Welcome to my pre-Thanksgiving Day rant. I drank too much coffee which is not helping. I always get myself worked up before a trip, regardless of the magnitude or duration. Add to that the blase attitude of everybody at school today and I feel very discombobulated. It will be nice to see my sister and my niece and have a relaxing dinner. No matter the stress of buying a ticket, catching the first subway train at 6:07 am and praying to get to my bus by 6:45 (a ride that should only take 15 minutes, but won’t), as soon as Boston begins to fade away so do my concerns because now I am outside of that sphere of chaos I always seem to weave around myself.
Hey when the need becomes too strong or long
And drawn out for me to take
Like a cigarette burn to the fleshy turbines of my heart
That faded afternoon floats breezily into my memory
Cool shafts of light appear and I’m left here
Standing naked on my own
Even Diff Eq class was no respite from my anxiety. I like the subject, but today was monotonous and forced – more like, “let’s just get through this and get out of here” than “this is the exciting new method of solving linear, nonhomogeneous 2nd order diff eqs with variable coefficients!” Lecture today did reinforce my strategy for utilizing my downtime between semesters – which is to re-educate myself about matrices and Cramer’s Rule and gain a foundation for statistical analysis so I don’t go into class unprepared next semester.
No idle hands
I’ll have my iPad with me for the trip which should be all the time I need to finish my PTK scholarship essays. This last one is the Big One where I am supposed to showcase some “endeavor” of mine that that illuminates my qualities as a student, an active member in my community and a leader. It just so happens that for over a year I have been writing, editing, and printing a community newsletter for A New Way Recovery Center (check out the links to download here). More than just my ramblings about my recovery under the pretense of marketing for the center, this newsletter might actually bear some fruit. Exciting things are happening!
As the end of my semester approaches without viable offers from the two schools I really want to attend, my anxiety mounts with every passing day. There is absolutely nothing that I can do to speed up the process, no catalyzing agent or philosopher’s stone to transmute a non committal admissions letter into a bona fide financial package. I have plan A, then plan B, and there are of course backup plans C and D. I get so wound up waiting – I submitted my applications over a month ago, what’s taking so long! I want guarantees, carved in stone, immutable and eternal!
I bitch and moan about this or that thing, but at least I have options now. Last year at this time I was putting the finishing touches on a descent from which no return seemed likely, possible, or (to be totally honest) even welcome. My circumstances, my situation, my outward trappings have changed, but have I really changed at all? That thought is very sobering (pardon the pun) and alerts all of my senses, all of my faculties, to be on heightened self-awareness and introspection (not the morbid sort though).
Thanksgiving this year will be special one for a bunch of reasons. It will be the first for my niece ever, my first Thanksgiving sober in over twenty years – a day not be feared and seek refuge from in the haze of alcoholic stupor and forgetfulness, but maybe I can begin compiling some fond memories.
Four days and one year ago…
Abraham Lincoln delivered his address at the Gettysburg Cemetery on Nov. 19 and it is with the same somber tone that I hope to dedicate some part of the earth under which to bury my dead past. A year is an eternity as surely as it is nothing. I want no monument or tribute, but rather, like Lincoln so eloquently put (he was such a master of words), “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here”. In that spirit, disregard my occasionally too frequent bitterness about the world and my sorry state, as I strive to continue the work that I began one year ago. Every year, at this time (November 26-27th actually), I will mark this day in conjunction with Thanksgiving and my mother’s birthday to rededicate myself to that work.
“…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain…”
May there be affirmative letters from colleges with generous financial aid offers waiting for me upon my return. I know there won’t be and it won’t be until Tuesday, at the earliest, that I can contact the two schools that I most want to hear from. Until then, patience and perhaps some words from another sage of a different era,
“Who can wait in stillness while the mud settles?
Who can rest until the moment of action?”