Archive for September, 2010
My new job started last Tuesday, and being back on a college campus makes me so nostalgic. I’m a decade older (and hopefully wiser) but it still feels like yesterday that I was finding my way around Hope’s campus, learning where to sit in Phelps (and sitting in the “wrong” place for fun sometimes). And getting to know all of my new neighbors in Scott Hall, several of whom are now my closest friends.
Yesterday, of course, was 9/11, and while I don’t mean to be flippant, a memory resurfaced that I think I had tried to forget. 9/11 happened during my sophomore year; I woke up to a phone call from my dad telling me to turn on the tv. I watched in horror with my neighbors.
It’s not that I was unaware of the impact, but maybe in my youth or disbelief or downright denial, I did something that has embarrassed me to this day. It was maybe an hour or two after the buildings had collapsed. I was walking through campus and saw a professor, whose class was coming up shortly. I shouted across the way (his was one of my more relaxed classes, to say the least!), “So, I guess class is cancelled?”
But I hadn’t noticed yet how quiet campus had become, and this professor sort of grimaced, and “shushed” me as he walked closer. He was kind, but I was already mortified. Yes, class was cancelled that day, but in a way, that was the first moment that I really let myself believe that this was monumental, that things might never be the same again. I know that might sound cold, that perhaps I should have fully realized this as I watched the buildings crumble into ash on live news feeds. But perhaps because it was so unbelievable at first, I said that stupid thing. And I still wince when I think of it.
That morning, everything stopped. Not just classes, but everything: we were all in a state of shock. The photo of our prayer service appeared in national news, alongside the many other reactions and experiences across our nation.
Now, nine years later, so much has changed and yet it feels as though we’re treading water. My dad is in Afghanistan. My cousin was shot there this year (thankfully, he’s home and doing well). My father, brother, cousin, friends have all been overseas. And we’re watching news tonight about how Bin Laden still isn’t caught, about a Quran burning that was barely stopped, about a community center that has been grossly misunderstood.
This is a little heavy and again, I don’t mean to be flippant about 9/11 or any of its implications. I guess, I’m trying to be real: that’s what really happened for me that morning. It feels as stupid as it sounds, but that was part of my morning, part of my finally realizing the true scope of what I saw.
We’ve had a busy summer, and suddenly it’s been two months since I wrote here. But today, a door closed in my life and while it’s bittersweet, I feel free. I’m excited for what’s next. I haven’t shared this here, though most of you know me outside of the blog, but we’re expecting.
Plus, on Tuesday I’ll begin a new job, and I still can’t quite get used to the fact that I will be a full-time photographer at one of the most beautiful campuses I’ve ever seen.
But tonight? Tonight I feel like it’s sink-or-swim for this blog. I’ve neglected it, often for silly reasons at times, or for very real reasons such as exhaustion after a long day at work and then chasing a silly, stubborn toddler.
It’s strange to think: I have had a blog, in some shape or form, for over ten years. And I think it’s time I take this seriously.
A couple of days ago, I rearranged my bookshelf. I was interrupted several times by my sweet Sofia, who wanted “bookies” to read. But I did get a start, lumping together the writing references, fiction writing prompts, literary works by authors I’ve had the privilege to meet, and other practical, or sentimental, categories. One of the things I want to do in the next year is write. The other is to finally resume learning Spanish–I stopped right at the point between being conversational and being able to fully read & write.
But right now? Right now it’s Friday night, and there’s a steaming cup of tea next to my feet, which are propped on the coffee table between a stack of books, a sippy cup, three remote controls (why?), and a random hand towel. My husband wisely saw “that look,” the weary, emotional face of a 17-weeks-pregnant woman who spent the better part of the week packing up an office and moving (light) boxes. And the other look we both saw: the devilish glint in our daughter’s eyes as she stirred the rest of her dinner with her hands, seconds away from throwing black beans to the floor.
And while many, many times there’s no break because you’re in this together and life is tough and days are long….tonight? My husband whisked our tired toddler out the door and gave me a moment to make a cup of tea and gather my thoughts.
So maybe I won’t write here. I’d like to. But if I can’t commit to at least a post a week (let’s face it, I’m no Pioneer Woman, nor do I wish to be), then perhaps this is time for a crossroads here. We’ll see. I think I’ll decide at the end of this month: if I’ve written here & there, then it stays. If not, then I’ll be cutting ties.
For now? I’m going to get back to that cup of tea, and wait for my toddler to run through the door with her arms outstretched, calling “Mama? Mama!”