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

Reasons for Here

Clouds give way to sunshine. I’ve been feeling a little lost these days, wondering if the break did more harm than good. Somehow it unearthed this deep feeling of discontent. Where is the zeal that I drew so much energy from last year? I can’t get to class on time, I procrastinate, and then end up sleepless.
Earlier this week I sat with Stephen, Liz and Erin while Stephen and Erin played guitar, and Liz and Erin sang. I joined in, a bit, but mostly was content to lean into the plush upholstery of the living room sofa, watching their practiced fingers move over guitar strings, drawing out chords and rhythms. Melodies. I knelt in the sunroom, my fingers smoothing the fur on Pocket’s belly, feeling meditative and at peace while Stephen picked out a soft tune.
At 2am today, standing in front of a dying bonfire, Derek asks me, “what are you trying to get out of this semester?”
I realize I have a laundry list of activities, but no one theme to tie it all together. I’ve been encouraging my mentees to take their PDP (Personal Development Plans) seriously, to use them to prioritize and focus on their various activities. By sticking with your goals, I tell them, you can live conscious and purposeful lives.  It will help you to walk across the stage at graduation with no regret. In my mad dashes up and down Science Drive, bouncing between classes and meetings, I have fallen into a checklist schedule.  It’s exactly what I caution the first years against.
Even this blog, once a place for my most exuberant thoughts and fresh insights, is falling prey to my schedule. I barely write, and when I do, it is uninspired.
Still, the question: “What am I here for?” lingers close, and my time to answer is nearly gone.

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