Monday, October 24, 2011

... And Doughnut Brains (Part Two)

But not all my blog posts can be reflective and spiritual.  This is the second part to my reflections on grad school (as all my blogs are about these days).  Stay away from the doughnut brain!  In other words, don't let your brain be a doughnut.

Ooohh I'm so delicious yet unsatisfying!!!  Eat me!!!  You'll regret it later!!!!!

You know, the person that looks polished, succinct, and delicious on the outside yet is empty on the inside... just like a doughnut.  The opening words of a statement sounds incredible, but quickly intellectual talk spirals into wasted air.  It's tragic.  Just don't do it.  Stick to the biscuit way of life, filling and substantive yet fluffy and amicable.  It's just better to be a biscuit, even if you don't have no gravy.

Always good, every time!

Jesus... (Part One)

A lot of venting happens at the Graduate School of Social Work.  And processing.  Oddly, I feel very close to my classmates despite not knowing personal details about them, because we talk about life and it's depth constantly:  the shame and embarrassment, beauty, fright, impossibility, and intricacy of being human.  It's almost like we're taking two years to go through an extensive existential crisis together, to explore every inch of who we are in order to recognize we're messed. Supposedly we're headed to this place of healing and wholeness, a place where we're still impossible but better able to help others (those three letters sure are powerful:  M S W).  All things considered, I'm in expensive, long-term therapy...

The most amazing thing about being in this program, at this school specifically, is that people name something else, speak out against it, and insist that it's no longer necessary.  But the thing that everyone's saying is Jesus.  It's Jesus every single time.  The pain and brokenness that everyone wants to see changed and eradicated is sin.  And the only answer to sin is Jesus.

Ironically, my brain is swimming in a pool of new theory and language, but I go back to what I learned in Sunday school 20 years ago.  It's simple yet profound, exactly as redemption should be.

Jesus:  making everything complete and beautiful in time.

Friday, October 21, 2011

At Kaladi

I took my midterm, the my professor gave us permission to leave and skip her lecture.  Felt bad and guilty, so I stayed put but thought, screw it!  I want a latte!  I decided to put on my big girl panties and take a few minutes for me.  It's wonderful to walk down Evans at 8:30 in the morning and breath the crisp, fall air, then find yourself at Kaladi Brothers, when you'd normally be in class.  FFFFRRRREEEEDDDDOOOOMMM.  And I took a minute to write a poem, which felt good.  I miss poetry, words coming to live and dancing on the page.

Coffee Shop Rumble

Here I am, in this noisy corner
Eavesdropping secretly on dialogue, debate, and private sweetness
    that aren't so proviate (or even that sweet), because here we sit
    together but apart.
But thanks for teaching me about
   the drummer, the mountain
   that novel, and your libido.
All of it intriguing, exquisite, and monotonous
    at the same moment
    in a moment all it's own.
But that's Friday morning for ya.
It's the coffee shop rumble.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Girls I'll Always Love

Despite not having time to run or pluck my eyebrows, I find time to peruse Facebook, looking through old pictures and stalking people I don't speak with regularly but want to keep tabs on.  Sometimes these searches yield the most incredible results.  Example:

Photographic mess that holds much promise...
I love this picture, or actually, this one:

Aside from being gorgeous, these women are incredible souls.  Some of my best friends, my girls.  When I think of each of them, I am encouraged.  I know only great things are to come from their lives.  

This is a super, cheese-ball post, but I love this picture.  All the hope and sparkle in those eyes.  Never lose it, Girls!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spending the afternoons with the twinzies refreshes me.  I can turn off my brain for awhile, yet I have this incredible opportunity to mold the two tinys into people.  That's exciting and a little daunting.  (Again, why I am not ready to be a mom just yet...)

I get great presents all day long.
 Today we played in the yard for hours, painting pumpkins, saying "hello!" to passers-by, and dancing to the Weepies.  It was the perfect fall afternoon full of blissful nothing, sunshine, and crunchy leaves.

Pumpkin shortage.  Whatever!

Cassidy is the little artist.

It's amazing to look back through old pictures on my iPhone from several months ago and read over their mom's blog from over a year ago.  My how they've grown.  They're not babes anymore, but to me, they'll always be the babies.  Funny to think about how much I detested taking that job... go figure.  Life sure is funny sometimes.

Ready to break hearts!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Learning [is] Surrender

Clearly the blog lacks these days, but what can I say?  Thoughts never stop thinking, and my brain doesn't slow down.  Between hours at the office, sitting in class, pricking people's fingers for blood samples, too many cups of coffee, and attempting to maintain some form of a social life, I must consciously tell myself to breathe, to process, to take it all in.  Midterm is next week; two years a quarter gone.

But a recurring theme in this chaos called grad school is surrender.  It's the only way I make it through the day with even a slight ounce of sanity.  This-social work education-is one of the most difficult things of my life so far, but it is good, too.  I feel as though I am beneath a magnifying glass, my every move and word observed, soaked in.  Everything has a deeper implication, and each person is not who he or see seems.  I cannot look at anything the same anymore; it's like my eyes are wide open to the things that have permeated my world for 23 years, but now I can it for real.  *Damn it, all this sharing of the feelings!

And every day I fight something.  Doubts.  Insecurity.  Disconnect.  Fear.  Pride.  Sleepiness.  Panic.

My world is consumed in an idea, a concept.  Most of my interaction is with textbooks and my own thoughts.  I remember my family and friends, their lives happening around me.  Instead of being a part of it, I am around it.  It's so much time in my own head, and I am a little sick of it. It's making my heart breaks a little...

I feel selfish.  Totally consumed in my dream, making my passions a reality.  Deep inside I know I am pursuing this for others' good, but then I consider philanthropy, humanism.  Does true altruism exist anymore?  Is there a point?  And then my tissue box is my friend... and my journal.  It's like Uganda all over again.

But in the middle of my ranting, my doubting, my being myself, I remember good things are not an easy processes necessarily.  And people are crazy, so working side-by-side (even with good intention), creating relationships, and dreaming of change together is ridiculous.  Crazy and dangerous, but beautifully messy.  It shows me how necessary this work is, how my passion is mine for a reason, even if I do not understand it fully.

And I breathe, feeling my fists clenched tightly around a full heart, holding onto each and every internalization... it's time to let it go.  Whatever that looks like, however I can in that moment.

Discomfort, I realize you.
Pride, I relinquish you.
Pain, I sit with you.
Wonder, I relish in you.
Anger, I embrace you.
Confusion, I let you.
Joy, I adore you.
Grace, I rejoice over you.
Love, I long for you.

*Jesus, I need You.

So, for me, learning, textbook or practical, is surrender.  A lesson I learn and learn and learn and learn daily.