Wednesday, December 11, 2013

10 Days Later…No Words…Just Anxiety

I distinctly remember promising on December 1st, that I was going to write every single day this month, to get into the habit of writing every single day. To point out the obvious, I have not written a single thing outside of rewriting my thesis (which was twenty-two pages in the end) and my notes for studying and filling out paperwork at the bridal salon.

It has been a productive ten days, but not in the way I was hoping.

I have been consumed with anxiety about finishing my thesis. Which I did.

I have been worried sick over my oral presentation. Which went phenomenally well.

I have paced, since my last final, worrying if my capstone course will give me the grade I need to leave proud of my accomplishments, not just because I slid out by the skin of my teeth. At this point, I would take a C, happily, but it would not belie the work and hours put into the project. I would rather receive a B, but it is just a waiting game now. Grades are not finalized until next week.

I am a week away from knowing if I have graduated with my Bachelor of Arts.

I am a week away from not stepping foot in a classroom as a student for an undetermined amount of time. I am far too burnt out from my undergrad to attempt graduate studies right now. And the Captain advises working for a few years and putting a dent in loans before accruing new ones.

I am beginning the job application process. Fingers crossed on these Colorado inquiries of mine. Or just pray that I find work soon. I do not know that a bridal salon and closing two nights a week at the store are enough to foot my gas, insurance, and student loan bills, which kick in next month.

I find myself overwhelmed at the prospect of so many decisions.

I get trapped in my head easily.

I panic.

I get frazzled.

I blush.

I stammer.

It is exhausting.

Being an introvert is not always as restful as it sounds.

It takes months of my knowing someone before I feel a semblance of comfort unmarred by anxiety.

I am supposed to apply for jobs and then pick-up and move there to work.

Chances are high it may not be in Colorado where I know numerous people.

I am all for adventure and starting some place new, but I am afraid of jumping straight in with no fail-safe. No backup. No one to call when something goes wrong that can access me easily.

I fear being truly on my own. It does not sound safe. It is unfamiliar.

But, maybe it is the words of a Baggins I should be taking: "I am going on an adventure."

Having read the terms and conditions and understanding that it may not go as I hope it does. I know planning, to an extent, is useless and I try to remind myself not to get so wrapped up in details I have no control over.

I cannot control other people. I cannot control whole situations.

I am only me. I have to have faith and trust in the LORD or I am truly alone.

It is taking that step of faith that is the hardest.

But December may yet prove to be an exercise in how to do just that.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Unde lux est orta salus invenitur...

Right about now, I can imagine the look on your face as you read and reread the title and imagine that I became a hobgoblin sometime in the last five days for writing my title in language long dead. I would apologize, but I am not contrite. In fact, I am going to work on augmenting your quality of life, one Classical [Christmas] Latin phrase at a time. Mine as well, considering I am a bit rusty. My history thesis did not fall within the category of Roman Antiquity as I had hoped it would, so we get to go on that minor adventure together. Do not worry, before long, you will see the Latin in everything and parse words upon seeing them. Especially those of you in medicine, law, and anything having to do with the human body (yes, that means athletic trainers and coaches too). You can thank me later, after you start dreaming in Latin. I will drive you a little nuts, in the best way possible, while adding a little culture to your life simultaneously.

Moving on, however, breaking down Wheelock's Latin for you is not the purpose of my writing tonight. Dominantly, my brain is a little fried from the final draft of my thesis being due tomorrow and as someone with unheard of levels of anxiety, I keep tinkering. I will probably be awake most of tonight, actually, so tomorrow will be more fun than I can say. Once I turn it in, I will be able to sleep--it has been a restless Thanksgiving weekend.

With the passing of another Thanksgiving, though, I realized something extremely troubling about how my semester has played out. I was confronted with very tangible proofs of how selfish and fallen I am as a human being. My desire to completely skip November and simply graduate overrode natural common sense. Some people are stuck in the past. Others are firmly planted in the present. I have the problem that follows progressively: I get stuck in my head, in future plans, and have a hard time readjusting to the present. I got a taste of life and working in an office I would love to be hired at this summer, in a town I learned is not so bad, in a state I adore. The Springs is no Denver, is hard matched for where I grew up in Evergreen, and I am not convinced Garden of the Gods trumps Aspen's Maroon Bells, but I digress. My point is, I am so ready to be done, I became flippant about things I should not have been.

I went to Focus this summer and it rocked my boat more than I expected. I watched sunrise at the Maroon Bells on the 4th of July and have gone through withdrawal for that sight ever since. I made new friends, but missed quality time with old ones, our schedules consuming with no cross-over, just time grabbed between shifts or during shifts. And here, on December I, mere minutes from December II, I find myself burnt out and starved of quality interaction with most of the people I count as close friends. Do not get me wrong, there have been the texts and the Facebook messages, and the occasional telephone tag, and the conference Skype that ends at 3am with the others calling me to wake me up because I fell asleep a half an hour ago and they just kept talking. All of those have been wonderful and life saving. I cannot wait to breathe and attempt to catch my breath, and graduate and be done, at least for the next few years.

Here in the problem with the other half of this though. I fell out of a routine with God. Writing was my ritual until my sophomore year. Now the words I write here are the only words that see any light that has not been mandated by academia and we both know my writings have been sparse this semester. You see? All consuming: the selfishness, the desire to be done colliding with the frustration over a twenty page paper, which is nothing, I might add, in length terms. That frustration vent of a piece about women in the church was over three thousand words--half my thesis length--in just under two hours.

So here is where I am now, after church this morning and confronting the very real and being uncertain about what is next. I am going to start simple. I am going to start by writing every day this month of December, I through the XXXI. Everyone waits until January for their resolutions. This, however, is much more important than a resolution. Something has to give. And it starts with me. It starts with God. It starts with as many pages as it takes to hash it out. To make sense of the burn out. To see where He leads.

And it starts right here with those words: unde lux est orta salus invenitur

from where the light rises, salvation is found