Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holy Cow it's November

I'm still reeling from the fact that it's November. MID-November, at that. NaNoWriMo has been a dismal failure, but quite understandable in light of everything I've been doing. After about a three or four hour marathon today at Tipsy and the ECU library, I can finally say that I think my thesis is more or less done.  I still need to add all the little details it needs, such as a table of contents, etc., but the bulk of the writing is done. I sent off my thesis to my committee again, and I'm hoping that they're generally pleased with it.

In other news, I'm trying to be happy with my life as it is right now. Yes, there are a lot of unknowns for the future: I don't have a job lined up after I graduate, I don't know how long it will take for me to find a job. I don't know how long it will take me to get beyond some of my current problems.  I don't have faith in myself, and I am not sure I ever have.  I was talking to someone a few days ago, and she said that based on what I was telling her about my feelings throughout grad school that it sounded as if I don't have faith in myself. Self-confidence is a big issue with me, I know for sure. I have to know that I can get beyond what I'm going through. I've thought about trying to start myself off on the right foot each morning, maybe with prayer, Scripture, meditation, etc.  Perhaps make some small changes that will help my outlook on life. Not knowing the future can be a downer when I don't know how my problems will sort themselves out.

I stumbled across a poem some time ago in a book of mine, and it stood out to me:

Ode on Solitude

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose heards with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me dye;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lye.
--Alexander Pope

Happy is the man who is content on the few acres  of land he possesses, whose desires are simply and easily met by his own resources. He who lives a quiet life in meditation, sleeping soundly at night and having ease and peace of mind by day.  Someone who lives unseen, unknown, and "unlamented"" when he dies, without even a marker where he is buried.  It's a bit humbling when I think of all that I want, how restless and unsatisfied I can be.  I also remember when I was younger I wrote about never wanting to be forgotten after I die.  I have no idea why, but looking back I realize I don't care as much if people remember me. I also find that I don't want an extremely fast-paced, stressful life, which probably is a big reason why I finally decided that academia is just not for me. I want to be able to publish at my own pace (if it even happens). I want a job where I can completely detach as soon as I get home. I would love to not have to worry about making a living (financially speaking) but I know that that is not a reality.

Can I have faith in myself? My whole life I've been taught to have faith in God, and I haven't even gotten that right. I've spent time on personal inventories and in therapy and what not, and I don't know if I'm any closer to understanding who I am or how I tick. Why do I sleep better some nights and not others? What are my strengths (I feel I'm pretty keen on my weaknesses)? I have a lot of unanswered questions, and I get impatient when short-term problems turn into long-term problems with no resolution in sight. I especially hate how I can't always trust that things are going to get better; I'm so afraid of that, and no amount of reassurance comforts me for long. I want to aim for more than just acceptance of the present situation, I want to actually enjoy my present situation.  How do I find (or develop) faith in the future despite my uncertainties? Right now I'm not sure.  I'm not severely depressed, but at the moment am without answers.  If nothing else I just get through the day and do my best to prepare for the following day.