Monday, February 28, 2011


If you only ever spent five minutes with me, then you know that I think too much. But I must say, I’ve been doing pretty well at quelling that tendency toward that too-much-thought-thing lately. Well, let me rephrase that. I’ve been thinking a lot, but I linger less. I linger a lot less. Perhaps it is because my time is limited, so thinking too much about any one subject is highly impractical. And if there is one other thing that you should know about me it is that I am practical. I mean, I wander, I make decisions on whims, I believe in experiences, but I am certainly practical most of all.

I’m rambling. What is my point? I have been thinking. As a graduate student, as an intern, as a person who is looking forward (only a little), I am thinking about my future. I am thinking about how the choices I make today might affect my future. I am thinking about what I want from my future. I am thinking about how I can make the most of this moment and parlay that moment into a future. I am thinking about how I can shine.

My fellow students and interns seem to have that whole shine thing down, at least in that polished, presentable sort of way. They have all done some really cool things. They purport to have career goals and ambitions and plans. They seem to know what they are doing. And some of them are so young! How do you shine among others who shine so brilliantly, and in such bright colors? (I have learned at this point though that appearances, above all, are deceiving.)

As I look around me at a wider scope, though, I find people who really do shine – people who are successful and charming and captivating and bright. People who exude confidence but present it without superiority. How does one achieve humility with such confidence? I must admit, unpretentious confidence intimidates the hell out of me. But it is certainly something I would hope to achieve in my life. To simply be sure of oneself without arrogance is an accomplishment worth aspiring to.

I would say that to this stage in my life I have fallen short of shining. I sometimes feel as if the image I present is reflected from an antique mirror with the original glass in tact. The image may be murky and distorted, but there is genuineness to it. The glass needs replacing, that is true. This is the task at hand. This is the moment to work on those repairs and polish as necessary. And then, shine. Surely.

“Feeling like a star, you can’t stop my shine……” Yep, I just quoted a cheesy, pop-py hip hop song. I don’t know what that’s about.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Peace with the world

I left a paying job, that by all standards was good and fulfilling, to take an unpaid internship – at the advice of some and the dismay of a blessed few. Why do I do these things? It has something to do with the betterment and challenge of myself; and (hopefully) it will move me toward accomplishing my goal of doing my damnedest to leave this world maybe a little better than it was when I came into it. Although, my cynicism tells me I must be a masochist because clearly the world has the upper hand and a bitch of a whip. (You see, because the world is the sadist in that scenario – but you got that, right?)

I guess my point is that it seems counterintuitive to take an unpaid internship at this point in my life, when I could be working for money while also doing good things; when a lot of people are seeking paying jobs of any kind; when it has made a cliché of my 26-year-old-grad school-living with the parents-life. It might seem crazy. What solidifies this assumption of insanity? I haven’t been this happy in quite a long time.

I’m hella busy, I’m penniless (sort of), I have no security for my future. But, I’m more than satisfied with the work I’m doing, I have the best friends I could possibly ask for (though there are some I miss terribly), I am truly learning every single day from some part of my life. I want for nothing. I have good food, fun, wine, chocolate. I’m attempting to do my best at living a better life – socially, healthfully, spiritually – wholly, balanced. I’m making plans to go to f-ing Africa in a few months. I mean, honestly, there are few complaints from this humble part of the world tonight.

To think about where I’ve been, what might have been, what could be – these things are maybe to be considered, but not for long. After a while these things are like cement slowly yielding immobility to your body and soul. Several months ago, two different people from two very different parts of my life told me within a few weeks of one another that I seemed “at peace” (or something to that effect anyway). Now notwithstanding the phrasing, that is usually associated with a corpse in a coffin, I thought the statement was perceptive at that moment. I was, at the time, in the process of choosing a new path and embarking on it with my own version of zeal.

I can’t say that I have been “at peace” continuously since then, nor will I ever be continuously, but I am finding more and more evidence that contentedness lies in accepting the moment for what it is and also accepting that it will soon pass. Moment to moment, life is wonderful – or at least bearable, for the beauty of a moment is that it will soon succumb to a new one. Be at peace with the world, despite that bitch of a whip it holds. Despite all the circumstances and hardships and downright horridness, stand and be strong, even with tears in your eyes for all that is wrong. Be at peace in the face of it all. Embrace it even. Love. Do. Seek. Be.

It may also help that I am currently working in the “Peace Pavilion,” which makes me smile.