The cure for senioritis

Finished my summer class the other week. I now have just nine short courses to complete before I graduate, and I'm already being overwhelmed by big waves of senioritis. Partly for the usual reasons: the finish line is in sight and I'm burnt out and I just want these last two semesters to be over so that I can have a summer or a year (or the rest of my life) without another school year looming in the future. [I'm not sure about graduate studies. I just know I won't rush into anything… I'll take a year or two off—perhaps overseas—to figure out what I'm passionate about and see what God has in store for me].

But the biggest driving force behind my premature senioritis is this: in these last three years, a ridiculous number of things have changed in my life, and I've changed along with them. A few weeks ago, I suddenly realized that when I thought of my first-day-of-university self, I couldn't recognize her anymore. It was a bit unsettling, actually—to feel so unfamiliar with who I was a few short years ago. I find myself craving closure. It just feels like the chapter is dragging on for far too long… the character development has taken place but the setting hasn't changed. If my life were a manuscript, I'm sure the editor would lose all patience with it at this point.

Of course, life doesn't conveniently offer nice changes of scenery each time some kind of transformation occurs in your mind or soul. A big part of changing involves dealing with that incongruity—someone you love dies and the world spins on; you may discover God on a Sunday but come to the same old cubicle on Monday; you have a huge revelation that forever alters the way you think, but you'll probably still need to keep on washing dishes for the rest of your life unless you capitalize on your epiphany and write a bestselling book and use its profits to hire a maid but I digress. That incongruity scares me a little. Some of you might know that I dealt with depression for the past few months, and one of the most frustrating things about depression was how out-of-sync I was with the outside world—whether that outside world was a joyful gathering at church or a bustling street or even a mall. I never want to revisit that sense of isolation and vulnerability if I can help it.

I don't even want to be reminded of it. And maybe that's why I want to be surrounded by circumstances that meet me where I'm at. I want the security of being in step with the world around me. I want myself and my situation to align for a season, and uni doesn't really promise that kind of intersection.

But I'm only fooling myself if I think that that's going to bring me joy or comfort. C.S. Lewis once wrote, "Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity." What I'm craving is simple change—a change of scene which somehow reflects or acknowledges the changes that these last few years have wrought in me. But what I really need is growth, and growth arises from that tension between stillness and metamorphosis. It happens when the transformed one keeps on washing dishes, dwelling in his cubicle, or attending her university—and learns to look upon these things with a new perspective, to understand them in new ways.

Sometimes, the result is comforting. My iPod's shuffle recently threw a few songs my way that I had come to associate with a really painful time in my life. For years I hadn't been able to listen to them because they brought back horrible feelings. But this time around, the lyrics didn't sting and the melodies didn't send me tumbling down that old trajectory of aching memories. Healing had come, and it manifested itself in the surprising form of being able to listen to "Lies" without a lump in my throat. Hearing it again as someone older (and a little wiser?), I discovered notes and nuances that I had missed before.

So I'm trying to remind myself that going back to university next year doesn't equal stagnation. Even if I had to go back there every day for the rest of my life, I wouldn't necessarily outgrow it—not unless I wanted to. Next year, I'll revisit the familiar things—the textbooks and exams and lectures—with a new perspective… and hopefully with new joy. I'll have new eyes with which to search out nuances, opportunities, and shades of meaning that would have never come to my attention a few years ago. I'll learn new lessons from old situations and see old lessons play themselves out in new situations. And maybe, when I walk across the stage to get my diploma, I'll walk not as someone who has merely changed, but as someone who has grown.

A friend of mine released an EP. It's creative, energetic, and thought-provoking. Check it out; you won't be disappointed.

For the past few weeks, I've been falling asleep at 4 and waking up around noon. This is really not optimal and needs to change...

I've been strangely obsessed with this story/song for the last few months. I put it on repeat and blissfully float away to a distant land. It's probably the accent.

I saw newborn goats the other day at the Experimental Farm! I adore goats so this was the highlight of my summer, bar none.

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I'm Oksana—Communication major, shutterbug, occasional blogger, incessant doodler, graphic design geek, and writer of sentimental prose. I am quite content to spend an afternoon with a pencil, a few blank Moleskine pages, and a playlist of indie folk. I love musical theatre, black-&-white movies, and Eastern European illustration. Conversations with strangers make my day. When it rains, I make a beeline for my mug of green tea and stack of 19th-century fiction. I'm vegetarian about 98% of the time. I'm extremely awkward and rather nerdy. I love the sea. My name means 'hosanna' and I'm having the time of my life living to praise the One who set me free.

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