I’ve been feeling out-of-sorts and flighty today. Adjustments to my routine usually do this. I had grown used to being on vacation for the past three weeks, or perhaps more accurately, just not being in class. Because I jammed that time full of things to do – flying to Philly for a week, coming home for a day and a half only to immediately drive to Savannah for several days, returning home and being on my own for 4 days before having a friend come to visit from Pennsylvania for the weekend – I haven’t made a great deal of time to just be. It’s been a lot of motion, a lot of activity. Not a great deal of repose. Really, it comes down to not feeling grounded. Instead, I’m floating around from one activity to the next, not really being fully present in any of them.
This all came to a head today when, after having come in to meet with the professor with whom I’ll be working this semester and buying a few of my books, I met up with a friend and then realized I had completely gotten my schedule wrong and was about to take the train home and miss one of my first classes. Thankfully, I had the sense to check my schedule online before departing (I really need to print it out) and realize this brain fart of mine about 5 minutes before the class was about to start. And reflecting on today as I sit on the patio by the pool makes me see the glaring necessity to ground myself and be present.
As much as a part of me is brilliant when it comes to resisting (as has been discussed at length), there is also a great part of me (discovered during my crazy college years) that excels at completely letting go and being absorbed in whatever it is that I’m doing to the point where everything else ceases to exist (ironically, applying this practice to physical exercise actually helps to ground me). One would think that when I completely let go and become immersed in what I’m doing that I am very present. However, what I’ve come to conclude is that when I do completely let go, I let go too much to the point of becoming the experience instead of simply and deeply connecting to it while maintaining my Self. It seems then that I need to find some middle ground between the two. And yet, all three positions – from resisting at one end to complete surrender on the other and a medium between the two – serve a purpose, possess great meaning, and offer numerous lessons. Thus, it appears that one’s position would best be determined based on where one wants to go, what one wants to learn, and what one hopes to accomplish. Complete surrender could be highly beneficial in a spiritual context if one seeks to strengthen one’s connection with Divinity. Complete resistance could be efficacious if another is attempting to manipulate one’s will toward ends that would harm one’s self. A balance seems to be appropriate perhaps the majority of the time. And really, is a balance anything other than critically thinking and examining the situation in which one finds one’s self and making sound decisions based on the evaluation of such a process? Then again, that assumption seems to imply that one resists or surrenders mindlessly, without thought to consequence or result; I certainly don’t agree with that. One can very mindfully surrender, just as much as one can very mindfully resist.
My meeting with my professor today had the kind of tone of “this is the beginning of the rest of your life.” He explained that I’m in a bit of an exceptional position in that most Masters students (such as myself) do not normally have assistantships. He also affirmed to me that I am very much on the doctoral tract – something I have been turning over in my mind since the middle of last semester and had not declared even to myself. I’m interested in researching and learning about too many things and feel I have too much to say to not pursue a doctorate. Seeing it in print is a bit ominous and overwhelming, though, despite my faith in my ability to succeed. Having this professor’s vote of confidence, as well as another one I had class with last semester, helps bolster my courage. I had always planned on getting my doctorate. To me, it was just a matter of when – either right now immediately after getting my M.S. and Ed.S. or later. I’m inching toward right now (after getting the prerequisite other degrees that is). Thinking about all of this leaves me with a wide range of emotions that swing from absolutely terrified (but still courageous) to thrilled to curious to elated and just about everywhere in between. My skin really is the only thing keeping me from going in every single direction.
So…tonight I am going to map out my weekly schedule taking into account all the activities and classes I intend to be involved with this semester, take a bath, relax, do some meditating, and maybe some recreational reading and wine drinking. 🙂