How did I get here?

Life is circuitous and sometimes I’m amazed to look back and see where I’ve been.

Aka…I just stalked photos of myself on Facebook.  Judge away.  It was a trip down memory lane.

Some of the road signs along this lane:

-Warning: Fabulous Hair. I have had some fantastic hairstyles through the years.  Not always, but I just ignore those years.  I’m excited to go back to the long, boho blondes and reds and strawberry blondes sometime soon.

-I love Sallay.  (Gave up trying to create road signs pretty quickly).  Anytime I see a picture or video of this girl, my heart leaps and breaks all at once.  She never fails to cheer me up and keep me grounded, but I also can’t begin to describe how I miss her.  I miss hearing the SL national anthem, the sound of chickens in the morning, the feel of a cool bucket shower at noon, I miss Krio and singing clapping rhymes with a huge crowd of girls (and the occasional boy).  I can’t wait to be back.

-Life never stops.  There are always new pictures.  New faces.  New backdrops.  Even when you miss the old ones.  Life moves on and you have to keep up.  The things that are most important never disappear entirely.

-Memory is like a camera.  You can’t keep everything.  You keep moments.  Snapshots.  Even if that snapshot is just a favourite cup of coffee every Wednesday morning.  There is nothing too big or too small.

-At the end of the day, you are your most valuable asset.  Love yourself.

 

Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you

My parents were just out here this weekend.  We had a lovely time.  Exploring downtown, walking around DeKalb, church at First Lutheran, playing Farkle by the pool.  It was really fun.  I liked having them out here and showing them the places I have come to call my own.

It was a win.

Not everything is right now.  There is a lot that is at best up in the air.  I’m missing old friendships and hating the limitations that distance imposes.  The people I love are spread across state lines, time zones, and countries.  I often find myself wishing to just be around them again, living every day life together, talking about the world and the people in it over a glass of cheap wine.

I have no idea where I’ll be soon.  DeKalb, Des Moines, South Bend, China?  What doors might open [or close] for me?  I’m daily refusing to let myself worry about it yet but it is on my mind.  I had a plan.  One year ago, I was just waiting to know what school would be the one where I would spend the next five to eight years.  I was going to get a PhD and research/teach.  I had a plan.  And that is slipping away.  It’s not gone yet.  And it could still happen, but its definitely not happening in the way I imagined.  I guess you never get to know.    I waver between the optimist that believes that no matter what, something will work out.  That no matter where I am, I can love and be happy, and what else matters?  The other side of me asks why my plan wasn’t good enough?  What was wrong with wanting to be an African Studies professor?  Doing something big with my life?   Its frustrating.  And then I waver back to feeling like it will always be fine.  And back again.

My life is good right now.  I’m not feeling defeated.  I’m just feeling so tired.

I’m sitting, trying to finish a pathetic three page paper, so I can move on to my other pathetic three page paper and my other ten-page paper.  And then beyond that I have two interviews to prepare for, $2000 to raise (and then $1500 more), two grants to write, and a lesson to plan.  Its nothing very big, but it is a lot of little things.  And I have a headache.  Not a big deal, but I’m struggling to be productive.

I was just reading a friend’s blog.  And for a million reasons I really respect her.  And miss her.  I feel sorry for people who haven’t lived surrounded by the people I have met and loved along the way.  What I was thinking about tonight was that she is badass.  And the best part about it is she knows it.  More than just knowing though, she acknowledges that fact, publicly.  Not that she doesn’t admit weakness or pain, she just knows what she is and calls the shots.  Its not pride, its just truth.  And I think there is something really brave about that.  Most of us don’t want to admit our strengths for fear we’ll be proved wrong.  For fear someone will say “no, you’re not”.  For fear that if we don’t hedge our bets and keep one foot on the adequate side of life, we’ll set ourselves up for failure.  She is honest, regardless of those consequences. She is brave.  I admire her.

I remember times I’ve been that way too.  Honest with myself and the world.  And they’ve been the happiest.  Not the easiest or the most perfect.  But they’ve been the times when my spine was strong, my back was straight, and my head was high.  You couldn’t bring me down.  I’m learning.  Slowly.  But I’m learning to be less afraid of my light.

This should be more polished.  But its not.  And thats fine with me right now.