The amazing thing about school is the well-defined beginnings and endings. Life, not so much. Things shift and meld and drift and sometimes take sharp turns, but that sense of ending, of over-ness isn’t there. Not so with school. A semester has a beginning day, a set of tasks, and an ending day. It’s over. I’m catching a nap, doing the after-action review or reflection depending on your discipline’s school of thought. I only have to do this four more times. This week I made a set of phone calls. The woman who colors my hair, a place to get a massage, a counseling service, and a personal trainer are going to help me hold it all together.
Self-awareness is part of looking at a situation and seeing what is there and not what we would prefer, then working with that. Under stress, I have have habits that re-emerge. Everyone does. Watching those habits resurface like some psychic Loch Ness Monster was as frightening as watching the looming deadlines. Rather than pretend it didn’t happen, it was a fluke, or I have it all under control, I made phone calls. One of my professors remarked to us “This semester we make you jump through hoops. Then, the hoops get smaller. Then, we are going to set them on fire!”
Add one-half metaphor, and stir. Next semester I will be trading my printed textbooks for electronics and three-ring binders for moleskins to save weight in the backpack, minding my appearance, making sure my neck can turn, and getting accountability from professionals. Wading hip-deep in uncertain waters through shrinking hoops, I will have my purple hair.