Sunday, May 7, 2017

Reading old posts

I've been browsing my blog archives, reminding myself of the lovely chaos that has been life since I started this blog in 2008, nearly ten years ago. Wow. Really ten years? That's kind of sad and sobering.

In any case, Blogger told me that I had 29 unpublished drafts of posts, the earliest from 2010. I looked back over some of those posts, and most were just little things I began but never finished, including several awesome titles that never developed accompanying text. (Like "Going places" and "Through a glass darkly".) Some of the draft posts were more complete, but never published for various reasons, reasons such as the topic at hand was a little too private to post on a public blog (family planning and my parents), or my thoughts were too scattered or too controversial and might affect my position at G.O.D University (religious issues).

I really liked the following post, though, from June 2015. At the time, I was worried about moving and starting a new life in a new country. And change. Change is scary.

But reading this old post, and knowing that almost two years later I still swim in the same sea of lovely chaos and worries about the future and attempted optimism, every day, I think that maybe the change was not so huge. Sure the seasons are completely swapped around, and the living arrangements are entirely different. But we're pretty much still the same, that me then, and this me now.


Friday, June 19, 2015, Mountain West, USA

Little things that keep me up

There are scars on my lungs. No sign of disease, but scars on my lungs. You would never know it, unless you took a picture of the inside of my lungs. And why would you want to take such a picture? Someone wanted a picture for a visa application, along with a police report from every country we've lived in over the last ten years, and my entire life work history. I didn't tell them about the time I taught piano lessons to the neighbor girls for ten dollars per week when I was in high school. Do you think that will be a problem? Why would I have scars on my lungs?

This could be a pretty good life right here, summertime. Hollyhocks starting to bloom. Raspberries turning from white to pale pink to dark red to black juicy ripeness. Mountain breezes sweeping out of the canyons late at night. What am I doing, swapping this life for an unknown life? In the unknown life, I will have to lead the group, and train the students, and bring in grant money, and walk and talk as though I am Senior and Intelligent and a Leader. Some days I don't feel like a Leader. Not even a leader. But then the next day, the guy in G.O.D.'s grants office refuses to budge on my financial request. Refuses! Because he is made of refuse! And I get really, really, unnaturally angry. Thank goodness I am leaving! I can get angry at the grants office people somewhere else. Important to spread the angry around the world.

And speaking of grants, I received preliminary reports on the grant proposal I wrote for Australia. The grant was sent to four external reviewers, and now I get to respond to their assessments. I haven't ever been able to respond like that in the US. But the assessments were extremely positive! Extremely positive! They think I can be Senior and Intelligent and a Leader. They know nothing of my fatigue and inability to get that one result I've been working on for the last month. And I won't tell them. I won't tell them about how sometimes, lately, I find myself just staring at the wall and wondering what in the world am I doing? I shake it off, and I remind myself to keep writing. And I'll fake it and be fine. Panicked underneath, but fine.

In my ice skating lessons, I am learning to skate forward on one foot, and then without switching feet, to turn my whole body and continue skating backwards. I have learned that the only way to do this move is to start by pushing off as hard as I can, to go as fast as I can, with my leg bent as deeply as I can. And then somewhere with the speed and the muscles and the pure fear of death coursing through my body, I twist, and it happens, and I'm skating backwards on my left foot. And I'm awesome! Did you know that I'm awesome? Nothing says awesome like a one foot turn. Especially on the left foot. Inside edge.

The new job is like learning to twist from forwards to backwards on one foot. You just need to push into it, as hard as you possibly dare, and bend that leg as deeply as you can, and then go for it! Go for the turn! And suddenly you're skating backwards, on one foot, because you were already awesome. Already awesome.


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