This is kind of a no brainer, but it’s something I realized from an incredibly awkward and ridiculous situation that I experienced last week.
Now, on a normal day, none of this would have happened. It only happened because a set of things that don’t usually happen happened all at the same time (isn’t that the way of things?). I woke up late on Friday. Not so late that I was already late for work, but late enough that I needed to hurry in order to arrive on time. So I skipped breakfast. Now, my dermatologist has me taking an antibiotic for acne. I’m supposed to take it with food (the pharmacist says not to take it near dairy, but the dermatologist told me to ignore the pharmacist, so…), and I normally take it right as I’m leaving for work after I’ve had my bowl of cereal. Friday, I skipped breakfast, but didn’t skip my pill. I had a bag of almonds at work which I was planning on munching on as soon as I got to work.
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Have you ever had one of those problems that never happens when someone who could potentially fix the problem is actually looking? That’s an IT problem. It could also be a mechanical problem. Because these problems are most often related to computers or to cars. The best you can do is describe the problem as clearly as possible and keep checking back with the person who understands these kinds of problems until it happens again in front of them.
I have one of those problems. Now, strictly speaking, it’s not a problem; at least, not one that can be fixed. According to my cardiologist, I have mitral valve prolapse. I don’t really understand it, but I’m assured it’s not dangerous or anything I need to worry about. I just need to be aware of it, have tests every few years, and generally not worry. But I can’t actually be diagnosed unless it shows up on an echocardiogram. I’ve had several echoes—I won’t go into how weird it is to have an echo as a 15-year-old girl with your dad and a male doctor in the room—and each time my heart has behaved perfectly normally. But every once in a while, never during a test, I get funny palpitations that are a little bit unnerving. Maybe more than a little bit.
When the experts are looking, the problem never manifests itself.
Isn’t it so comforting knowing that we have a God who doesn’t have to be looking at just the right time in order to know that you have a problem? Who put you together just the way you are according to His design? There are many passages in the Bible that I repeatedly come back to, and Psalm 139 is one of them.
Last year, I noticed that the closer graduation became, the more done I got with doing school things. There was a time of my life when I would have been perfectly comfortable continuing with school for the rest of my life, so long as I had a good long break every once in a while. But that time has come and gone like a freight train (note that the average freight train is not exactly fast). So approximately six months before I graduated with my masters degree, something in my psyche went, “Why are we still doing this to ourselves? It’s time to be done! Staaaaaaahhhhhhp!” (My mental processes often have different personalities, which is why I sometimes think to myself in plural.)
Now that I’m officially done with school, and not just mentally done (nevermind that I’m thinking about taking a class next semester just because I can), my mind has latched on to another thing to be done with.
I’m done with living in someone else’s space.
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So a friend of mine, The Risabella Rambler, recently posted this post, “Adulthood Is Stupid,” which details all the reasons why children really shouldn’t want to grow up. And everything she says is all very true. Everything that we wanted to have as children that only adults get isn’t as free, or as fun, as we wanted it to be.
However, my life isn’t as bad as it should be, per my friend. I like my job and my co-workers, my rent is allowing me to pay for stuff, and my life is actually coming together quite nicely. I may not have an active social life, but I go out when I want to go out and stay in when I want to stay in. Sure, I’d like to be able to travel, but I have friends who wait and save up for travel opportunities, and I can work with that. And while the world is going to pots around our ears, it’s kind of been doing that since day 1, so I’m not particularly worried about anything, unless it suddenly stops going to pots. Which I think would be more worrying than everything else. Everything is pretty ok for me.
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So I graduated. And I got a full-time job. So I have officially started my adult life. Needless to say, I have mixed feelings.
Why should I have mixed feelings? I finished my last semester of grad. school with two A’s, got a job right after graduation, when I know many people don’t get jobs for years after their graduation. And it’s in my field no less. My job is relaxed (for the moment; I have been assured that it will get stressful as time moves on), I work with great people, and I have a great environment. Literally there is nothing to complain about. Aside from boredom, but that is easily alleviated. I have so much I am thankful for, and God has blessed me so much.
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On multiple occasions, I have had the privilege of taking classes with one particular teacher at — University. Throughout the classes that I have had with her (so far, Shakespeare’s early plays, late British literature, classical and medieval literature, and the Tudor renaissance), it has seemed to me that she often stressed this literary theme of knowing yourself. “Know thyself!” she would proclaim (loudly, with some pounding on the desk for emphasis).
Lately, as I progress through my graduate school days, I am discovering more and more how important it is to know yourself. Each day seems to be more and more of a journey of self-discovery. And, through self-discovery, growth. After all, how can you truly grow if you don’t know the areas in which you need growth? How can you repair a broken wall without first knowing what kind of materials the wall is made of?
Where did this particular reflection come from? A certain realization of my own character. I consider myself to be rather spontaneous. I don’t like fixed plans, and I like the changeability and flexibility that my life has right now. In fact, it’s quite safe to say that I dread routine. Schedules and lists are repulsive. And nothing irks me more than mandatory curfews and bedtimes. *Shudder*
But, at the same time, I would not be able to handle a life without some elements of a schedule, whether it be a class schedule or a work schedule. But I also like the flexibility of being able to change things at the drop of a hat (not that my current schedule affords me that kind of flexibility – but I can dream).
So, what have I learned from this bit of self-discovery? Not sure yet. I’ll let you know when it hits me.