October 28, 2010

Oh, darling, don't you ever grow up

Growing up is scary. It's really scary. I spent so much time in high school making plans for my future - just itching to get out in the real world. I was convinced I was ready. I was convinced I could handle it.

I was right - somewhat. Yes, I am ready: I am equipped with good morals and a sense of right and wrong, I am independent and capable. And I can handle it. I just don't want to sometimes. Sometimes it takes everything I can to not cry because of how much I miss home. That sense of home - gone in an instant without every really noticing. Things will never be the same. I'll never come home to my parents and sister again every night and just sit and talk and watch shows. I didn't realize how quickly I'd be gone. How fast everything would change. I miss my family so much. I miss our dynamic. They are absolutely amazing. I am so grateful for the way they raised me. Even though I miss them desperately, I miss them because they prepared me for now. I just wish I could sit on my mom's bed with her and watch David Tutera or take a long drive and talk with my dad. I wish I could curl up on my sister's bed and talk about her day. I wish I could have stayed home forever.

I'm glad I'm here at school. I'm making my family proud. I'm going to do big things - for them, because of them. I love my family so much. Sometimes I just want to be seven and home and carefree. I can't believe it's essentially gone.

It's so sad. And so scary.

October 24, 2010

Sleepless Nights and Restless Thoughts

Some of my biggest pet peeves:
- people who have no courteous awareness of the world around them (yes you, the guy with his feet up on the chair next to him on the packed bus)
- surveys that ask you to answer a 'yes' or 'no' question on a scale from "Strongly Disagree" to "Strongly Agree"
- when people don't appreciate their parents

Just a random sampling of thoughts from one very stressed mind. I'm stressed, tired, and trying to not go crazy (I've ridden the line a few times already). Everything feels heavy and endless.

The fall here in Ithaca is beautiful. I love the colors and the temperature (most of the time). And I love how long it lasts. But it does make me want to go on nature walks, take pictures, stare out the window, and explore, instead of focusing like I should.

I should be writing my 6 page paper. Instead, I'm trying to not fall asleep or get distracted...

Hello, candy corn! Hello, beautiful trees! Hello, exhaustion!

October 15, 2010

From A Window Seat

It's a strange sensation - feeling like you've grown up. I feel like I've changed at school. I've become more mature. I've learned much about myself.

People are so fascinatingly strange. I love and hate them all at once. They can be so hard to understand yet impossible to ignore. I feel quite anonymous here - it is still to be determined if that is a good or bad thing.

I'm scheduled. I'm determined. I've stopped caring so much about making sure that I look any particular way. I do what is important for me. It sounds selfish but I've never done that before. It's refreshing, in a way. I've learned to be a self-advocate.

I'm strong. I may struggle, but I will always know that I am strong. No one can take that away from me.

October 14, 2010

The Night

Standing, hands in pockets,
Head bowed innocently -
Waiting, listening, looking.

The stormy orange night sky glowing
Above the chapel's peak
Cues fleeting nostalgia -
Of home, of wintry anticipation, of safety.

The bus arrives - late -
Its headlights sharply contrast
The pavement, the air, the night.

The voices clash and simmer -
Hiding innocuously beneath the
Impersonal lights -
Mingling, learning, expanding.

The doors open to the misty air,
Thrown into the night once again
Which engulfs, inspires, and warns.

Climbing the stone steps
Towards the safety of home
The nighttime swims, sways, and shifts,
And releases me - unharmed.

October 11, 2010

Sleeplessness, Stress, and Studying - The 3 Ss of College Life

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