Somewhere along the line, WordPress finally added a “bulk edit” feature, allowing me to do the housekeeping that I’ve been wanting to do for months now in the space of twenty minutes or so. Some 300 old posts, spanning five years of my life, have been cloaked, packed up and stored away to make space for the new. The break seems appropriate; that life, those lives, are far away now, temporally and geographically.
A lot has happened in the time that this space has lain dormant. I packed up and left the home I loved in pursuit of intellectual stimulation and a few more open doors. I’m wrapping up my first year of doctoral studies at a well-respected institution, a university to which I never entirely expected to be admitted, much less fully funded. The biggest challenges I’ve faced this year, somewhat surprisingly, have not been academic. There’s been the trying to adjust to a different place and a different people around which I’ve never felt entirely comfortable, and now feel less so. There’s been the assistantship, challenging not so much because I was asked to not just do, but teach, something that I had little prior experience with, but because of the interpersonal minefields I’ve had to navigate. (This has been nothing short of exhausting, and I am sick to death of dealing with people’s feelings– but it’s almost over.) There’s been the straightjacketing imposed by the highly structured nature of my program, the significant loss of autonomy, the more than occasional just not caring about reading and writing and talking instead of doing.
But it’s almost over. And I’m hopeful for next year. I’m dying to put this one behind me and not look back, because frankly, I’m sick of myself this year. I’m so tired being so negative. I really want to make this work, to find a way to brighten my life, to feel better about the moments I’m living. I’ve done my best to set myself up to be extracted from the situations that most affect me, and now I just have to wait and see.
And travel. The other big thing that’s happened is that I got married. This is great. My husband is incredibly loving, unwaveringly supportive, unfathomably optimistic.. and living halfway across the country. The weekends I’ve had with him have been my happiest times- cooking, drinking, and watching old novelas; hosting Thanksgiving for both of our brothers; a short trip to Toronto; walking the dog and playing tennis in the park once it got warm. Being with him allows me to disconnect with my otherwise all-encompassing university life and engage in actual life. So I’m very much looking forward to a three-month stint in a state that I would otherwise have no reason or desire to travel to. Also looking forward to trips home, to my natal state, to my favorite U.S. city, and to a little midwestern town to visit a dear friend. I’ll have work to do over the summer, but hopefully the slower pace will lend itself to a little writing here.
It’s been a while. I’m glad to be back.
Edit for Cindylu-inspired theme music: