Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Trip to Main Campus

Z and I were discussing an acquaintance of ours (Not you, I promise is isn't you. It's someone very much on the periphery of our lives, this person has no idea I blog) who seems to alienate people over and over, yet who doesn't have an understanding the problem is him/her rather than the other people in his/her life. Z pointed out that the the hardest thing in the world is to be self aware. I smugly thought to myself that after many years of therapy surely I was one of the few who was. Later that night I was rereading my posts since C was born (See? Told you I was self absorbed) and although there were only a handful of them there was a painfully obvious pattern. I'd talk about how well things were going this fall, and then I'd talk about how the anxiety is increasing and I'm scared it is going to take over. The funny thing is each time I'd write about it would feel very much like I was making a great revelation, rather than rehashing the same story and probably boring my kind friends who are gracious enough to read this.

It has been a good fall. It can be a good fall while my anxiety is increasing. The anxiety is going to be around for the rest of my life so it is nice to realize good times and the crazy can occupy the same space. Even if I have to realize it over and over before it sticks. At least this fall I've been making an effort to not let the crazy take over. The effort might increase my anxiety in the short term, but I am in the game. I'm not giving up.

On Thursday I dropped T off at nursery school, which is on the south campus of SU. South campus is very spread out and dotted with ugly housing probably built in the 50s. It is mildly depressing and not at all intimidating. Main campus, on the other hand, scares the shit out of me. It is huge and imposing, there is a chapel for god's sake. I went to a tiny college where you recognized every face on campus. And there certainly wasn't a chapel. But I promised Z I'd go to main campus on Thursday. After kissing T goodbye C and I got back in the car, I ended up parking only 8 or so blocks from our house, but the neighborhood feels very different that close to SU. My car sat in front of a rambling house with a screened in porch that was lined with empty liquor bottles. I rolled my eyes and made C promise to decorate with less predictability when he was in college.

I swallowed the fear that was bubbling in my stomach and rising up my throat, marched onto campus and emerged 15 minutes later with an SU ID in my wallet. Only took me two plus years to do it. One of the perks of working at a University is free classes for you and your dependents. Z has been begging me to take classes since we moved here. It is time for me to stop dragging my feet, time to start figuring out what the hell I want to do with the rest of my life. There are a bunch of things I'm interested in pursuing. I could continue with baking, go to school for psychology or social work, or try to get an MBA. And then there is my crazy fantasy of enameling and metal working classes as a way to become a jewelry designer. It is easy not to make a decision because I get to feel like all the options are open to me. I've been not making a decision for years. But the reality is life is passing me by while I do nothing. The spring semester begins on January 17th. What the hell should I take?

The new ID!
Adorable C. It's hard to tell from this picture, but his eyes are so blue they are almost violet a la Liz Taylor. I fervently hope they stay that way, they are lovely.

My incredibly handsome boy rockin' out on the banjolele his Daddy made. Photo by Ellie Leonardsmith.

My other incredibly handsome boy. Photo by Ellie Leonardsmith.


  1. I'd say go for something you've never tried before and have an interest in--like the metal class. I'm wanting to try something with glass and give photography a bit of a break.

  2. I agree. Pick something you've always been interested in, regardless of the relevance to your life present or future. Is that a class on Greek mythology? Or business methods? Or North American geography? Or intro to nutrition?

    Can't decide? Sign up for three classes, attend the first couple lectures, then drop two for the one you truly love. I'm so envious of your free education possibilities!

  3. my dad got into jewelry making for a while and it was really neat - I think that's an awesome idea. Not only is it a potentially fun creative outlet, but it makes custom gift-giving easier (assuming you know people who like jewelry) and I think it would be something you'd enjoy.

    Here are some other classes from the College of Arts & Sciences catalog that I think sound pretty awesome:
    ANT 373 Magic and Religion
    EAR 101 Dynamic Earth
    ETS 115 Topics in Brit Lit: Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes
    GEO 362 The European City
    HOM 313 History of Film Music
    HST 377 History of Venice
    REL 103 Religion and Sports

  4. This is a tough choice... I like all your options. Go take classes in something you think you can't get outside the university. You are so talented at baking... it seems to be intuitive. (Maybe there is more to learn, I don't know?) But if you feel like you've got a good idea of how to continue to push yourself in baking on your own, then go get an MBA and figure out how to open up a kick-ass bakery.

    And/or take some enameling classes if that makes you feel alive! Art rejuvenates me... and I find that sometimes I need a class to 'force' me to do what I love.

  5. Thank you, wonderful friends, for the suggestions and the enthusiasm.

    Dave-Magic and Religion? Now that sounds like an interesting time. Thanks for the food for thought.

    Joan-I hope you do take a class in glass!

    Stacey-Brilliant idea!

    Ellie-You are too kind about the baking. And there is a TON I need to still learn. But I've thought about the MBA to open a bakery thing a lot...