Reflection is good, right? And helps one gain perspective, right? Right. Here goes.

Things that are different about me since I started grad school:

1. I am not as connected with nature, or my physical, natural surroundings.
THOUGHTS: It’s funny how I noticed this first because trees and birds and navigational directions stopped showing up in my writing, which made me realize I was spending significanly less time outdoors. I hope this changes a bit this winter, as I’m sure I’ll be trapped on the mountain and cold and out of work and needing to keep in shape and take healthy study breaks.

2. I am more stuck in my own mind than I’ve ever been before.
THOUGHTS: It’s essentially my job to be this way right now. I have to dive into my writing and that means backing away from the world while at the same time offering myself to it with the care and intention that I like to put out there. It’s a fine balance and one I’m not certain I’ve come close to achieving. But awareness is helpful, and I’d like to be able to allow myself the mental seclusion I need to get through the MFA while also being a nice person in the world and not forgetting others’ lives and needs as well.

3. I am publishing more than I ever have before.
THOUGHTS: This is because I am “practicing” writing more. That is, I’ve become more committed to making it my life and my life work. Hence, the hard work pays off. The good things is, I take joy in this process. I feel very fortunate that I have found something I love to do and that I can do it.

4. I am more easily or quickly overwhelmed.
THOUGHTS: This latest level of anxiety has me thinking and it occurs to me that this is a familiar place. Put me in any environment where there is always more work to do, and I will do it until I hurt myself. That was what I did in AmeriCorps and it’s what I did at the old boarding school and now, it’s what I might be doing for grad school. What will I ever do if I have children? The upside is that I’m more aware of the mind-body connection now than I ever have been before, so I feel a bit more empowered to make the decisions I need to make in order to stay healthy.

Ok. Enough is enough. Oh, it’s wonderful the way the mind can come together after, finally, a decent night’s rest. Onward and inward into a weekend of writing intesity. And in the meantime…

Website updates! Look on the sidebar for a link to the online version of my feature article in Ceramics Monthly, which hit the stands this week!

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