Prayers, Please

Though many of you do not know me, I felt the need to express how I am feeling right now. I am slightly stressed, anxious, nervous, emotionally exhausted, physically brain-fried, etc. I do not feel empty inside, but I do feel that something is different. I think my entire "state of being" right now is...concerned.

I am concerned for my cousin, who recently was left by her boyfriend of more than two years. Whole-heartedly believing that they would spend the rest of their lives together, she is incredibly hurt. My heart goes to her, for I know precisely what she is going through. Just over a year ago--five days before Christmas--my boyfriend of more than three years ended our relationship. I, too, believed that we were to spend our entire lives together. Nonetheless, that was not meant to be. God had (and has) something more planned for us. I can only pray that my cousin can understand what I have come to learn over the past year. I know that it will take time, but I pray that she will be able to handle the situation more maturely than I ever did.

I am concerned for school. Granted, I have always been a "good student." My GPA has never been lower than a 3.75 in the last six years, and I plan to keep it that way. However, with this year being my "senior" year, I find that my classes become increasingly challenging (obviously). This creates extra stress when I must--in one week--write two papers, study for a test, write an Italian essay, work for the first time this semester, prepare projects for Purdue's Literary Awards Program, and successfully complete my Resident Assistant interview. (This was all last week; I am exhausted.) I know that more is to come; that will not be my hardest week. I can only pray that, like last week, I will be able to take one thing at a time and keep my sanity (and emotions) stable.

I am concerned that I will not be getting a resident assistant position. Though I successfully completed the entire interview process, I am nervous for the results. I do not find out if I got a position until right before spring break (about two weeks). What concerns me is this: if I do not get the position, I will not be able to afford Purdue. That's not to say that I can afford it now by any means. By the will of God, I am here this semester. However--at this moment--I will only be able to afford one more semester before I must drop out...again. I do not know what I would do. Furthermore, I may have to tack on an ADDITIONAL semester to the ones I already have left. That means I graduate with a Bachelor's in five-and-a-half years--three semesters AFTER my original college graduation date. I am worried and nervous. I am scared.

I feel that my heart shall shrivel soon. It feels cracked at the moment, dangerously teetering near an edge that threatens to shatter it. My prayer notebook--the one in which I request God's help and assistance and guidance to others and myself--is filling up. Lately, I find myself asking for His help and guidance and wisdom for so many people...I have forgotten to ask for help for myself. I have forgotten to open myself up to Him and ask for wisdom.

Editorial non sequitur: I have never understood the phrase "words to the wise." Why would a wise person need guidance? If they are wise already (and I'm thinking Solomon, here), a person's words would "fall on deaf ears."

Lastly, I am concerned for my mother. She is my rock, and my family's rock. She's a survivor. She's an entertainer. She's wonderful. It is unfortunate that we must be 10 hours from each other. Though I am truly happy to be back at Purdue, I know that she misses me terribly. My little Oliver (my soon-to-be two-year-old cat) does not provide her with the comfort and laughter that we share when we are together. I, too, miss my mother, and I wish I could be there for her whenever she thinks of something "random" that she wants to share with me, be it news or inside jokes. (That includes references to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Maverick, our "song" "Whip Me With a Wet Sock," and jokes about the reminiscent past.)

Last night, I received a phone call from my mother at 2:00 in the morning. I was asleep at the time, so I did not hear her call. However, I woke up at 4:00 because of the noise my suitemate's friends were making next door. I grabbed my phone to text her, but instead found that I had a voice-mail from my mom. "Why the heck would she call me at 1:53 in the morning?" I asked. "That can't be good."

I listened to her message, instantly worried.

"You know how I always prided myself on never having stitches or a broken bone? Well, mommy fell down and went boom and now can no longer say that..."

This morning, I called her after waking up. I learned that my mom had fallen right after work, in the parking lot. Bluntly put, she face-planted herself into the cement, giving herself a gash above her right eyebrow. Her glasses smashed, the lenses cracking. The items she had been carrying--newspapers, mail, her mug--went flying as her hands sailed through the air.

Good Samaritans arrived from the bank, helping her up and bringing her inside. They made the necessary phone calls, took her to the doctor's office, and took her home. (I am eternally grateful to those individuals.) A friend of my mother's took her to the emergency room, where she received three stitches on her forehead, right above her black-and-blue eye. Her left hand is splinted--the ring finger and pinkie finger are taped together. The middle finger? A compound fracture. She received multiple stitches and nearly had to have surgery, as the bone had poked through the skin.

Currently, my grandmother is with my mom, helping to take care of her. "Luckily," my brother was going to visit my mom this weekend anyway, so he is at the house as well. (I say "luckily" because I know that God planned for him to be there at this moment. It is no coincidence.)

Though I know the entire situation could have been much much worse, I am still concerned, and am still praying about it. My mother, independent, stubborn, and embarrassed to received charitable assistance, is being taken care of by individuals from whom she normally refuses service. I cannot thank those people enough for what they have done.

I wish I could be there. It shouldn't be up to my grandmother--a wearied and emotionally fragile woman herself--to take care of my mother. It should be my job, and--this moment--I wish the distance didn't separate us. I know that she wants me to be happy--and I am--but she is much more important to me than the daily stress I endure from mundane, 100-word Italian essays.

It Beats and Beats

This is the rough-draft of a post that I wrote last night. I had the intent of posting it, but never got around to it. I thought I might make it a bit more poetic or something. However, I thought it best to re-read these items now and post them because--at the moment--I am not feeling so well.

I am currently stressed, worried, nervous, tired, and emotionally exhausted. (As explained in this post.)

In the meantime, this list suffices to remedy my current "state of mind."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Things that make me happy:

Snowfall...beautiful, delicate, gigantic crystals that catch the wool of my coat and model their delicate, frozen architecture.

The boyfriend.

Smiles upon the faces of my friends around campus.

Smiles pasted upon the faces of strangers I encounter.

The climatic moment when my eyes and my heart meet and I reach into my pocket for my camera, knowing very well that--with this light--with that sky--with those people--with that pose--with that look--at that moment--I can attempt to capture something abstractly beautiful.

Care-packages from my mom. (The most recent of which included a homemade, fleece, Boston-Red Sox blanket that currently rests, folded, at the foot of my bed.)

Opening my mailbox and, to my delight, finding three Valentine's Day cards in it.

New pants.

A box of of socks. (No, I am not trying to be Dr. Seuss. However, I was thrilled with my new foot-apparel for Christmas. I opened the re-used shoebox from my mom to discover more than 10 pairs of new socks, some of which were cashmere.)

My grandmother's rediscovered passion for crocheting.

The minute details.

Pizza Lunchables. (Just as I "inspired" her into eating Goldfish crackers, my roommate "inspired" me to turn back to my elementary-dietary habits.)

Smiley-faces that my amazing, libertine-obsessed, I-openly-swear-and-use-18th-century-derogatory-slang-in-everyday-language Restoration Literature professor draws on my test.

Italian suffixes. Scoiattol
ino. Gattaccio.

Project Linus.

The hug I received from my roommate immediately after church on Sunday. "Thank you so much for making me come," she said. "It meant so much to me."

Two-a-week, hour-long phone conversations with my mom.

The phone call I received from my brother on Valentine's Day.

Fleece blankets.

The finding of "lost" friends on Facebook, including a good friend from junior high, an old boss, and two instructors from community college.

Researching--and easily finding--a topic for my first essay in Post-colonial Literature.

High heels.

The Winter Olympics.

Being back at Purdue.

The constant reminder that God blesses me with people who care about me, and are willing to take care of my family. I cannot be with my family at all times, but I relish in hearing the wonderful things that others do for them. I am ever grateful, and delighted to tears.

Milk on the Rocks

I was fighting sleep in my last class, Ways of Reading. Not only are Tuesdays and Thursdays my "long days," but the class itself is uninteresting to me. The only thing that keeps me from completely un-focusing my conscious thoughts are the occasional tales my professor shares about his young life growing up in Russia.

Otherwise, I am numb to the arguments of Aristotle and Plato, disembodied to the Birth of Tragedy and Marx.

So, instead of listening to my Russian-born professor discuss Nietzsche and the transformation of tragedy through culture, I wrote a two-minute free-write poem on today's issue of The Exponent. Nestled between comic strips and a trivia puzzle featuring pyramids, my "crappy handwriting" spilled out words, none of which make any sense.

However, for your entertainment (laugh all you want, please), I have posted it here, untouched.

Theses on Feuerbach
makes no mention of alcohol
no thought on the chopping block
of my jagged cranium.

Milk my jugular;
this is killing me.
I would rather be away--
away riding the Chicago el
or un aero on my way
to Gilligan's isle.

Forgive my incoherency.
Allow my inconsistency.
I am only a student,
a dilettante
itching, aching, frothing.

Damn, I'm tired--
your paintbrush of truth cannot
sustain me.
I would rather paint clouds
with your untruths than
pave campus
with variable clichès.

No thanks, Feuerbach.

Not today.
I prefer to discuss scoiattoli, biscuits, dinosaurs.
I am drunk on the inane.

I believe tragedy
is born from a Dionysian festival.
I believe in fairies.

So long, Feurbrach.
I will kick back and relax
and drink
milk on the rocks.
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