11/28/2010

Hey, how about that mondo snow storm, the blizzard of 2010? Some scary stuff, right? Silly meteorologists.

I know you’ve shut down and checked out for the semester, and I don’t know what more I can say to try to motivate you. It’s been hard. It’s been a hard year, but remember what Kimberly said about transitions? She said for her it’s taken her at least a year to adjust to new parts of her life. As your year closes, it may have just come to its worst point before things start looking up. You’ve realized some really important things about relationships, things you innately understood as an  impressionable youth with a malleable soul. You can be just as confident and trusting of your friends and family as you were then. Yes, you’re a different person now, so of course you play a different role; you meet different needs, but you also need to acknowledge that you have different needs now, too. I know you like to think of yourself as the constant one, always there, always checking up, providing support, but not everybody needs that from you. You’re slowly accepting this, and it’s a big step. Adjustment is hardly ever easy, especially as we get older. Plus, let’s just be realistic: you’re thousands of miles away from your familiar worlds. Things naturally change when you’re not there, that’s the simple truth. You spent eight years in Jacksonville (Middleburg) and over six and a half years in New York. Those are major chunks of your life and you know better now not to expect a transition less rough than what you’ve faced. You miss both places immensely, and you’re finally starting to warm up to your hometown again. I don’t want you to resent NYC the way you did Jacksonville. I know what you’re thinking, or what you’re starting to think: you don’t ever want to go back. Stop being angry. Just: stop. You’ve forged a new path in your life, and your friends and family are moving on without you. That’s what people do: they do what they can to be happy. They don’t depend on you and you can’t depend on them for happiness. Yes, you all love each other, but you’re not each other’s sole reason for existing. Maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but you don’t need to keep disappointing people or unduly pushing them away. May, just believe in the love. That is always going to be there, no matter if everything else changes. You’ve always valued and nurtured your relationships and now it’s time to take better care of yourself. So, start believing in yourself, too.

Dated Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hey,

Remember how this week started off with some pretty good news? Remember how you’re relearning patience? And how about the time you looked like an utter genius in French class when you suggested the boy symbolized the ball and the parents symbolized two teams playing against each other? And … yes: the hot tub. It was pretty nice, right? Basically, you have two and a half weeks of classes before finals week. Take charge, wrap it up. But first, spend this next week stretching and training your stomach for Thanksgiving.

These letters are not like I’m completely ignoring the completely discouraging things that have happened. Forcing myself to write these notes are helping me face reality a little bit better. Can I squeeze out one little rant? Just one? A little one?

“I’m not trying to discourage you, but…” These are the words someone from my academic advisement center told me when I asked about minoring in French. The person then said something about those who’ve served French-speaking missions or otherwise lived in Francophonia being successful with the minor. Of course I understood more from what the person didn’t say. I get that universities are trying to turn over graduates as quickly as possible, but it’s not like I’m trying to double major; after this semester I’m halfway to a minor, but then the person also more or less said I’d suck or whatever. I’m over it.

Me And A Shovel

Last week, I wrote myself a short note on some cute stationery and sealed it in an envelope. I was going to mail it to myself, but it was just effective to hide it away someplace and forget about it for a few days. It’s always fun to get mail, but if I get too excited about mail to myself, it might seem a little pathetic. And that’s not the purpose of these notes. The exact opposite actually.

It’s reassuring to observe the mass shoulder-slumping across campus. I’m glad it’s not just me. And look at all these people pushing forward. Not that I have to keep up, but just keep going.  I realize a lot of my life is simply out of my control, but my attitude isn’t. At the same time, I can’t ignore feeling beaten down and buried, and the fill dirt seems to pile ever higher. This note is just one way to dig myself out of it.

I might do this every week until the end of the semester. It might sound cheesy, and I might switch to journal pages instead of stationery which I should be using for letters to someone other than myself. Maybe I need cheesy right now.

Hey, May, It’s mid-semester, and you probably don’t like school very muh right now, but hang in there. Remember the light bulbs you got about John Milton and censorship and Satan. Remember that French isn’t out to get you, and every new and difficult concept you learn there fits perfectly somehow with what you already know. Remember that you don’t back down from challenge, at least before not giving it a really good go. You love school, and you have a lot of passion. It really can’t get better. Your friends love you. You cross their minds. You’re good for them – don’t forget that. Your family loves you. Rejoice.