Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crazy Eyes

I've clearly been on sabbatical from this blog, so I suppose my excuse could be this: I've taken a break from this blog to write my archaeology blog for my archaeology project, which I aced, just sayin'. (This is notable, because percentages that exceed either 80 or double-digits, even, are becoming more rare than pregnant pole-vaulters...)

Another excuse could be a complete lack of bloggable events in my life, but that is absolutely false.

So. Where to begin?

I have a friend who has very large eyes. They're lovely, and they're huge. Wide open, all the time. Perpetual surprise. The first time I saw her, I thought to myself: "Woah, this chick has crazy-eyes!" (in the most reverent and respectful way that such a statement could possibly be thought, of course.)

But as I learned more about her, what she does for a living, the nitty-gritty and honest-to-God gut-wrenching aspects of her life's work, crazy-eyes made more sense. Not because she has a crazy personality or a crazy disposition or a crazy mental state, on the contrary; she's a level-headed wave of calm in a roaring tempest of chaos, in fact. But crazy-eyes because...she needs them. She needs a wide-eyed awareness of everything going on around her. She can't miss any details; she refuses. She is careful while she gently splits the hairs of justice as we don't know it. She tirelessly peers into the darkness in front of her, with guarded alertness, with preparedness, with experience and wisdom. That is why she needs crazy eyes.

I only thought of this because I just downed two cups of coffee in a half hour. To most of you, this isn't any large feat...but I've severely weaned my addiction to coffee after the Great Coffee Hangover of '09, which lead to the Great Failed Calculus III Exam of '09. Also because I just realized that coffee, while handing me an extra hour or two without needing sleep (I suppose), also lends me anxiety symptoms, which are not welcome this week.

So, as caffeine-related anxiety kicks in (and I'd rather have that kind, as opposed to the others) I felt my own crazy gaze widen, and physics-related angst sunk in. I have Thermal Physics and Computer science scheduled for this very moment in time, but I'm writing a blog instead, because everything inside of me wants to scream I don't care anymore!!! (This is when my physics gal pals and I decide that it's never too late to be a trophy wife.) But seriously, the thing that I should be screaming is closer to this: I don't care about anything except thermal physics and computer science and quantum physics and archaeology. (Ok, archaeology maybe not so much. I'm not too concerned there.) But it's true. I am a physicist. I AM. I have to get past this mental funk. I am capable of this. It's time for stringent focus. I can't afford to be a failure, not this late in the game. I'm sick of feeling like a failure. I'm just not going to be one anymore. Simple enough.

So God, please let me survive. And survive well.


Saturday, April 09, 2011

Animosity Killed the Brat

Heavens to Betsy. Where to begin? Is it April? What was I talking about last time?

Oh, yes. Suicide. How very, very appropriate. Not entirely sure how to follow that.

Perhaps with this: all of life begins (or ends) with a choice. Sometimes it's a little difficult to see this, but I randomly (well, divinely) met a wonderful woman in the Lansing airport a few months ago and she constantly reminds people of the difference between just existing and choosing to exist a certain way. She chooses to live her life with gratitude and high expectations of a God that she truly believes to be great. So do I.

As a small-scale similarity, today I decided to wake up, get some things done, and look hot. Like, H-O-T hot. Because I wanted volume on a cloudy day. I wanted the black-and-white grit and grind of my own personal strut. I had to get out of the sweat pants for a hot second. After a week like this one, when everything was planned by the hour and then, like a distracted and saturated sponge, I had every liquid detail squeezed out of me over three separate and unequal exams...the pleather just had to come out.

On a slightly less silly note, life has been revolving around my choices, lately. Not because I've been ignoring whatever God might have to say about my life (ohhh, boy. Quite the contrary.) but because it's been Rejection Month or Crisis Month or Conniption Month or, I suppose, the Becca-Freaks-Out-Because-She-Thinks-Her-Plans-Are-Falling-Through-And-Impulsively-Makes-Ten-Billion-Separate-Plans-That-Somehow-Connect-In-Her-Wildly-Spinning-Mind-And-Accidentally-Realizes-That-She-Really-Didn't-Have-To-Think-That-Hard Month.

What a mouthful. Or--month-ful.

Because in the midst of fasting for 34 hours and taking a barefoot run on Paddy's day with a wonderful, wonderful friend and just dumping out the fact that I was scared of this or that happening, that I thought I had this or that planned, that I hate to be toyed with, that I have no desire to go back to Ireland this summer, that I can't live there yet, that I can't realize that my heart is there when I need it here, that I want another research astrophysics job, yada yada yada...I discovered...wait. What DID I discover?

I think it was something like this:
I discovered wisdom.
I discovered the purity of a Christ-centered conversation.
I discovered the clarity of a logic-centered conversation.
I discovered a new way to feel alive.
I discovered that my impulses are not ALL intelligent things to jump on.
I discovered that I need to shut up. Shut up, don't plan, don't connect irrelevant ties...just listen.

Because when the time comes, I'll be hit in the face with a two-by-four of obvious. As per usual.

Oh, like the time a couple of days later when I landed a research astrophysics job.
Like the time I found some phenomenal new friends to share my life with.
Like the time I stopped worrying so much.
Like time time I stopped fasting out of desperation, and remembered fasting out of, well, pure faith, I guess.
Like the time I realized that I am always where I need to be. (Thanks, The Kooks.)

Seriously. I am. And I'm not a complete failure. I fall constantly, but I choose to live life as a conquerer and blood-bought saint. Because I am.

Side note: I guess I'm also a good enough teacher to get this little gem from my students:

Yeah. I don't deserve them. My students are the reason that I love my job.

On that note, and many others, I declare war against animosity. Against mediocrity. Against failure. Against selfishness. Against me, for me.