want to do ANY of those things through social media, not really. When I did do it, I got really caught up in it, wanting my life to appear perfect & beautiful & just-so. But the emptiness that ends up consuming you when you go down that road – it’s unbearable, like an ache that simply will not go away.

And the only way I knew how to take myself out of that virtual race was to really cut back on posting anything on the Internet. My Twitter account went silent. Days passed between Instagram posts. Suddenly, I remembered what it felt like to simply be myself. And it felt wonderful.

Slowly, I started sharing again. Slowly, I figured out what I truly, when I was completely honest with myself, wanted to put out into the virtual world. Slowly, I figured out that I could share, without it changing who I was, what my goals were, & what my ideals & morals & wishes were.

So, that brings me back to this space, where I will share exactly what I feel. Exactly what I love. Exactly what makes me sad, excited, melancholy, & overwhelmed. The only thing I know completely is myself, and that is a growing relationship I’m trying to nurture daily.

I’m not trying to sell anything. I’m not trying to make myself appear perfect, wonderful, relevant, or in-the-know. I just can’t do it anymore. I just don’t want to do it anymore.

What I do want to do: provide comfort to anyone who may derive comfort from my images or words. Inspire those who may feel the same way as I do, to live their best lives & to remember that putting their best foot forward each day is enough. Remind everyone that things & life & love & photos & your house don’t have to be perfect at every living moment. We’re all in this big race called life together. And just being is enough. Just sharing is enough. There doesn’t have to be some ulterior motive behind each post. Just sharing the joy you felt – through a photograph and a few words – is enough.

I feel that if I don’t restrain myself, I could sit at this laptop & type for three hours (at the least) on this subject. But I also feel as though I’ve fully expressed myself in these 1096 words (give or take).

The key to blogging through school (and for years after that, hopefully) is simple: it lies in simplifying. Being true to myself. Writing what I know. Writing what is true within me.


And really, didn’t I always know that?