What does life look like post graduation from graduate school? I am about to find out!

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Will Survive

Well, folks, I have made it to the third week of classes. So far, so good. I'm managing to keep my head above water but just barely. Grad school is a lot of reading, who knew??!! No, in all honesty folks, I'm finally starting to find a routine and a rhythm that works for me so it should hopefully get easier for me from here on out. I constantly need to remind myself that I can do this. There have definitely been some days when I have really wondered if I actually can do this. Can I really make it? Am I meant to be here? Is this really the path God is calling me down? I still really love it here and have found myself so blessed to have found this community. It's so incredibly supportive and nurturing and that is so great to have. Through the difficult times, people have been there for me to help lift me up and offer me support and let me know that I really can do this and that I will make it through. I'm trying not to lose sight of the reason I came to seminary. I'm trying to keep at the forefront of my mind all the ministry goals that I have when I get done here. I'm trying real hard to hold it all together and not let the stress and difficulty and everything else wear me down. It can be tough though. Hebrew is really proving to be a challenge and it's frustrating me because I want to learn it. I really want to have that knowledge in my head but I am just having difficulty. All my classes are so fascinating and so interesting that I look forward to going to class every day. That's how I know I've found my place. I'm happy and that's the most important thing. Yes, classes are stressful and studying is not fun and I find myself sometimes overwhelmed by the workload but what keeps me motivated is the knowledge that I genuinely want to be here. This is one of the few times in my life that I can honestly say that I am following God's plan for my life. With that knowledge, it's enough to get me through. This is where God wants me and I am willing to accept that and honor it.
I think I should take a moment to explain a part of the reason why I am sounding so drained and distraught today. I just got word yesterday that one of my very good friends (I would even go so far as to say that she was a best friend) from high school died yesterday. I was quite shocked by the news as I had been out of the loop and didn't even know that there was anything wrong. I think that's what I lament the most: the fact that it had been almost six years since we last connected and now I will never get the opportunity to re-connect with her. I'm a very loyal friend but I am terrible at keeping in touch. I will be the first to admit that. I have lost contact with so many people just because I didn't really have time to stay in touch or got busy or just plain didn't feel like they would want to hear from me anymore. This is not the first time that I have been reminded about just how bad I am at staying in touch. She is about the third or fourth friend to die on me after not keeping in touch with them. Once again, I get a reminder that I need to really improve myself in that regard. I have very few good memories of high school but she was one of the few bright spots from that time period. She was always so upbeat and perky and full of life and hilarious and somebody that could cheer me up no matter what was going on in my life. That vibrancy and zest for life was contagious and it was impossible not to be happy when she was around. She was also an incredibly gifted actress and a very loyal friend. She loved her friends so much and since she was always so happy, it was impossible not to be her friend. Everyone that knew her loved her. It just couldn't be helped. I saw her almost every day for four years. Then, college happened and we went our separate ways and didn't really speak much after that. I think that happens to a lot of friendships. People drift apart and move away and it is the rare friendship that is able to withstand all that. To be honest, I think I drifted apart on purpose. I really needed to distance myself from high school and the painful memories of it. I needed to grow up some and the best way to do that at least for me at that time, was to distance myself from the people who knew me then. Was it the right decision? That's debatable but I know that it is what I did and consequently there's less than a handful of people from my high school days that I still actively keep in touch with. Do I regret that? I'm not sure about that either. There's not much I can say about it now other than it happened and I did it and I can't go back and change it now. I will just say this: my life is richer because I knew her and I will never be the same.
As for me, I'm keeping my head up and trying my best to focus on school. I've been feeling kinda numb all day today and not really sure that I actually processed everything that I learned today. This weekend marks the YAV Re-Entry Retreat at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico and while I am really looking forward to it, I'm also not really sure that's where my head is right now. Going to Re-Entry this weekend means I won't be able to attend my friend's memorial service which means I will miss the opportunity to say goodbye to her in person and to re-connect with people that I haven't seen in years. This is one of those times when moving away from home really sucks but I just have to accept that I am where I am needed to be. I need to be at Ghost Ranch this weekend. I need to be with my fellow YAVs sharing the stories of this past year and reminiscing about our experiences. I need that support system to help get me through this emotionally. I've been looking forward to this weekend for over a year and so I plan to go and enjoy myself and have fun and spend time with my friends that I love so much but on Friday, my heart will be back in Texas as I think about her and her service. Just highlights what all I left behind to come here.
Please don't be worried about me. I'm not depressed or distraught or anything like that. I'm actually really happy even if it doesn't come across that way on here. My heart is sad and I am struggling with a lot but overall, I know that where I am is where I'm supposed to be.

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