Thursday, January 26, 2006

and a semester has passed

I suppose the goal of keeping this up somewhat regularly has not been met with any enthusiasm here lately. Its already a new semester, and I feel like such a different person from when I last posted, let alone when I first began to post. I don't know where to begin, honestly, so I will begin where I can, and let it flow from there.

I wanted, last time, to give an account of my trip to Japan. I wont go into too much detail here about it, but I can say this: it was life enhancing, wonderful, and altered my perception in a brilliant way. At the same time, life goes on, and my day to day life is much the same. I wake up, go to school, read manga, watch anime, go to work, do homework, paint, cook and clean, with occasional trips outside for fun with others. And yet I am different.

I have a goal now. I am a Japanese major who wants to do the CIR program through JET. I will graduate in a little over one year. I am both excited by these things, and scared of them, while still feeling a bit of nostalgia for my school life that I am about to leave behind.

It is again time for another change in lifestyle. This time I may even go overseas to live. Allow me to rephrase that- this time I will go overseas to live. Heh, I just took a moment to let that sink in a bit more. One thing that is different from the last major change in my life- I am confident that I can handle this one. I know without fail that I will make it on my own, in whatever I choose to do. It may not be smooth, but it will be mine, this path I carve out now.

What is interesting is that what makes me nervous is not moving, or the task at hand, but the convincing of others that I am as capable as I know that I am. I feel like I have no proof. What I will show people is a slip of paper, and a rather shakey record of my life thus far, and I will tell them "I can do this, and I will do this well." But when they ask for previous experience, I can only say that I have improved and learned much in my time at University.

I have mentioned the professor Steve Ross before. Many times. I took his American Dream class last semester, and this semester I am once again registered for a class of his- quality of life. It is a real estate course, and I am participating (internally) in a way I never have before. These interactions with the materials he gives me and the questions he asks have changed me more than anything. But I have still not won. I have not conquored his voice, I am only following him, ever closer, down the trail he treads.

I do not regret being a Japanese major, but I do wish that I also were able to take more architecture courses. It is definately something I see as relevant to my life. But now, I no longer see it as my life. Something Steve says- each discipline tends to look at the world as a subset of itself. But really, I think it is the reverse- the disciplines are subsets of the world. I want to be careful not to look at the world through only one view finder.

I have many projects now. I want to work at getting my apartment complex organized, but it is definately a low income housing area, and there is lack of enthusiasm on their part, and lack of time and effort on mine. I want to do more habitat for humanity work, but again time is a factor, and this semester thus far, I have done all my reading. I really want to give my best effort to my classes this semester- not for the straight As, but for myself. They are classes I love and professors I respect. I want to give them the effort they deserve, and that I deserve to give. Ishmael- it is not what is said, but the journey that will change you. Thus far in school, I have been a passive learner, and as a result, the change upon myself has been minimal. If I enteract more, I am hypothesising that I will have a greater change in myself, and this change (not the accumulation of facts, but the experience of having disciplined myself enough to look them up and learn them) is what I will need for whatever future job I may have.

Heh, if I didn't look the way I do now, one might guess that I have gained a particular grace in my movements that comes with the gaining of some wisdom. Not to say that I am wise, but that I am finally beginning to put some wisdom in my bucket, instead of letting it be overflown with facts from a multitude of sources.

Its very funny right now, because I am on a tightrope again. I feel half as if I am performing for some future unknown audience. They will read stats sheet with reviews on it, and choose either a red stamp or a green stamp, all without asking me even once "so how was the ride?" Its like a critic who looks at a roller coaster from the engineer's blueprints, next to the actual expenditures, and without even asking the first people who rode on it, pronounces it either good or bad. And here I am in the middle of my performance for this man... and try as I might, I can build no tension. This is my life. Twenty one years in the process, it does not start when I leave this campus, and it will be a long time before someone makes me stop (I hope). I am not preparing for anything, THIS, right here, right now, is it. It is very fragile, very small, and yet so strong and bigger than I can comprehend and still so unstable, so uncertain... and I became okay with that.

I don't really understand why or how, but I became a very happy person here. There are things that I am not satisfied with about myself, but I am not unhappy. I smile daily, I laugh even when I am alone. I feel proud of things that I do- even small ones. My life is not bad. I am very privlidged, and even more so to recognize it. I really don't understand how.. but my heart moved. I have become much better than an optimistic, hopeful person. I have become a determined free floating spirit, content in my daily activities, and spinning around dizzy as I move- not just forward, but looking all around me and laughing.

Its okay if I fall. It makes me appreciate being on my feet that much more once I get up again.

If I can keep this spirit in me, no matter how I change in the future, I think that I can be happy.