Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin

Jumbled Fullness

I must apologize for the infrequency of these updates. I've actually been writing quite regularly in my paper journal, mostly due to the fact that I have a lovely 10 minute shuttle ride to campus, which is just enough to fill a page or two with snapshots. Lately the short frames have been filled with the jumble of just-coherent morning words, tumbling...

In one entry I write.. "I am quiet contemplation" or that "My writing hits hard and I ride the wave.."
Another speaks: "at night the clouds drift in, and morning barely shines for the damp, open streets" and later.. "This morning arises crystal clear from the fuzzy grayness of night. Earlier my eyes smoked from waking, ached from staring.."

And all over Durham, fallen leaves etch the pavement and walkways with stained glass leafwork. Very early one morning I open the front door to go to campus, and in the darkness almost trip over a bag of post-Halloween sale candy left by a friend. At the close of each day, my energy wanes, I think of how sometimes many small choices can postpone the only ones that matter, and, considering my future, I wonder what it means to be significant.

I've been so happy with my schoolwork as of late. Everything feels applicable and perfectly reasonable. We've just signed up for next semester's courses and I love hearing about my classmates' choices. With the core classes out of the way and our little Environmental Management minds beginning to fledge to the possibilities of the Nicholas School, it seems we are all carving out specialties and life paths. I've signed up for forest ecosystems, environmental chemistry & toxicology, energy technologies and am waiting to see what my fourth class will be. I also managed to get into two fun classes: modern dance and pilates - I'm looking forward to strengthening and pushing my body in new ways, even as I take on a new semester of challenging, new coursework.

So then, things are well. Between long days on campus and evenings with friends (and homework), I am finding my life here very full, and very satisfying. The days are not without their challenges and bouts of homesickness and self-doubt, but I am finally sure I made the right choice to leave California and come here. At one point, a dear friend told me "you're a fighter, I'm pretty sure you'll make it there if that's what you want." I think it is what I want, now, so much that I am not even sure I'll be going back to California after I graduate. But, well.. that is not a decision for today.
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