Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Life is a Marathon

I have been thinking a lot lately about my life and missing my identity as a student. I'm closing in on one whole year of having not been a student (particularly a full-time student). I miss being a student. I miss learning things. I miss the different perspectives. I miss the push to do more and be more.

I know it's dorky and almost cliche, but education feeds my soul in a very special way. I feel like I'm a little plant. Education is my water. Books are my sunlight. Without them it doesn't take long for me to start to droop and wither, but it also doesn't take much for me to pop back up, revitalized and sustained for a bit longer. And right now, after almost 4 months without any sort of class to take or papers to write or colleagues to talk to I feel like my brain is withering and I'm going a little bit crazy.

There's a freedom as a student that I don't know if I've ever experienced anywhere else, and that's the freedom to be less-than-perfect. A freedom to not know. You aren't expected to have all the answers. If you did, you wouldn't have to learn! And there is a fantastic, respectful relationship that emerges among students and teachers, especially when those identities are very fluid. Those relationships are SO life-giving to me. I miss them terribly. If given a choice in life where I must decide between 10 colleagues or 1000 books, I would have to choose my colleagues. I am so blessed by the people I have had the chance to know in my short life and don't want to stop knowing people anytime soon!

I'll be superficial (but brutally honest) for a moment - I miss the vacations. I miss that the life of a student is essentially that of a sprinter - you go hard and fast for a short distance and it's over quickly and you can rest. There is always a finish line in sight. But my grown up life is that of a marathon, not a sprint. There is no end in sight. I just have to keep moving forward, refueling on the go with whatever is available, and dealing with whatever unknown might be over the next hill or around the next curve.

Someone once told me to enjoy my semester breaks in Div school, because they would be the last truly stree-free, obligation-free vacations of my life. After graduation, every vacation would be like spring break - you always have something due, something waiting for you and you're never truly free of it all because it'll all be waiting for you when you come back but you take the vacation anyway because if you don't do it now you won't get another chance for a while!

I have not been prepared for the marathon lifestyle. But there are just no training programs for being a grown up. I'm slowly learning and getting better, but for right now it still hurts a whole lot! Is there at least a water stop soon?

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