Ok, so there are moments in grad school when all you want to do is throw your computer out the window and go dance it out with my arms flailing above my head. At least, that happens to me. Lately I’ve been finding some really good calm among the chaos in my life through a number of outlets:
Volunteering at the Q Center library, working with their librarian to get the collection out into circulation. This has entailed some serious thought on how best to do this with low-tech solutions and on a TIGHT budget. I also started volunteering at the Cascade Aids Project, archiving their ACT-UP archives! I am loving the people I’m meeting through these projects and for the first time I really feel like I’ve gotten to my inner activist. Sure, I’ve marched in the streets a few times, made clever signs, even sported a rainbow or two…but this behind the scenes work feels so good. I’m not using my voice but I’m using a lot more.
I’ve also taken to working out (???) Those of you who know me well KNOW that this is just…crazy. As in, I “don’t work out” because I’m just an “art kid”. But it’s true, I’m going three times a week and I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt so good. It seems to help me focus the rest of the day, want to eat healthier, and I wake up excited to go with my friend. I signed up for a 3 month membership….
Finally, the last “distraction” involves a love interest. Who doesn’t live anywhere near me but who is so genuinely positive and understanding. It is just distracting enough that I’ll catch myself smiling on my bike rides, but when it is time to get my work done, her positivity that she inspires and the mutual autonomy we have allows me to do that.
It is a good thing these things are happening because I honestly have some very frustrating things going on in academia. And there is a lot up in the air right now (still). It would be easy to fret about if I weren’t focusing some of my attention elsewhere.