23 September 2012
Life is good, mates.
I've been having so much fun this semester that I could almost forget that I'm in graduate school. Lazy Monday mornings. Long runs on Tuesday afternoons. Three dollar burgers on Wednesday nights. Thursday nights at Atlas with the History Department crew. That's where I discovered my new calling -- shuffle board. I make up one half of Team Jope and Change. We like to channel the 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama and are currently undefeated. Yep, I'm 80 years old. And then my weekends have been pretty great too. Trips to Indianapolis to eat the most delicious soul food of my life. I literally died and went to sweet tea heaven. Corn bread, fried green tomatoes, barbeque -- I think I need to make another trip. WNBA basketball games. IU Opera performances. A weekend in Illinois here and there -- and visitors from Illinois too. Hikes. And church on Sunday mornings. Oh, and somewhere in there I suppose I go to class and work and read a lot. But I couldn't really tell you when.
Okay, brace yourselves. It's about to get real for a paragraph or so. I honestly don't know if I've ever been this happy, or content, or whatever word you want to use. Despite not really liking where I'm living or my classes, I'm loving everything else. And that's a big departure for me. My senior year of undergrad was rough. I like to call it disillusionment or ennui -- it was probably just senioritis. My first year of grad school (at least the first semester) gave me fits. But in that time, I grew up. A lot. And I learned to be more laid back. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a neat freak with borderline OCD who is constantly looking at her watch...but I've watched my perfectionism fade. I still strive for success -- I've just given success a new definition. My own definition. Mine. That's the biggest lesson I've learned at graduate school -- to live my life for myself. To do what I want to do. It's an uphill battle. It's a struggle I deal with everyday. I'm a people pleaser. I'm hyper-aware of others. None of that has really changed...I've just learned how to factor in myself a little more. And maybe it took falling flat on my face to realize it, but I'm sure glad that it did.
Phew, well I'm glad I got that off my chest. Now, in completely unrelated news...can I just say that the number one reason I love fall is because I can eat pumpkin everything?? The leaves start changing and it's all I can think about. I picked up the first box of Pumpkin Delights of the season today. They will probably last me all of 3 days...if I'm lucky. I had my first pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks last week. I cannot wait for pumpkin pie. Pumpkin bread. Muffins. Ice cream. You name it.
And lastly, if you see me on campus this week...please ignore my left eye and what will certainly look like a nasty rug burn by tomorrow. Or pretend that I got in a wicked/awesome fight. You know, the whole "You should see the other guy" thing. What really happened, you ask (or maybe you're not... I have no way of knowing)? Let's just say I'm really talented with a hair straightener. And if you've seen me in the past two days I appreciate that you didn't say anything about it -- because I look ridiculous.