Does it have to make sense?
I often ask myself that question, especially
when I find myself intermingling in the chaos of human life. My
first semester at UT has fallen short of being the proverbial “coming
of age” myth. I vacillate from acting like I am five and
acting like I am in my mid-30s. Sometimes jumping on the couch
is a fun thing to do, especially
after eating cookies and milk.
Sometimes pondering the meaning of life is a good (but not necessarily
amusing) task. Do I have to make sense? No.
Sometimes I wake up
in the middle of the night and wonder what I am supposed to be
doing. Of course, the easy answer is sleeping. I shouldn’t
be waking up in the dark of night filled with musings about how
I should live my life,
what my values are and how to reconcile those values in principle and pragmatic
practice. I try to make sense of it all. After all, I’m a grown-up and
grown-ups have plans and they have a direction and objectives.
Being here for
a whole semester, I can’t honestly say that I have grown
up. If anything, I have reclaimed my more child-like self--the giggler, the
mischief maker, the joker, the person who used to dig in the yard for buried
Kristin the five-year-old and Kristin the 18-year-old are becoming reacquainted.
It is sometimes proposed that sanity is found between two extremes. That’s
my way of making sense of it all. Work and play. Play and play. Work and work.
I tell myself, “Mature but don’t decay.”
Do I have goals
for next semester? Certainly. I don’t buy into the idea
of taking random classes to “find myself.” Mostly because I don’t
think I am lost. I have admitted to feeling lost, but feeling and being are
distinctly separate. For example, I have felt stupid, but I don’t believe
I am stupid. I am experimenting with the idea of being nice to myself. That’s
my goal. I am going to be nice to myself.
I was inspired towards my newly
found goal during a conversation I had about two months ago. A friend and
I were conversing and I said, “I am working
hard at not being a workaholic.” My friend looked at me and said, “That’s
funny. Did you hear what you just said?” I have decided to take basics
next semester. Nothing too elaborate. Just the basics, the fundamentals
and a few attractive electives. In other words, I am taking the cookies
and milk (core courses) of college coursework.
I have extracurricular plans,
too. Right now, I am not as involved in the organizations I have joined
as I could be. I anticipate becoming more involved
next semester. My extracurricular activities always saved me from being
by the drudgery of high school classes. In college, the classes are very
stimulating (if you choose carefully) and the extracurricular groups
are usually full of
excellent people. By derivation, my goal is to have more fun.
I also have
some very personal objectives. These are the kind I hold very close to
me because I fear disappointing myself. I still have my dreams
and I fear
them. I feel that even if I whisper them to myself, the world will tell
me that I am impractical and paving my own path to unhappiness. And so
on my own private projects, in spite of the overwhelming pressures of
college. My inner child no longer wants the safe way, the practical
way. UT has
helped me reclaim the child within myself. However, I must accept the
by allowing myself not to have a fixed, settled, four-year plan, I may
my dreams have to make sense? No.
Such is the stuff I have learned during
my first semester at college. In addition, I learned many lovely
things about marriage, Miles Davis,
and the socialist feminist perspective of media criticism. Happy holidays…
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