On Living in That Space Between

I have found myself feeling unsettled this week.

April came, and with it came the realization that the first draft of my thesis needs to be done and submitted by June first. That's two months. I have never had so much time to write a paper before, and so I have never before worked so slowly. I think I managed to forget what it's like to get my stuff together and just write, finishing something in a week at the most. So I feel overwhelmed--overwhelmed with ideas, overwhelmed with pages that still need to be written, overwhelmed with the idea of finally being done with school for the first time in my life. I'm so ready for that, and yet, I'm just not.

Also, our apartment is a mess. How does this happen? I think what happens is that I have a job, and Rob is in class all day, and then I'm supposed to come home and work on my paper, which I just told you I'm not really working on too much, but I'm certainly thinking about working on it, and that's exhausting! So our home never stays well-organized for long.

I want to finish my paper + Master's program. I want to clean my apartment. I want to cook dinner and be productive and go to bed feeling like I accomplished something big. Really, I do. But there's something wrong. It's like writers block, but it's happening to everything. Life block. So I sit, overwhelmed with everything I need to do but am not actually doing.

I make to-do lists in expensive notebooks with nice pens, but I write things like "paint nails" and "clean your room" in the lines between "pay rent" and "follow up on interview." Maybe this is just what life looks like as a graduate student.

It reminds me of the way I sometimes feel about this particular point in my journey. I find myself teetering unsteadily in this rather awkward and sometimes uncomfortable liminality--at once so ready for "real life," so eager to be an adult, and yet, so unprepared, and still with so much work to do.

[View of the world from my parents' deck, taken March 2012. Text quoted below.]

"I wished for things to stay the same. I wished for stillness everywhere, but I opened up the rest of the bedroom windows and let the world in" (Megan Mayhew Bergman, Birds of a Lesser Paradise, page 59).

Here's to letting the world in and then doing something with it.