One year and one month ago — depressed, heartbroken, poor — I found myself walking through the gray and the cold of my home university during the first week of classes. My mood matched the weather, and my thoughts were clouded by miserable recollections. Two weeks later the sun was shining, and I was shining to match it. In love with my classes, intellectually stimulated to a degree never before achieved, the recipient of daily compliments toward my sunny disposition. Even on the bad days, I simply knew and accepted that it was not the best day and that tomorrow would be better, an outlook that often led to an instantaneous improvement in my mood. One could say I had stumbled upon inner peace and self-acceptance in a way that I never had before — and for once in my life, it wasn’t because of a guy. It was by my own damn hard work, commitment, and passion for what I was doing and learning.
Now, in the present moment, it is gray and cold. The new semester is starting, and I’m starting off a little battered, a bit depressed, more than a little disappointed, and completely unsure if I passed even one single class from last semester. But I’m hoping we’re about to repeat the equation described in the paragraph above. I’ll call it
Jade’s Second Law of Personal Growth
2(βm) + βw = εs
where βm is Bad Mood, βw is Bad Weather, and εs is Excellent Semester
(Yes, because of Astronomy I have Kepler and Einstein on the brain way more than I’d like.)
I still don’t know what classes I’m taking this semester. And even if I’m in love with the classes I try out this week they may not have space for me come my registration appointment on Monday. But dear goodness, we’re already off to a better start than last semester. For one, I can understand my professors and the subtleties of their proposed topics, which feels amazing. Second, some of the lovely people I’ve made friends with are in said classes, which means we can weather the good and the bad together instead of alone and friendless. And third, I’m just so freaking happy to be done with last semester, done with my fellowship application, done with being depressed and eating too much and hating my awful flatmate but hating myself and my complete lack of motivation more. Inevitable failure sucks.
Things are looking up, my friends. My potential professors seem cool — chill, even — our new flatmate arrives on Friday, and smiles are starting to feel natural on my face once again. Which means I don’t hate myself, which means I’m happier, which means I speak better Spanish, which means I’m motivated to learn more, which means I have better conversations, which equals better self-confidence which equals I’m more beautiful = more compliments = happier me = positive repetitive cycle.
Aren’t we funny creatures? One thing always leads to another with us. One good thing usually leads to more good things and one bad thing usually leads to more bad things. So it’s the nature of the one thing that matters. The real challenge for us is to find our power to change the nature of that one, little thing that changes everything that follows.
P.S. I feel like this post is not very cohesive or well-written, but it needs to come out, so here it is. Maybe I’ll find my literary genius one of these days…