I love these late summer evenings, all buttery breezes and endless skies. I am digging in to the anticipation of autumn, which is my true favourite time of year, but I can still whole heartedly appreciate the resplendent summery now.
I am (once again) looking forward to school, which starts in a few short weeks. It is hard to believe that even after all these many years of study I can still feel excited about the prospect of new text books, lectures, papers and the messy stress of it all. But I do.
School is so familiar, and I have ample evidence that it is a place where I can succeed. But it is also challenging, and I know well how very much there still is to learn. I sometimes feel that I am a terrible slowpoke at "life", and that I am somehow not passing the stages I am meant to pass at the appropriate times. I sometimes wonder how on earth I can still be doing this whole university thing at my age. But then other times I can't help but chuckle a bit at it all (and myself) and think that I am doing just fine. I am obviously doing things at my own pace, in my own way. If I truly wanted to be doing something else, to be somewhere else, then I believe that I would be over there doing it. It is clear that some core part of my self simply refuses to be rushed by anyone, least of all me. As much as this trait sometimes frustrates me, I also have a grudging respect for it. It forces me to pay attention.
I have learned so much and I have been witness to so many mysteries unraveling right in my palms. How could I possibly ever want to change the path I've walked? Were a djinn to pop out of my teapot tonight and offer to do so, I would never ask him to alter my past. Even though it might also erase my mountainous debt and possibly return me to a thinner (healthier?) body it would mean that I would not be me anymore. And I like me. I feel a great deal of pressure from "out there" to try harder to get my act together. I sometimes believe that I would be happier with just a bit more money and a bit less girth. Even though I know how tied into the mass hysteria version of how things should be those messages are, they still seduce me with their fairy tales. I don't watch tv (it is in the closet, unplugged and dusty). I don't read magazines. I am fairly selective about what I read and/or download online. The only radio I listen to is cbc. I shop only very rarely. And yet those nasty messages still find me. So sneaky.
I just wish I could hold onto that certainty that I am marching to my own snail-drummer. There are panels of judges and critics that sit in my head and send out constant streams of negative feedback. As I said, there are times when I can laugh at them. When I can turn them into the two old geezers on the muppet show who complained all the time from the balcony, and I can brush off their bile with confidence. I can say: this life I am living is great! I have made fantastic choices, albeit unconventional, and I am thrilled to be this Christine. Other times though, it is much harder to silence them.
snail photo by my brother