Clouds circle overhead as the reflection of light somehow casts the world in shades of orange. For the first time this year, my window is opening, letting in a cool breeze and occasional heavy gusts of wind. As I write this sitting on my bed, I occasional glance up and consider today.
This is the first Saturday since mid-September that I have been in Oklahoma. I was fortunate to be able to return to California two weeks back to visit some good friends and see the opening of the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University (more on that next week). Last weekend I drove down with a delegation of students from the school I work at to Arlington, Texas for the National Association of Campus Activities Central region conference. Both weekends were filled with meaningful conversations and thought-provoking moments. Which leads me to today. Saturday. A Saturday that has been a bit of a slump. My goals were huge and my motivation was low. As such, as of 7:10pm, I have not met my goals. Maybe I will after dinner.
I started the day by going to Starbucks and staring at a binder full of research articles for one of my three assignments due the last week of October. Uncertain of exactly what I was looking for or what direction I wanted to take the topic for my paper, I stared at the articles and putzed around the internet.
When the rain began, I gave up, went to Target and grabbed a few things. Then I returned to my apartment.
A friend called later in the afternoon and we talked for two hours.
I felt an almost hopeless despair before talking to my friend. An uncertain fear. One of the most important reasons we have friends is because they listen to that fear and then critically and logically dispel that fear. Through our conversation – our first since early September – I realized that the things I am scared of are not really things worth being scared of.
Being far away from home, sometimes it is easy to think that my friends have moved on, that they do not care, that I am alone. Yet almost everytime I talk to one of my friends, we pick up like talked yesterday (just more extensively).
This semester has been both hard and easy, so far. The coursework has been challenging and rigorous to the expectations I had of the program. Yet I have been able to accomplish it. This has been one of my main motivations, yet even that sometimes lets me down.
So friend, remember that you can accomplish any challenge you set your mind to. Know that sometimes you will fail. That is okay. In fact, that is fantastic, because you learned a way something does not work, a thing you do not like, an unexceptional method.
The sunset is fading from an orange to a shade of light blue-grey, as clouds dot the darkening sky above.