06 October 2008


this morning, i almost cried in front of my students.  it's been a bit of a rough weekend.  george helped see me through it with kindness and love and food and shopping and even some laughter.  and i was feeling okay this morning until i had to talk to someone about it again right before getting to class.  so i showed up in class a little emotional.  and had to apologize to my students for distributing some information late.  and before i knew it i was tearing up again.  i hate such things.  it's only happened once before--last spring when i was so sick that i got lightheaded and felt like i was close to passing out while i was teaching.  i don't mind showing a weakness i can laugh about--like throwing up on the first day of class.  but the other ones--the ones that scare me a bit--those are harder.

after class was over, one of my students asked if she could talk to me apart from the other after-class hangers-on, so i asked her to wait a moment while i answered the others' questions.  once they'd all left, she surprised me.  instead of asking about our current paper or the homework, she said, "you seem like such a beautiful person.  and i can tell you're not feeling up to your best.  i'm sorry things are hard right now."  and she gave me a hug.  if i were feeling particularly cynical, i suppose i could attribute this to brown-nosing.  but her eyes glossed over with tears while she was speaking and i have no doubt it was sincere.  this evening i checked my email only to find a message from another student expressing sympthy.  and i find myself feeling comforted by these simple gestures of kindness and support.

02 October 2008


caveat (always fun to start with one): the first couple lines of this post might make it sound like a downer.  it won't be. 

the last five weeks have been hard.  downright horrible, to be honest.  but i'm not going to explain that any further here (those of you who deserve to know either already do know or have contact info you can use to ask me).  i'm not through the horrible stuff.  i'm not sure when i will be.  but i've discovered that when life gets yucky, it helps to consciously identify the good things.  so here are a few things that have brought me peace in the last few weeks:
  • warm baguette with butter in the company of friends.
  • an hours-long film adaptation of a victorian novel which stars beautiful men. also in the company of a friend.
  • the love of a woman who hardly knows me but noticed my pain and hugged me while i cried.
  • home-cooked meals, decadent ice cream, all my favorite treats, and a refuge offered by still other friends.
  • making the acquaintance of a hummingbird who hovered a foot and a half in front of me for an endless moment when life felt dark.  and then a similar encounter with a bumbling-buzzing black bee.
  • my mama hugging me and crying with me.
  • planning another roadtrip to the bay area--wonderful company sharing wonderful food, music, and bookstores.
  • an afternoon spent wandering a beautiful garden and perusing old books followed by singaporean food for dinner and a girls' night out to the movies.
  • weekly lunches with fellow grad students.
  • finding myself a new apartment and planning my move.
  • trying to live with more integrity.  no matter how painful it might make some situations.
  • laughing at tina fey's brilliant riffs on sarah palin.
  • thai therapy on thai tuesdays.  trust me, it's amazingly effective.  
  • letting myself dance even if i have felt rather miserable.
  • letting myself vent all the emotion through tears and rage.
  • sharing meals and conversation with george.
  • a new batch of students who seem eager to participate and succeed.
  • knowing that i'm taking care of myself.
  • crazy bunnies playing chicken with my car at night.  they made me laugh and i figure laughter adds to peace.
life kind of sucks at the moment.  but the world is beautiful.  and people are wonderful.  and i am loved.  and that certainly brings peace.