deliriumcrow: (Spider Jerusalem)
Five -- six? -- years ago I sat in Jen's apartment, unmaking myself on her couch, certain that I'd never get into school. That, having dropped out of high school, having worked up to that point as a janitor, in a factory, in a grocer's, and as a waitress, that I'd never amount to anything, that the brains with which I'd been born had been utterly wasted.

It was, to date, my favourite bedroom. Dark and bare, the walls were lathe and beams, the plaster removed and never replaced. it had been devided, at one point, into very small rooms, marked out by edges of paint and linoleum on the wooden floor. The head of my bed, a pile of blankets on the floor, was marked by the slightly pointless outline of a dorframe, suspended between wall-less beams. I had no real furniture, a book case made of milk-crates and scrap wood held my clothes and a few books. There were windows on either side of the room, one with a deep sill in which I would sometimes read. The other two had no glass in them, and I'd wake on occasion with pigeons cooing over my head. They did not bother me. it was summer then, too hot to move and humid, and I lived in what amounted to an attic, the back extension of Jen's apartment. It looked like a tenement, and suited where I thought I was going.

five years ago, I sent in an application for school. And got accepted. And thus began the most terrifying days of my life, trying to prove that I was worthy of this. The fear faded over time, after my first semester I knew it was real, that it hadn't been a trick. And then did I learn that it doesn't get easier. It will never be less of a strugle, if you prove you are capable of surviving disasters. There will always be another. There is no rest in the real world, there is only what peace you find, whether it be that which you carry within yourself, or that which is found in quiet moments -- sun on Joshua trees, snow-wreathed oak. Rose in shadow, bright-lit bird. It is rare, it is necessary.

I have graduated now. My major is not something useful, and I'm going to be going back to school in perhaps a year to finish the degree -- all the way to PhD if I can. It's the path I've chosen. I'm still called to that garret room, but under a different aesthetic. That of impoverished student, of artist, of writer, in that room one could paint without fear of ruining nice furnishings or carpeting. My little part of it was made as much like home as I could, and as comfortable as summer would allow. I'd do it again in an instant. Perhaps with glass in the windows this time, though. Even if that does mean giving up the birds over head.

Everything is a part of everything else. In the weeping girl I'd been then, in the sullen, contrary teenage runaway, in the young woman stepping uncertain into four years of white columns and windows full of trees and books, were the seeds of this. Whatever "this" is. It was work. It had to be done, and so it was. It's not finished yet, and probably never will be. There will be no real rest, but for the respite found in a breath. I have survived this, and come out well. Not unscathed, not by a long shot, but well. I am alive, I am happy. There is even now a stillness in me that I've not explored, to carry me through so many more trials. May it not run out. In a perverse sort of way -- may it never get more simple, that I have then proven myself unworthy of further tempering.

... and I read this before posting and realize that I've developed a rather strange sort of philosophy over the years.

November 2014

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