GRADUATE SCHOOL ALMOST KILLED ME BUT I SURVIVED. Whoosh, that was a stressful couple of weeks. Two of my first real graduate philosophy papers coming due (my Purdue papers didn’t count because they hardcore sucked) and a big trip to California and Colorado for work collided into a stressful last couple of weeks. But it’s over. And my weekends are fun again. (At least, they could be if I wanted to make them fun. Generally I don’t.)
Chris is out of town for work and I miss him a lot. But I also think I’ll do more when he’s not here. When he’s here, all my fun is right next to me. When I’m by myself, I have to seek out any fun if I want to have fun. I am not fun. So maybe this will be an exciting time for me, full of excursions and quick trips outside before realizing being inside with books and wine is better.
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships. It is hard to be friends with broken people, which we all are. It’s hard to be friends as a broken person. Love, man. Geez.
I’ve also continued (always) to think about the value of knowledge. I tend towards a bit of epistemophilia (love of knowledge for knowledge’s sake), but I know that’s not always healthy. I think choosing not to know some things, to let others know it for us, is an important part of being human. I don’t like feeling like I need to pretend to more than I do, and I definitely don’t like people who are cocky about what they know. Knowledge is both a right and a privilege. We all have a right to knowledge about things that affect us, but it is a privilege to attain certain kinds of detailed knowledge. I’m not sure what a right balance for this looks like, but I don’t want to become someone who is so obsessed with knowing that I miss out on the beauty of letting others know for me. I want to help build communities that know rather than just be an island of knowing. (An island of inevitably-paltry, non-fun knowing.)
I recently read Henri Nouwen’s The Way of the Heart. It’s a lovely little book about the importance of solitude, silence, and unceasing prayer. The bit on silence — silence from speaking and an internal silence — really struck me. I had never thought about the effect of all these words I expose myself to, how they can ultimately serve to cheapen the effect of good words on me. Words convey truth that resonates deeply with me. I don’t want to cheapen or water down that experience. So I’m thinking of ways to lessen my word intake to include mostly that which I “know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” (Thank you, William Morris.) Perhaps a kind of KonMari of the mental sort. But I want to continue to be curious and not just seek out information or words that “spark joy” or make me feel good. I do want to be challenged and to expose myself to new thoughts and important news. So I’m going to try to limit my online time and try to ask myself for everything I read, “Will this teach me something useful? Will it give me a moment of joy?” I want to only read that for which the answer is yes to either question (or both!). Maybe I’ll keep a log of many things I end up not reading, to see just how much worthless detritus I have consumed. Sad brain.
In a similar vein, I have a strengthened respect for careful, thoughtful prose. (Poetry, too, but meh.) Words are so beautiful and I love those who use them for truth-finding, truth-revealing purposes.
I am really good at wearing clothes until they are threadbare, but holy cow, ALL OF MY CLOTHES ARE WEARING OUT AT THE SAME TIME. And I really hate spending money on clothes at the moment. Ugh. I need a new swimsuit (all of mine are at least 5 years old and in danger of disintegrating next time I’m in particularly salty water WHICH HAPPENS REGULARLY BECAUSE #ISLAND), I need new work pants, I need a new go-to black wrap work dress, I need new work flats, I need new structural things (ladies, you get me), and I have had to retire several shirts and dresses that don’t need to be replaced necessarily, but that served a wonderful diversity function to my small closet. I’m both proud of myself for my thriftiness (one pair of pants I’ve had for 12 years!) and irritated at my clothes for not holding out a little longer. Weaklings.
Testing the tensile strength of my remaining wardrobe, YES I SURVIVED GRADUATE SCHOOL BUT SO DID MY ARSE. My arse survived a little too well. It thrived. It thrived itself out of my only pair of jeans. Since the semester ended, I’ve been able to get back into the gym and have been focusing on eating better, but ugh. I much more enjoy the “eat all the happy things to aid in end-of-the-semester survival!” And the “sleep in, don’t go for a run! Runs are stupid!” Those were good times, but I suppose ultimately I prefer being able to wear everything in my closet. Soon, my sweet burgundy-colored, spaghetti-strap jumpsuit. Only 1,045 florets of broccoli and 12,396 burpees to go.