Springing into the Future

I can feel the stirrings of spring. There’s that certain smell of the earth re-awakening, the energy of plants getting ready to burst forth into growth and bloom, even the mud seems to hold the promise of transitions.

I wonder if the earth feels as apprehensive and excited as I do on the cusp of my own transition of graduation.

In my last tarot reading, “The World” came up as my card moving into the future, and it feels so fitting—the end of a journey, the beginning of another, the promise of the fulfillment of having everything as it should be.

There are days when I can feel the promise of new things to come, and it fills me with joy. I want to jump into the unknown and discover what’s on the other side, certain that there is something wonderful to discover on this crazy-assed path I’ve chosen.

I wish I could just hang on to the good feelings: the hope, anticipation, joy, and confidence.

But with “The World” there also comes the fear of becoming the fool once again. I have completed a phase of my journey, and with that end comes a new beginning where I am no longer the “seasoned” student but the new professional.

I have to balance the doubt that is in that. With hope comes the possibility of failure, and I can’t entirely say I know what I’m doing. Can anyone starting on a new phase of life?

I have to balance the fear because I can’t get rid of it…but also because I shouldn’t. Those fears want to protect me. They’re meant to help me.

Yes, sometimes they also try to hold me back, convince me I’m not good enough to be a professional, I’m not experienced enough to graduate, and I’m a damn fool for thinking I can make it on my own.

I try to see the good even in those messages.

As I watch the seasons war it out, with winter dumping snow in defiance of spring, I realize I must allow the hope and fear to war within me. I must be willing to embrace each as they present, trusting that the fears are not working against the hope so much as against careless naiveté. I can trust my path even while questioning my steps.

The spring always wins in the end, and that is where its strength lies. No matter how many times a warmer week is followed by a weekend of whiteout snow and ice, the trees, the grass, the flowers—they know they will succeed.

Just as I know that somehow I will find my way to where I need to be.

 

 

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When Did Blogging Become So Much Work?

I have been so busy the last couple of weeks that it’s been impossible to sit down and focus on a topic to write about for this weekend. I am mentally saturated with all the papers I’m writing for school and exhausted as I race towards graduation.

And of course, I’m judging myself that I’m not somehow capable of writing a blog post in my head as I sprint from one thing to the next because…perfectionism, yay!

But the truth is, I haven’t even had time to sit down long enough to hear my own damn thoughts, so how could I possibly have anything to share?

When I started a blog, I didn’t realize how much actual work it would be, nor did I think about how seriously I would take it. It was a “hobby,” a way to get my thoughts out and maybe entertain or stimulate discussion with others.

In reality, I’ve come to understand that having a blog and keeping up with providing content that feels relevant, isn’t a complete waste of my readers’ time, and meets my standards of sort of good writing is A LOT OF DAMN WORK.

It’s a fucking unpaid part-time job to just get a post out a week!

It’s a commitment that I enjoy and value, but I often fail to give myself credit for what I put into it. It’s not uncommon for me to have waves of guilt that I’m not “writing as much as I used to” while forgetting that I write a post between 500 to 1,000 words each week (not to mention all those academic papers!).

So this week, in lieu of trying to force myself to find a topic on which I can write a hasty, unedited piece, I’m taking a moment to acknowledge that keeping up with this blog while I’m in grad school has been a hell of an accomplishment.

And since I still don’t have a post for this week, I figured I’d just give myself permission to do a little public bragging in a hastily written, unedited piece. 😉

 

New Adventures in Grad School

I’ve begun a new adventure and stage of my journey this week with my first grad school classes. I didn’t realize just how much I’ve missed the academic atmosphere of class discussions and intense readings. I know I’m going to be busy out of my mind over the next few years, but the exhilaration of getting to play with ideas again is worth the extra stress.

I don’t regret taking a break from school after I initially graduated. It was the best decision I could have made at the time, allowing me to get some real-life experience, figure out what I really wanted to be “when I grew up,” and break away from the high-pressure of performance.

I’d recommend it to any student fresh out of college: unless you have a boundless supply of energy and know exactly where you want to go in life, take some time to celebrate your accomplishments and rest. Consider your options over the course of a year or two. Get some experience in the field of your interest, or try out lots of different fields! School will still be there when you’re ready.

I was slightly afraid at first that I’d forgotten how to be a student after several years of being out, but I think the break may have made me a better student. I’ve gotten enough perspective to realize that grades aren’t really the most important part of education, something I struggled with a lot in undergrad. It probably helps that I’m going to a school that doesn’t use traditional grading, but I feel that I would be less concerned about perfect 100’s even if I were going to a traditional educational institution.

I also feel like I’ve had the opportunity to really get to know who I am and what I believe. Everyone talks about school being the place where you find yourself.  It is a great place to get ideas and try out new ways of being, but I feel that it was the space in between undergrad and grad school that really allowed me to find myself. It was then that I was able to digest the information and find out how what I had learned previously applied to my life…and where I still needed to learn and grow.

I feel as though I’ve been glowing this whole week. I’m ready for the challenge of stretching my thinking and worldview. I’m ready for the transformation that will inevitably follow.

For the time being, I’m planning on keeping up with posting something new on the weekends, as usual. In this moment, at least, I feel that my sense of balance and the value of the different parts of my life will prevent school from becoming all-consuming. I even have hopes that grad school will be a kick-start to my blog as well as my life. Get ready for some out-loud musings and some light-hearted frustrations. I encourage my readers to enjoy my journey with me and welcome questions, ideas, and discussion on the various topics that I will metaphorically chewing on in the coming months.