Wednesday, May 18, 2011

thoughts on a little world


one little world I found in our yard last month

I've been coping a lot lately with the idea of leaving. I always came home on the weekends during college-- I wasn't one of those college students who are enthused about picking up and moving to another state, knowing that at the end of four years they wouldn't be emotionally dependant on their parents (or family) at all. They were successfully transplanted and grew roots so that they only need a call from their mother once in a while (whatever that is). I am not like that.

In many ways, being away from my Dad will only be a good thing. He really grows more fond of people when he doesn't see them-- being enormously sentimental-- and has enough self control to be very well behaved for a short time, perfect for a winter or Easter break. I won't have to be around for his daily provocations and mood swings anymore.

But my Mother's love is like an undercurrent that you can tap into, letting it fill your whole life. It doesn't switch off and on, it is always on, but it is not at its best at a distance. YES, she answers her phone, emails, sends care packages and will visit you when she has the chance, but it isn't anything like the love you feel when you are in her home and she is brightening your life in a thousand tiny ways.

I'm going to have the hardest time leaving her and my baby HB. HB and my Mom are almost a package deal, their lives having meshed together in the last few years so that they live in sync and always go to bed together at the same time. I know HB won't understand why I've gone and that is the hardest part for me.


It has been hard to have this relatively free time and not being able to do things that will carry over time, like plant pumpkins, because I know that I will be leaving in a few months and I'll never live here again. I won't be able to take HB's annual pumpkin photoshoot. I just won't be there.

I have been more successful cheering myself up about Boston in the last few weeks and I want to write a post with my list of things about it that seem promising/not terrible. I secured an apartment too! It occurred to me exactly why I was avoiding my school inbox (emails from BU), putting off searching for apartments and generally trying not to think about Boston at all: because it all seems so foreign and fragile. English is a finicky subject, I never know how my work will be received, and I worry that I'll actually love my new life with my horribly overpriced studio all to myself and new found independence, only to have it all taken away when I can't produce the quality of work that is expected of me in English, or can't get my Russian up to scratch to pass the language requirements (which seems more pressing everyday). I woke up one day last week thinking about a BU professor, teaching one of my fall courses and passing my first written piece around to his colleagues in the department asking "what in the world are we going to do about this?". I imagined their horror that they'd given a coveted spot in the program to someone so hopeless that they couldn't even think of anything to help bridge the gap between what I can do and what I need to be able to do.

I be honest, I haven't been helping myself a lot lately in this area. I've been meaning to prepare-- to pick up studying Russian again so I can actually remember all the inflections and maybe even get better than I was before (this feels impossible), to do the online theory course that I started posting about in this blog last year, to read all the Victorian staples that I've been neglecting, like Hardy and Thackeray, to read literary journals. I've been meaning to do all these things so that when I show up I can feel scared but throw my hands in the air anyways because I did all I could do. God only knows why I'm not doing any of those things right now.

But I have done a few satisfying things in the last week that are completely unrelated to graduate school, like finish my quilt and make myself a few practical sewn things that make life a little easier. I had a marathon viewing session of A History of Britain while hand finishing the binding of the quilt and this was sort of invigorating. I am a huge fan of Simon Schama and he will actually be on the list of things that are not so bad about Boston re: book signings. I've organized my craft things and tried to find new running shoes (unfortunately all three pairs I ordered ended in bloody heels). Mundane life, I find, constantly comes to the rescue and promises to make all my worries go away if I could only let go of silly things like ambition and have a 9-5 job with no intellectual involvement and a garden.

But I have been reading more! Not anything very rigorous or as much as I'd like, but I am trying to be more active about spending my time well, instead of watching mind numbing TV.

I don't know how things are going to end up. As you've read, I'm trying to do a lot of things right now and the sum of them all is trying to convince me that I am enough.

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