This morning I woke up to a huge paper looming over me. Due soon. Topic about what we’ve discussed in class. Topic about something I don’t understand. It’s the kind of “don’t understand” that we students get sometimes, where we don’t even understand what it is that we don’t understand.

A feeling has been creeping its way over the last few weeks I’ve been in classes.. I knew it was a feeling–a bad one–but I didn’t know what it meant. Until this morning. It’s the feeling of: I’m not cut out for grad school. Not good enough. Not invested enough. Not academic enough. Not smart enough.

Do you know those pimples that you know are coming — you can feel the tiny bump way under the skin, and it’s getting red, but it just sits there, taking it’s time to get the roots in before actually making an appearance? And this kind of pimple stays longer and gets more huge than the average pimple?

Well. That’s how this grad school feeling is. It already rooted in pretty deep before showing me what my anxiety and emotional discomfort were about. And, well, how do you go about eradicating something so deep rooted? Is there a facial cleanser for confidence pimples?

Actually, this isn’t even a matter of confidence. It’s a matter of skills… and the fact that I don’t have some of the skills I need to succeed in the program.

These feelings were whirling away this morning, making me grumpy and generally bad company (sorry Dan).

And then, I took out the trash. And it was gorgeous outside! The sky was overcast, leaves were twirling down, I zipped up my jacket, I dodged the ankle-killing nuts, I breathed in the earthly smell of the morning.  And I was healed a bit. In the words of Anne of Green Gables, “whether I pass this class or not, the sun will go on rising and setting.” My semester is so small. And — how can I express it? It seemed so trivial and petty to worry about a paper when fall was here. Really, I thought, I’m going to go through the JRRTolkien-leaf-changing world and not soak it all in? 

Do you ever feel that God is in the fall? I always feel closer to God in the fall. And then, miraculously, in the winter too — with the hush and the snowflakes caught under the beam of a streetlamp and the deer walking through the yards. And then, spring comes, and after the initial splash of yellow…the world turns green and brown and God goes into hibernation. And I forget about God. In the summer, God only really makes an appearance during the nights — when it’s warm enough to go out and walk and look at the stars. But I don’t see God during the light of day again… until the leaves the change and wind picks up.

And, well, papers just dwindle to their natural insignificance.


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