I just had my first test of the school year—in Middle Eastern Foreign Policy. The Middle East is a region that can be perfectly described as “a hot mess.” Much of this hot-mess-ness is related to a long, long, long history full of people killing other people, the tons and tons and tons of oil the region is precariously perched on, a lot of tribal and religious and national sentiment, and the less-than-successful attempts of various superpowers from around the globe to “help” (at this point, I expect I have mortally offended at least 12 people, and my professor is saying “Really? Really?” in that charmingly disgusted way of his).
There is a guiding rule of thumb for policy making in the Middle East—much like every other rule of thumb, it is generally disregarded until after the fact. The rule is simple: land, or go around. If you are flying the airplane of policy-making, and you see a giant ominous cloud of something bad that just happened in front of you, there are two options. You can either land the plane, and commit to hanging in the storm for a while, or you can go far, far, far, far, far around.
But what you can’t do is sort of fly down at a diagonal angle so that only half your wingtip is getting wet from the storm, and sure your tires might be about skid a little bit but you are mostly in the clear—in other words, you have to pick something. Hemming and hawing and waffling between the choices can only result in a bad things happening.
This is a metaphor for life.
I might as well make that really obvious.
I spent a long time weighing up the pros and cons of virtually everything I did, but eventually I realized: I have to make decisions. Like: okay, I am going to be a politics major. And: okay, I am going to go play rugby, despite my complete lack of experience with sports involving throwing and catching and running. And: okay, I am going to drop that one club because of its new libertarian bent. And: okay, I will watch Parks and Rec tonight.
I was thinking about being an Official Puget Sound Blogger—daydreaming about it, because I think I am hilarious and interesting and clearly people would be hankering to read my words of wisdom—but not taking any steps towards this little idea until I sat up in bed one morning and was like, “You know what? I’m gonna do the thing.” It’s that decision: if I am going to do a thing, I am going to do an awesome job. And apparently my application was awesome enough, because now I am here and writing and who would have thought?
(Besides my mother, of course. Hi, Mom.)
Sup. I am Rachel (class of 2017), and I decided to land. I don’t know if you have noticed, but the groundskeeping is pretty great around here and it would be a shame to miss it.
Also, I would tell you all about how I knocked that test out of the water, but I am pretty sure that would jinx it.