Post-Thanksgiving Pep Talk

There are two weeks left until finals week.

I discovered this lying face down on my couch at home, my stomach extended several feet beyond and many pounds beyond its normal capacity, bloated on turkey and cranberry sauce and pie.

It was not a particularly pleasant revelation—only because I felt like where did that time go, and is this the effect of marathoning Parks and Recreation and Criminal Minds at the same time, and oh dear that is a lot of 5000 word essays in not a lot of time, and what the heck am I buying people for the non-denominational winter holidays, and the hobbit movie comes out really really soon and everyone will die, and maybe I should pick my poems for that poetry reading I’m going to. In other words, I felt a little bit shocked by the sudden rush of everything I have left to do.

But it also has a sense of a deep breath, right before one jumps into the very icy waters of Puget Sound, or outside into the iced-over grounds of the University of Puget Sound—I know it is going to hurt, but I also know that, on some level, it will be worth it.

And it is not like I am not prepared, either—these two (ish) weeks are what I have been working towards for most of the semester, and I know what I am doing, and I am capable of dealing with it. Like I know what policy options are available in the Middle East-North Africa region, and I can write a grand strategy paper on that, and I can tell you the themes of Amélie and Mon meilleur ami for my French film class, and I already have half of my paper on governance and state-building written. It’s all up in my head, and I know how to work it.

Basically, this here is my pep talk to myself. I have been alternating between stress, anger, and emotional repression for the better part of three months, due to myriad personal and political issues including but not limited to a very nasty break-up, the new Exodus movie, the dehumanization of black lives in Ferguson and throughout the United States, and the recurrence of depression, anxiety, and PTSD among everyone I know. I’m definitely not saying that any of these situations have improved, but at this point, at least I am capable of dealing with it.

(I am not, however, capable of dealing with the next hobbit movie and the farewell to Middle Earth without falling apart, but that is because I am a giant nerd.)