Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Break Reflections

I'm writing this from my new MacBook Pro... and feeling outrageously fabulous and hip. I am officially a willing victim of successful branding. Thank you Apple- I am now a Mac.

Being home again always seems to give me some clarity of how I am feeling and where I am heading. I think it's because it's such a safe place... friends I love, family who support me, places I've known all my life. My surroundings give me permission to be reflective and feel my feelings (thank you, therapist, for such a wonderfully cheesy yet apt phrase).

To quote Coldplay, I'm realizing that everything's not lost. I am being to see where things are going more clearly and to begin to make a life for myself. During Blizzard '09, I actually missed my apartment and realized that it feels like home. Work is beginning to look up a bit- my big boss in charge validated my feelings about my work environment and has started to put me in a position to take on responsibility and actually get to think and learn. I've decided to view it as a 4 year internship and I think that's improving my overall attitude: I don't see it as an endless death march and more like an amazing opportunity to get experience that I can transfer to something with more meaning. And I'm starting to connect with my Bible study and church- I really am starting to enjoy the traditions and being around people who genuinely want to be there. I've been amazed at the insight that some of my new friends have shed onto different passages... they're smart and devoted people who are pursuing God and that's encouraging to me that I'm not alone.

But at the same time, I'm also realizing that I am living in defeat right now. I think that I'm mid-way through the hike and I'm not able to see the top of the mountain yet. I'm panting and tired and unable to believe that I'm going to make it. There's been a lot of emotional and psychological difficulties going on in my life for the last year or so, as some people know, and I'm feeling like a permanent pit-dweller, as BMo would say. I realized that I don't believe that I can be healed, I don't believe that I can be more than what I currently am. Sweet Bess said it best during our time together this weekend: I'm in the valley right now and can't see the way out. But realizing that that's how I'm feeling and being able to recognize that it's a lie is the first step to reconnect with the healing process and being able to move on.

I'm not going to say that after these revelations that I'm going to go back and be perfect and be completely changed. I'm too human and too weak for that. But I do believe that I will go back and slowly but surely begin to correct my path and my outlook. I know I can change with help and support- I believe I can be salvaged.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blizzard '09

So, as promised, I am recounting my snowy escapades in a pho-to montage... *Note that all of these pictures are after 4 days of melting*

I rode out the storm at my auntie and uncle's while they were in the Caribbean (thanks guys!!). It was such a blessing to be the only car that I had to worry about digging out (i.e. not having to try to dig around all of my neighbors cars) and to have their neighbors to make me dinner! Gotta love the potroast... Anyways, I got to experience the joys of digging yourself out of 2 feet of snow. It's a workout, I'll tell you what- but it was kind of fun, too, and empowering to know I could do it.

I finally attempted to return to my apartment and was instantly made even more grateful to my aunt. The parking lot resembled what I've always imagined the apocalypse would... there were cars parked everywhere on snow mountains, under snow, skidded off the road where they'd tried to get out. People bundled up to the point of being unrecognizable were hunched up and hobbling along with various implements of destruction. Except for some oil barrel fires, it absolutely resembled the end of the world. But I once again dug myself out and made it into the apartment. Here's what it looked like in the cold light of day...

I survived Blizzard '09 and it's thigh-high snow! I should get a t-shirt...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Get Ready...

I've been wanting write about how I survived Blizzard '09... but I've not had pictures to accompany the narrative. That will change when I dig out my apartment and get my camera out. More snow details to come...

Get ready!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

These Are a Few of My Favorite (Christmas) Things

I was walking to get my lunch today here in Reston Town Center... it's one of those shopping districts that purists hate because it has been completely artifically developed. For Knoxvillians, think Turkey Creek but in a city format. J.Crews and restaurants are neatly contained in a 12-block development that is box store heaven. But artifical or not, RTC isn't messing around about Christmas. The garlands and wreaths went up right around Halloween. The lights came out a couple weeks later, along with a gigantic tree festooned with brightly colored balls and ribbons. And then the piece de resistance: an ice rink went down in the central square.
When I go to one of the local businesses, the Community Canteen (shout out to the Chicken and Brie Panini), I pass by that mammoth tree and the ice skaters. I'm not sure why these things make us so happy... or at least why they make me so happy. Is it nostalgia (for a kind of Christmas that I myself never had) or is there something intrinsically magical about all these ingredients combined? I'm sure psychological studies have been conducted on the subject and could give me complex answers of a compulsion to fantasize about a idyllic family/childhood or wish fulfillment, but I don't really want those kinds of answers. I want to believe that there is something inherently wonderful about this time of year. The crisp and jarring winter air reminds me I'm alive... the way that hot and humid summer air makes me fell like I'm dead. Everyone is bundled up and walking briskly, laidened with overpriced parcels for an unknown third party. The incessant and annoying bleeps of electronically remixed pop songs that ubiquitious to clothing retailers are replaced with the soft croonings of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra singing the classic Christmas tunes. It's just great.
I know everyone loves Christmas (unless something traumatic has happened to them around the holiday), I'll say it again: I love Christmas.
I can't wait to enjoy this season with people that I love!