On the essentials

It is the semester’s breaking point, and people call it “hell week” for a reason. I have been downing irresponsible amounts of caffeine lately, with no less alcohol the past week. I have been on somewhat of a writing spree: with four writing classes in three different genres, I’ve pretty much wrung out all my creative capacity until I can permit myself to sleep with reckless abandon. Until then, there are seven days left for academic year 2013-2014 and counting.

I may be late to the new year reflections, but so much has happened to me in the past school year, both good and bad, which have done something to change me even just a little. I am still somewhat in awe of the fact that I am a creative writing major: I am doing what I clearly and honestly want, and no one gets that too often. I lost for a position I was running for in my college organization, but the “loss” only reminded me of how much I have it going and taught me what truly matters. (In the end, I am reminded of who to trust and that people are quite stupid—and I’ll leave it at that.) But the essentials are all here: good friends (the real ones), my convictions, and at least one person to believe in you. I am only so lucky to know and have that minimum: it is more than enough.

I am, at least, a little less miserable than who I was before this year. We’re studying Paul Ricoeur for philosophy class and I can’t help but reflect on a question that he raises: “Who am I, so inconstant, that notwithstanding you count on me?” Ricoeur’s question isn’t necessarily self-directed, but I have in many ways asked this question to myself—to the versions of me that I have passed and gone through. (Alert: a cultural cliche.) I think when you realize that there is more to what can make up the narrative of your life than your miseries, you discover that there is so much more you can help yourself to do.

But enough with quasi-philosophical musings. What I’ve learned the past week can be summed up in two things: I have good friends, and I love the people who earnestly challenge me. Other recent good things in list form: The National, one of my favorite bands, who I saw live last February; House M.D., because it is still the coolest medical drama ever made; getting published, and your professors telling you they will publish you; red wine, beer, maple croissants (and tea and coffee anyway).


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