December, 2008

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My, My, Time Flies

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

Today I went out to run errands, and stopped by the shops to see the post-Christmas sales. You could feel in the air the ‘Christmas crash’ as everyone milled around the decorations that two days ago seemed so joyful and twinkling and now seem limp and out-dated.

But this feeling did not extend to me. I have enjoyed a feeling of deep calm all day. I love Christmas, don’t get me wrong! Anyone who’s been to my over-decorated apartment knows that! But it’s nice to finally get through the rush of the season – school, finals, graduation, Christmas. Done. It’s nice to get a chance to have a relaxing day with few worries and only a few small errands to run, which is a joy when your pockets have some Christmas cash.

Anyway, in regard to the title, it’s true, time does fly. I suppose it’s very typical of me post-university to look back and make remarks about how quickly it goes. It does, and it doesn’t. It does seem like 4.5 years of school, but it also seems like it went faster than I thought it would. The title, for those of you who don’t know, is from Enya’s new winter album, ‘And Winter Came’, and is a song I’ve grown quite fond of.

As I talked about in my last post, I am at a point where I feel very comfortable in life, in the future, in general. It’s a lovely feeling. I’m sitting on the edge of a cliff at the moment, but instead of it plunging me into a world of uncertainty about what the hell I’m going to do with my life, I feel poised at the lip of an adventure.

This next semester, apart from way too much research, tutoring, and auditing a CS class, I am going to be taking the GRE and applying to grad schools. Sean and I have recently been discussing this, and I am thoroughly excited. My mom wants me to try and apply to Rice, though chances are pretty much zero that would work. However, Sean and I have discussed it, and after this miserable excuse of a winter, we’re both ready to move to a climate with more pronounced seasons and a half-decent winter. In fact, we’ve decided on two locations housing universities with good evolution programs where I am definitely going to apply: Denver, CO, and Eugene, OR. Eugene is one of the greenest cities in the US, and very pretty, too. Needless to say, both are cooler than TX! This winter has reaffirmed my long-held suspicion that I can handle Texas heat just fine, but I do require a decent winter to offset months of blistering, sweltering sun. And this winter just wasn’t good enough. Perhaps time to explore.

The prospect of moving somewhere new, doing some exciting new evolution studying, having snow in the winter, finding a nice place for Sean and I to settle down for a few years – it’s all very exciting, and feels right.

We’re not sure about timing just now – my lease here runs out July 7th, so we will most likely be somewhere new after that. We don’t know if we should go ahead and relocate north (state residency for one thing), or perhaps we will head back South to Georgetown for a while, as the condo’s current resident’s lease is through June, and we can live there for awhile without having to worry about anything but utilities.

Anyway, I will keep you all updated, as time flies along…

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Happiness

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

On nights like tonight it often suddenly hits me: I’m happy. I like life. I have a future. It’s still a little scary – when isn’t it – but it’s exciting too. And I can handle it.

It seems like such a simple revelation. But for me, it’s still an amazing event. To finally have a handle on things after so long, it still seems somewhat unreal.

I guess knowing that so many people were worried about my happiness for so long – and with good reason – makes me feel like I should write this now. To thank everyone, for continuing to care, for continuing to worry, even when it seemed like I was way too busy digging myself into a deep dark hole to be listening. I may not have been acknowledging, but I was listening. And hearing people ask me if I was happy, hearing people tell me I could be happier, hearing people repeatedly say they were worried about me, and that they wanted me to be happy – it forced me to keep, even if just for a moment, picturing the brief possibility that what they were saying could be true – before I bowed my head and continued digging.

I really couldn’t see the light. And that’s because I was digging. When you dig down, there is no light – you’re not in a tunnel. Going in the same direction – ‘working through it’ – isn’t going to fix anything. You’ve got to turn around, and look the other way – then you’ll see the light. Then you’ve got to start clawing your way out along the steep, crumbling sides.

And lord knows it wasn’t easy. I kept digging for a very long time. At first I thought there was a light, and then I resigned myself to the fact that there wasn’t a light in front of me, but there never was one behind me either, and so I might as well just keep heading this direction.

First, I lost the past. Then, I found myself. Then I found hope. Then I found Sean. Then I found my tutoring job. Then I found willpower and discipline in school. Then I found a dream, a passion. Then I found a good job. Then I was headed to making better grades than I have in years. Then I found a future.

It’s slow. It was painful, so painful. But it also was so amazing. I know it may seem shallow to put Sean on that list, at least to some, but it’s not. That we have a wonderful relationship now is a dream, but it was through getting to know him that I made some amazing steps. I finally accepted that someone could actually be attracted to me. That I was date-able. And through watching him take so much pleasure from getting to know the quirks of Emma, I remembered something I’d forgotten long ago: that I liked me too.

It’s been a long road. And I’m still on it. I still have those reactions, where I’m taken back. If I’m sitting with my legs up and Sean tries to kiss my knee, I still jerk back. In my mind, I’m afraid he’s going to bite me so long and so hard that I scream for him to stop and the bruises last for weeks, but I’m not strong enough to pull away. Sean’s never done that, of course, but my mind is still conditioned from the past.

But I hardly even care, because look how far I’ve come. I’m content and I’m happy. I’m doing unbelievably well in school. I’m climbing back onto a better road, in all meanings.

I know you already know this, those of you who stood by me so long, because I’ve heard it from so many voices so many times: “Emma, you look so well.” “Emma, you seem so happy.” “Emma, it’s so good to see you like this.” So, I really don’t need to say it, but I will: I’m happy. And all of you who gave me your words and your care and your love, you’re all part of this happiness.

So thank you.

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I Think I Like the Stars Better

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

You know, if you think about it, those ‘Girls Gone Wild’ videos must be a little bit of a let down. I mean, in the ads, there’s all these STARS popping out everywhere! It’s exciting! But I guess if you get the DVD, there are no stars – you just see the girls boobs. I donno, I guess maybe it’s cuz I have a pair myself, but that seems rather anti-climactic.

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