On purpose

30 01 2009

So I haven’t written about anything for a while now, and I’ve been off work the past week because of Chinese New Year. The break has been restful in the lots-of-great-food sense, but crappy in the realistic sense with my dad being in hospital and all the things that are related with Family Crap. Rushing back and forth between places and the hospital is not exactly conducive to rest and productivity, and neither is worrying about one of the most important people in my life.

And I feel bad about worrying so much about my dad, because I need to get a life, and become my own person, ignoring altogether those that would read other layers of meaning behind the apprehension…

Man, I hate Freud.

But right now, it’s 1:20 in the morning and I’m wide awake because I can’t sleep. Tomorrow, I’m going to start researching my dissertation topic so I can hand in my topic outline on Wednesday. And I have to confess: even thinking about the months ahead is sufficient to send me into paroxysms of fear and trepidation. What if my vocabulary isn’t good enough? What if my topic gets rejected? What if I can’t come up with enough things to say? What if—? What if…?

Life is overwhelming, but I’ve been off-and-on encouraged by this bit that Anne Lamott writes in Plan B: Further Thoughts On Faith: “Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.” I find it encouraging because it gives me a reason to remain hopeful, and a justification for the many times I’ve said to myself, “it could be worse.” Because if I go deeper, there’s always something that gives me hope, and a reason. My purpose in life is so much less ordinary than I give it credit for. And it’s the same with the people I know, and live alongside, and exist with.

As my friend Anne writes, we are capable of lives of great joy and meaning because it’s what we are made of. And it’s what we’re here for. And this is what we have to remember when the times are hard, and life sucks again: things are going to be alright.

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