This class has won.
I’ve tried and tried and tried to make heads or tails of it, with limited success. I’m flailing. Nothing sticks to my brain. Theory reading is preferable to studying for this class. THEORY READING.
It combines extensive memorization with the study of grammar and mechanics, two things my mind can’t do anymore, for reasons unknown.
For hours I’ve sat on our futon, books before me, pounding information into my head that swiftly flits away the moment I look elsewhere.
I will likely get up very early to study some more.
But I feel like I’ve done everything I can. Sometimes that doesn’t get you where you want to be. But you can at least know in your heart that you did the best you could.
You’ve helped me before, and I believe You will help me now.
You know my weaknesses and built my strengths. You know where I am. You know what I’m fighting. My struggles are not too small for You. Your grace is sufficient.
I have too much happening in my brain to be productive and successful. You know what to do to quiet my mind. Please quiet it.
I need Your help. Now, and tomorrow, and for the rest of my life.
You are good. You are powerful. You are love.
Thank you for being my Friend.
Six weeks, and the semester is over.
I sat down tonight and wrote out all of my assignments until the end of the semester. Every last one. In addition to the smaller assignments, I still need to:
- Write a paper for the class on literary theory.
- Write a translation paper for the class on the history of the English language.
- Revise the Shakespeare paper.
- Give a presentation on the Great Vowel Shift.
- Give a presentation about a literary theorist not covered in class.
- Write a bibliography project for the Shakespeare class.
- Write a short reading response to Titus Andronicus.
- Write one more reading response about a literary theorist.
- Read four more of Shakespeare’s plays.
- Read a dozen more literary theorists.
- Take four more tests, not counting final exams.
- Take three final exams.
- Finish organizing a wedding. Our wedding.
- Not die.
- Stay focused.
I felt so overwhelmed, I had to go scrub the bathroom. Then sit at my desk and pretend I was being productive while I was, in fact, panicking.
Six long weeks.
It’s possible for a week to feel long and short at the same time.
I used to have the ability to make time seem slower. It was a mental game I played with myself. Even through college, while my friends all observed how quickly time was going by, I would quietly remind myself “No, it’s going slowly. look around at all the things that are moving at once in this wide world. Look how slowly the minutes march.Memorize this moment. Feel its little intricacies. Don’t let it slip away.”
And time would slow. High school was a century. College was an age.
Grad school…hit and miss. A moment. A decade.
Being in love makes time crawl and sprint at the same time. Crawling towards the wedding. Yet yesterday it was January. Yesterday I was sitting in a living room in Croatia and he told me he loved me for the first time. Yesterday it was our dinner date at Cracker Barrel in 2013 when he asked if our relationship was going somewhere. Yesterday it was our first date (that I didn’t know was a date) on December 3rd, 2012. Yesterday, it was April 25th of 2012 and I was all alone.
Yet June 27th, 2015…feels like it will never, ever get here.
1. I’ve been awake far too long for the amount of sleep I got last night.
2. I’ve been in the same clothes all day, which may seem like a small thing but these clothes are dressier than normal and it’s kind of uncomfortable after a while.
You remember what is was like being a kid and being jealous towards adults because they got to stay up as late as they wanted? Remember that?
I think we all vowed at some point in our innocent years that when we were adults, we’d stay up as late as we wanted to just because we could. We’d eat two slices of cake for dessert. In fact, we’d have cake for dinner.
But you get to the point where you’re a rent- and tax-paying adult, and you realize that you really, really want to go to bed early. And you still want the cake for dinner, but there’s this thing called diabetes and cake for dinner is one of its contributing factors.
Being an adult is nothing like we thought it was.
Being an adult is actually pretty lame.
I’d pay money to have someone tell me to go to bed on time.
Paper writing: you’d
Think that by now I’d have learned
To start much sooner.
It’s amazing how much doesn’t get done when the roommate isn’t here.
There can’t be enough said for the virtue of having another person in the room while you’re working. The power of immediate accountability is perhaps the only thing that will keep me on task for the next few months.
When no one else is in the room, I only do half of every task. I empty half the sink. I put away half of the laundry. I scrub the sink, not the shower. I write in half-paragraphs, leaving them to do other tasks and then returning to complete them.
I tend to forget that God is watching.
God is my friend, and He is the ultimate accountability. I think that if I remembered this more often, I’d get a lot more done, and the apartment would be neater. I only have so many minutes in my life–and I waste so many of them. Remembering God is with me at all times, guiding my steps even in my most quiet moments, reminds me to keep working for the sake of making Him smile.
It is good to know I am never alone. Because judging by the state of this room, it’s probably a good idea not to leave me alone for very long.
The one thing you have to write is the last thing you want to write.
I’d rather write a pantoum right now. I’d rather write the first chapter of a nonfiction book brewing in my brain. I would rather research tiny houses and cooking and the health benefits of papaya seeds than colonial lag and the development of American English.
I’d rather be writing those things than I would like to be writing this blog post.
I’m intimidated out of my skin by the subject material for the class this paper belongs to. I’m now a little intimidated by my blog after having my open letter from Sunday posted on Facebook 84 times–and now I feel like everyone is watching. I mean, that’s what I want for the blog–but it still feels intimidating.
Is it possible to be intimidated by the things you enjoy doing the most? Yes, I think it is.
Especially since right now, at this moment, I’d rather be doing a mountain of other things than writing that blame paper.
AB and I have entered the double-digits stretch of our countdown to our wedding.
It is very hard to focus on anything else.
We both have papers to write and meetings to attend and deadlines to meet and books to read and presentations to present and it’s fairly difficult to gauge just how much we care about those things anymore.
We’re entering the home stretch, which is both delightful and terrifying. There’s so much to be done before we say “I do.” So many appointments. So many phone calls. So many days.
We only get these moments once. We only get these days once. We’re not going to get married again, so we’ll only be engaged once. So we’ll savor every moment.
But 99 days seems so long and so short all at once.
My Adventure Buddy and I were talking about houses. We’re getting married, so talking about buying a house is a very normal couple thing to do.
But we’re not a normal couple. So we’re talking about buying a Tiny House.
Tiny Houses are growing in popularity among those who are done with huge rent and tons of superfluous stuff. Most of them are fitted with wheels so they can be hauled behind a truck like an RV. There are Tiny House-friendly camping spots where you can stop to hook up your power and water for the night. You basically take your whole house with you.
But they’re real houses. Sinks, ovens, bathrooms with showers, all the comforts of home in one 100 square foot space.
We want to travel. Not just travel, but spread the Gospel as we go. Just because we want to travel doesn’t mean that we don’t want four walls and a roof, either.
There would be a lot we’d have to learn to live without. Air conditioning, for example, which is something of which we are both particularly fond. I am the kind of person who attaches great sentimental value to things–just little harmless things that I’ve had around me for years which I inevitably would have to get rid of. AB travels light and hangs onto very little, so the learning curve would be for me.
So here’s my prayer: that I learn to let go of all the little things that hold me back from following God’s purpose for my life. Even if He decides we never get a tiny house.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m in a state of perpetual frustration with the literary theorists I’m reading for one of my classes. Most of them are dead white males who turned something simple and pleasurable (reading) into something convoluted and unpleasant. And I’m not just talking about their writing style.
They spent their lives writing gobbeldygook. They spent their lives writing unreadable, paradoxical drivel that the average human being doesn’t care about. They wrote for the sake of being high-minded. They succeeded. We think. We’re still trying to figure out if they actually said anything in those pages of essays.
I’ve had a hard time understanding all of the theorists whose works I have read. Their styles are as thick as molasses swamps and their syntax is as tangled as Rapunzel’s hair realistically should have been (honestly, even if she did nothing but brush it, it would still be a blonde bird’s nest).
But the feminist theorists–the women–I understand completely. Their syntax is clear; their theses findable. Their arguments are a little holey, but at least their essays have clear outlines with well-supported and easily-understood points.
Women writers I understand. Male writers, not so much. At least not in this subject area.
And I’m wondering what this says about me.
For the introvert, words are like currency. There’s a limit to the number you feel you should say every day, and you don’t want to waste any.
Affirmational non-verbals don’t count. In a conversation where you nod and make little agreement grunts while the other person unloads their opinions and stories, the grunts you’re emitting don’t count. Those are carefully placed to let the other person know you care. But they don’t count as words.
But there’s also a limit to the amount an introvert can listen to every day. Introverts are generally very friendly people. The fact that we choose to recharge alone doesn’t make us anti-social, just anti-extraneous noise. Too much noise, too much talking, too many one-on-one conversations, and the introvert will feel completely empty. The tank is drained. We’re done.
And the more hectic our lives become, the more we’re going to want to shut ourselves away and/or stay up late into the night reading or doing other quiet activities to compensate for all the alone time we didn’t get during the day. Sleep doesn’t count as alone time. Although heaven knows we need more of it.
We simply run out of words. We’re done conversing. Introverts have plenty of interesting things to say, but after a certain point, we’re done saying them. And we’re done listening–even though listening is our super power.
We can only write. Or read. Or think.
Until we’re full of words again.