December 30, 2010
December 26, 2010
December 9, 2010
December 3, 2010
November 29, 2010
November 18, 2010
November 16, 2010
November 9, 2010
College is somewhere where you learn a whole lot about yourself. A lot about how tough you are, how well you handle stress, how you respond to adversity. It’s a little be scary, but I realize that in the long run it’ll be good to know these things about myself.
There is a joke about Cornell: How many Cornellians does it take to screw in a light bulb? Two – one to screw it in, another to crack under the pressure.
It’s darkly funny because it’s true. Cornell is freaking hard. Coming from an engineer in the midst of prelims, trust me. I feel like every single complaint I had about high school work was ridiculously trivial. Of course, I was having much more fun in high school so at least it balanced out the stresses of everyday life. Not to say that I’m not having fun here. I love the people, the campus, the atmosphere. But I certainly don’t have as much time to myself. If any. I am working CONSTANTLY – and not to get ahead but simply to keep up. It’s maddening sometimes (especially when hanging out with Arts & Crafts – er, I mean Arts & Sciences – majors). The divide between the workloads is deep and wide.
The other hard part is how smart everyone is. It’s the most bizarre feeling to be in the bottom of your class – where I currently sit in the class that was my intended major coming into college. It’s not that I’m stupid (also something I’ve had to tell myself), it’s that everyone else is brilliant.
I’m determined. I refuse to give up. If I fail, it will be in spite of my best efforts, not because I didn’t try. That is my resolution.
November 2, 2010
November 1, 2010
October 28, 2010
October 24, 2010
October 15, 2010
October 14, 2010
October 11, 2010
I spend a lot of my time thinking - which some would consider a virtue and others a fault. I, myself, am torn between the two. Thinking so much means that I hardly ever miss any crucial decision, but it also means I am constantly vacillating. I spend a lot of time making mental Pro-Con lists, panicking about everything, and focusing largely on the future.
The main source of worry is NROTC. It's hard and it's scary and it's overwhelming. I get this built-up dread every time I think about Battalion PT and I spend almost every morning stirring restlessly, worried I might miss Drill or Remedial or PT. It is such a mental strain that some days I truly feel as though I've gone mad. I am constantly waffling about if it is the right thing for me. I love my fellow 4th Class Midshipman. They are all wonderful and supportive and I do believe I would have left a long time ago if it weren't for them. I am trying to power through the semester so that I can get a sense for unit life without Drill, etc, but I am worried that with only Wednesdays spent at the unit (with the dreadful Battalion PT and slightly intimidating but not nearly as dreadful Drill Lab) I might dislike it even more. I hate feeling so undecided but I also hate that I dread waking up some mornings. I don't understand why it is so scary for me.
Then there is my health which seems hell-bent on staying unkempt. On some level, I wonder if God is trying to get me away from NROTC but then I also wonder if I only tell myself that so that I have an excuse to get away. I am so tired of feeling sick and weak but it simply won't go away. I feel like I am permanently broken.
I also worry about money. I never want to ask for any but I am running out and don't know how I am going to pay for things without an outside job which will just add to my mental distress. It's frustrating to know that I am paying to be at a school that it costs to live at and I am giving up so much by doing NROTC which doesn't even cover everything. Sometimes I want to just have a normal college student life. But what is that, anyway?
Of course there is also the workload of being a Cornell Engineer. Who knew? That's pretty self-explanatory though.
I am thinking all the time. I am panicking, stressing, dreading, and not sleeping all the time.
I miss home. I love Jackson and he makes everything so much more bearable, but I miss my family. I miss the simplicity. I am terrified of the sheer responsibility, the somberness, the intensity of the Navy. Sometimes I want to drop out of school, move back to Mississippi, and live a simple life with a small country house, sweet tea, and a back-porch swing. There is something so wonderful about that prospect. I know that it is silly and that I would regret not finishing school, but you can see the appeal, can't you?
I don't know what to do. I don't know how to calm down and feel better. I don't know how to stop dreading NROTC. I really want to like it... Really I do. I have moments that I am so proud to be serving and being part of something so noble. But sometimes it's just so darn scary.
I wish I had some uplifting words or a resolution to bring to this entry. Unfortunately, it has served more as therapeutic than as inspirational. I am growing up - fast - and I want to be strong and make my parents proud. But sometimes, it's just so hard.
I am so excited to start going to church next weekend. That will help immensely. For now, I leave you with this verse:
Therefore, we do not lose heart! Though outwardly we are washing away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-1
March 30, 2010
I feel ridiculously out of place here. I can hardly relate to anyone, my friends are wonderful but we don't have a ton in common. I miss Jackson when I'm not with him. No one feels the same way I do about education and knowledge and the pursuit of all there is to learn. I can't relate to partying. I feel like I've lost so many friends. I want my book to turn out perfectly but I'm running out of time. I am scared about next year and how I'm going to pay for it. I'm nervous to move but I know it's right for the family.
I want to cry. I want to curl up and just release. I hate feeling cooped up and chased all at the same time. Why can't I fix everything?
March 12, 2010
Remember me for the love.
Remember me by singing.
Remember me by smiling.
I just got back from 'Remember Me' with Rob Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin. I came out of it feeling shocked, aware, happy, sad, and moved. When I got home, I found out that Cornell has had two suicides in the past two days. The combination of that knowledge and my emotional, cathartic state has put in my a very sober mood. I'm not what I would define as sad, but I'm incredibly touched and feeling particularly vulnerable.
Everything is going to be ok.
"Your fingerprints never fade from the people you touch." -Remember Me
March 8, 2010
I am excited for school tomorrow. I want to get started on my senior project. I'm thrilled for what third term is going to hold. It's all so excited. I don't have anything profound to say but I have noticed that I sleep better if I write before going to bed. I hope it's true. I need some sort of mind clearing therapy. I scare myself sometimes.
March 5, 2010
I always feel like that girl in The Secret Life of Bees who takes on the weight of the world and nothing can stop it. She just wants everyone to be happy. She wants the world to make sense. When it doesn't, it is overwhelming. Sometimes I worry about how sensitive I am. I don't mean to be emotional and touchy, I just want to make the world just, happy, and safe. Why is that so hard?
March 4, 2010
Plus, I'm feeling sort of forgotten. Even my dad has hardly texted me the past few days. My family seems to have forgotten my name (I've been called every name EXCEPT Holly - even HARVEY, the dog). It's almost like everyone is moving around me and no one is listening and no one is noticing. We tried to watch the school production of Little Women tonight. No one paid any attention. Everyone was rushing about going "Yea, yea, that's nice." The only song they sat down for was Clare's and while I love Clare and her incredible voice it still hurt to feel like my family really didn't care that much.
I'm glad I got to see Pawpaw. Pearson may be crazy but he can be really sweet. Beaty is not as bad as everyone makes her out to be. Aunt B is lovable in that way only aunts can be. But I would like to stick out to someone. I don't want to just be that good, reliable kid that can just be walked over. I will always be her, but sometimes it wears on me.
I know that I mean something to Jackson. He's had a rough week and is awfully stressed and below average on the cheerfulness scale, but at least he knows me name. That counts for a lot right now.
I'm terribly sorry for complaining. I just needed to get my thoughts out.
See you in Colorado.
March 3, 2010
I got to go shopping on the Square in Oxford. I save my money all year for when I get to look through all the little college town boutiques. I got some fabulous new clothes and I enjoyed perusing. I also got to visit my favorite book store on the planet - Square Books. I collected a stack of thirteen books ranging from non-fiction, to historical, to memoir, to fiction, to romance, to suspense, to mystery. I had to collect my stack at a table in the small upstairs cafe and narrow down my selection. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the banter of the employs - lively, intelligent, and interesting. I finally managed to pick four books: House Rules by Jodi Picoult, Girl Trouble by Holly Goddard Jones, The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano, and If There Is Something to Desire (a collection of poems) by Vera Pavlova. Having finished my new favorite book (Mary Ann Shaffer & Anne Barrows's novel, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) I was in need of some new finds. I love being in book stores. I hope that I may retire early and open a bookstore to feed my literary thirst for the rest of my life. I will called it Bug's and it will have bean bags and free coffee. It will be perfect.
I'm starting to realize that tomorrow is my last day here in Mississippi. I've had a very wonderful, revitalizing break - but I'm terribly sad to be going. I love it down here so much. I hardly am ready to leave having just got settled. I will be headed home armed with my Ole Miss shirt/hat/sticker/shorts, bringing a little slice of the South home with me. I'm going to miss it. I hope to be back soon.
I've reached a happy level of contentment. I'm feeling lonely but not desperately. I'm feeling proud of what my life has been and excited for what will hopefully be many full years ahead. I sound so old saying that but I feel calm and safe. It's a good feeling.
I wish I could have a calling, like cooking or justice or medicine or poetry. I may dabble here and there and impress the select few who care about me enough to pay attention. But I'm just me. I'm not really anything special. And I think I'm ok with that.
March 2, 2010
I'm scared and I'm tired - two things that should not ever mix. It makes my mind run wild. I remember all the other things that used to bother or scare me and I am just hurled into a world of chaos.
I want to find a way to bottle everything and make it last forever. And if I can't do that, I must find away to move forward and not think about it and love what moments we have in our brief appearance on earth. That is was scares me the most. It makes me sick with worry and disbelief. It makes me want to cry. It's nights like this when I absolutely hate being alone.
I don't really have anything interesting to say. Today brought no moments of clarity and no epiphanies. But maybe that is where the beauty lies. Finding inspiration in the midst of mental fury and disorder. Today, we visited William Faulkner's house - it was very beautiful. We bought our yearly supply of Rebel gear at Rebel Rags. We got my dress altered by a nice lady named Peggy. I got to see my cousin Jake and Uncle Scotty for the first time in ten years. And thinking about every moment makes me happy but it also sends me down this wild, sad ride. I get desperate to slow everything down. I get so scared. I don't know what to do.
I should sleep, but every time I close my eyes I feel like I'm on one of those roller coasters, gaining speed and watching time rush past me. I have to open my eyes to keep from screaming. I'm so scared.
March 1, 2010
February 28, 2010
I must credit the South on having some of the warmest people. And you can tell even by their houses. About 90% of houses around here have at least one open porch with five or six rocking chairs just for visiting. I'm reading The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I believe that they properly know how to visit too. Vacations and visiting didn't have to revolve around things to do and places to see. It was ok to come by for a month or two, take advantage of the wonderful hospitality apparent in nearly every person, and just enjoy the change of pace, scenery, and personalities. The South, though greatly transformed from olden days, still holds onto that sweet sincerity. Every porch is open to visitors. Every home is open to travelers. It's alright to wake up late and wander down to the sun room (I love the idea of a sun room!) just to say hello and to chat pleasantly. I consider it a character flaw when people do not appreciate the art of amiable conversation and the beauty of comfortable silence. I love that there are still places around the world where it is ok to take your time - it's ok to not have something to do all the time.
I'm probably just rambling but being here really gives me time to think - good think. I sat on the porch all by my self, wrapped up in a quilt, for about half an hour this morning. I felt the crisp air on my face and I took deep long breaths to relish every bit of Mississippi air. I thought about Gone with the Wind and people just dropping by for weeks at a time, just to be with those people who's company they most enjoyed. There was no such thing as "a quick overnight trip." I love that whole idea. It seems so romantic and friendly and good for the heart. I will never undervalue the important of "just visitin."
February 27, 2010
Today we went to the Ole Miss baseball game. It felt like such a supportive community coming together. I am so glad I've felt this feeling. It makes me so much happier with life. People really are good. Oxford is such a wonderful little town. I cannot wait to go walk around the Square. There is something so satisfying about being in such a kind community. I feel happy and content and safe and at home.
I know I will probably never live here - as much as I would LOVE to live in one of the beautiful plantation homes seen everywhere. But I do plan to visit regularly. It really truly recharges my soul.
February 22, 2010
I really believe I'm the luckiest girl in the world. How I managed to get Jackson, I may never know. What is important is that he loves me so much and I owe him the world. He takes care of me and he listens. He cares so much. He is smart, special, unique, and amazing. Next year cannot come fast enough.
I know that he is my soulmate. My puzzle piece. My best friend.
"I came apart inside a world made of angry people.
I found a boy who had a dream, making everyone smile."
February 21, 2010
But really - my last VMS exams (except one in the spring) and I can hardly bring myself to study. I know it's terrible but it's what happens. Globalization tomorrow, AP Physics and spanish on Tuesday, AP Calc BC and English on Wednesday. Then off to Mississippi! I'm trying to get into my usual productive study mode but I'm doing a particularly terrible job. Maybe I'll wake up in the morning and all of a sudden feel the urgency. Let's hope.
I may be meeting up with a girl named Amelia tomorrow. She is going to be in my Cornell class next year and she is here for her spring break. Should be interesting. I'm excited but also really nervous.
I've been thinking a lot about NROTC today. I know I'm going to have to work out tons this summer and the unknown-ness of it all is a little scary. I know that SO much good will come out of it - but there is also so much I know will be very difficult. I know I can do it. I know I can.
Anyway - I should be sleeping but the caffeine seems to disagree with that option so I suppose I'll just go lie in bed and see how that works out for me.
February 20, 2010
On Tap tap group?
Will I even have time with NROTC and a possible double major?
I've been researching sororities. I'm not a party person but I think I would love to have a solid group of girlfriends. From what I can tell, I think I'd like Kappa Delta, Alpha Phi, or Pi Phi would suit me best. But Jackson seems a little hesitant so we'll see. It's practically a year away anyway. Why rush (pun not originally intended!)?
I'm really excited about signing up to live in Balch. From what I can tell, I will really really like it. I'm a little worried about making friends (probably why a sorority would be a GOOD idea) but I know that everything will all work out ok.
I hope I'm not overzealous - I'm just excited!