Friday, August 29, 2008

Back to College

The serenity and beauty of Alaska still wanders into my thoughts from time to time. It's got me thinkin about what I really want.

Being back in college, one question continues to haunt me: "So, what's your major?"

I've stopped asking the question, because I loathe trying to answer it. Instead I've started asking, "If you could do anything in the whole world, what would you do?" This usually lights up the eyes more than the dreaded "M" word.

I've started telling people I'm taking the buffet approach, sampling a little bit of this and a little bit of that (If you're wondering, the latest thought is: Secondary Education, emphasis in Language Arts Education. My kids in Cambodia think this is hilarious!)

There are many things I'm good at and enjoy doing, but not all of them would make great careers. I won't be joining the WNBA or recording a CD any time soon, chef school sounds boring, and I doubt anyone would pay me to scrapbook all day.

So I figure I should anwer my own question: "If I could do anything in the world, what would I do?" My answer isn't short and sweet, but here are a few ideas.

If I could do anything I'd write books and everyone would buy them, love them, and be inspired.

If I could do anything I'd have my own garden, can my own food, sew all of my own clothes, and avoid Walmart entirely.

If I could do anything I'd marry an Australian, or an American who talks with that accent. He'd take me with my quirks, listen to my wanderings, believe in me, and be bold enough to tell when I was being ridiculous.

If I could do anything I'd live outside the city where I could breathe, but be close enough to get my city fix once in awhile.

If I could do anything I'd do something that mattered, whether it be writing life-changing books like Elie Weisel, fighting for human rights like Nelson Mandela, or using words to make people think like Maya Angelou.

If I could do anything I'd walk everywhere.

If I could do anything I'd run a bakery with wonderful healthy delights. I'd have regulars who came for chai and rasberry scones. I'd decorate it myself with my inspirations from all over the world to encourage people to think globally.

I feel like my answers to this question would've been different a year or two ago. My "If I could do anything..." answer would have had something to do with God.

Last week, I was listening to a podcast with Ben and Ashley about a Jewish Rabbi who encourages her members to voice their frustrations and disappointments to God. She said a great part of our relationship involves letting God know of the times we've felt let down. Ben said, "That sounds like someone I know", fully realizing he was talking about me, my eyes started to fill with tears. Ben's good at making me think.

I do feel like God let me down. I feel like I busted my butt in Cambodia. I pleaded desperately with God for over a month to show me some relief, some proof, something. Nothing.

I've been continuing to read my blogs from last year. I'm now into October 2007. This has been so healing for me. I am forced back into those feelings and those situations. It has made me consider and really look at my experience now that I'm out of it. Already, I've started thinking, "Was it really that bad?" Then I am reminded: Yeah, it was.

Looking back has been interesting. I am transported back to Cambodia temporarily: back to the hot and noisy classrooms, back to the isolation and the loneliness, back to the destructive ED behaviors. Then, I shut my laptop screen, walk out the door, and I'm back in the States. It's interesting going back and forth. But at the same time, I think it's making the day-to-day a little harder.

My experience isn't any less real, but I read about it, head to class, and I have to be "college student Heather" the me with projects due, responsibilities, and a job. It makes the whole thing feel surreal.

It's been kind of a rough two days. I'm still getting through the antibiotics for the creatures growing in my stomach and the Giardea I picked up overseas. So this leaves me feeling sick and weak. With my body's reaction to the pills, my body image isn't really thriving so I get caught up in the same destructive thoughts.

I was walking to class today thinking, Well, that was a nice 2 week break from ED, but that's about as long as it seems to take for the ED to catch up any time I try to run from it.


trina yeo said...

hi heather!

i love all your "if i could do anything...." thoughts.
esp. have your own garden, can your own food, and sew all your own clothes, to avoid Walmart entirely.

i've been doing yoga a lot lately, and it makes me think of you.

i'm glad you are doing better. you and in my thoughts and prayers.