Monday, October 16, 2006

Differences

I am soon to enter what I think will be another major transitional period in my life. Within a few months, I am going to begin looking in earnest for a new job (as will Mark), and we will be moving within the next six to eight months. There are many decisions to be made, and certainly many unknowns. There's no guarantee that even one of us will land an offer before we move (at the latest, this will happen in July). In that case, we will have a hard decision to make about where to move, weighing our preferences, distance from family and friends, cost of living, etc. The point is, life a year from now will be utterly different from life now.

As anyone who knows me would know, having an unknown future is very stressful for me. I like to feel stable and to know where I will be. With all the thinking I've been doing about changes to come, I've decided to revamp the blog and give it a new name. Cellar Door is also overused (although Metamorphosis I suppose is not much less so--only more fitting). In the next few months, I have the distinct feeling that the name and look of this blog will change more than once.

I believe the subject matter (mostly running and books) will remain the same, but it will also become about my journey in the next year to truly move on into the real world.

We will apply for jobs in a variety of places, including the Twin Cities, Seattle, Portland, Madison WI, and others. We will also look in Louisville and Ann Arbor, since my and Mark's parents live in those areas, respectively. Right now the future seems full of the unknown, but I am pleased with myself to discover that this is not altogether a bad thing.

I have also decided to take up yoga, another change recently implemented. I am going to try and do a little in the morning and some at night. I want to take a class, but before that I want to become familiar with some of the poses and try to gain some flexibility. So far I have tried vrksasana (tree pose), trikonasana (triange pose), warrior I, supported shoulderstand, and a couple of others. My body is extremely inflexible, and I really want to become more flexible, fit and just have a little more poise.

In other news, this past weekend was Homecoming at the old college of hard knocks, and a good time was had by all (most of the time). It was very cold and windy all weekend, and Mark had allergies, but of course it was very good to see old friends again. Also, the new track has been completed. It is purple, and it is amazing. I did not get a chance to do any running on it, but I have heard that it is quite fast. What I wouldn't give to be a recruit or a freshman right now, with four years to enjoy a brand-new track. Knox will be holding two home meets there in the spring, and it will be hard not to agree to run some event unattached. Perhaps if I'm in better shape. And, of course, next fall it might be very difficult to visit Knox (distance, no money, or a combination of both), so it's possible this spring will be the last time we visit for a while.

I finished Reading Lolita in Tehran in the car yesterday. It was a very touching book in general; there were so many moments that forced me to completely change the way I think about my personal freedom. We take so many things for granted. To grow up this way and then have it all taken away seems like something that would happen in fiction, but in Iran it really did happen. Another thread in the book was that of the power of fiction to help us explain or bear our lives. I thought the author, Azar Nafisi, did a really good job of comparing the regime under which she lived and the books she read without making bald analogies. Her thesis had to do with the inability of dictators to empathize with others, and how this fundamental miscommunication can become a tragedy in the biggest sense.

There is more I can say, and when the book is in front of me I'll have to include some passages.

I started The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. In fact, there was to be a discussion about it at Homecoming, led by one of my favorite former teachers, but I had only read a third of the book at that point and there just wasn't time. It is uncomfortable and a little frightening to examine death and grief and our attitudes toward them closely, but that is the subject of the book (it is a memoir about the year after Didion's husband died, in which her daughter was also very sick).
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