Well friends, the vacation is over. I spent three weeks in Atlanta, donning the mantle of domesticity and craftiness: I read Jane Austen and built kitchen cabinets, I met the beau for lunch and carted around Decatur’s pubs. Florida provided a brief intermission, but the majority of three weeks’ time was spent in the capital of the South.
As much as I had intended the time to be one of reflection, reflection hardly ever takes place when one asks it to. So I just enjoyed myself as much as I could, confident that revelations galore would appear to me as I looked back over my vacation. And in good form, my real reflection came as I drove myself back to Nashville. Those four hours proved to be quite elucidating. Some things I learned (and in some cases, re-learned) about myself as I drove through Georgia and Tennessee:
- I thoroughly enjoy keeping up a house. There is something so unspeakably satisfying about cleaning, tidying, building, planting, sweeping, and loving a house, isn’t there? Well, maybe you don’t think so, but I don’t think I can ever get enough of it. I’m still not sure that it’s enough to satisfy every need for productivity, hospitality, and do-goodery that I have, but it’s a comforting constant. And if need be, I know that I can be perfectly happy in domestic life as an intermission between M.Div and Career, whatever that Career may be.
- I am almost always convinced that I’m doing something wrong, and I want that conviction to stop. Often the only thing that gives me solace is the knowledge that one day I’ll get everything right that I’m now doing wrong. I just don’t want to keep that up. I’d rather be happy with the way I do things, and acknowledge that I will find different ways of doing things later on.
- I am remarkably horrible at keeping in touch with people, especially people that truly matter. I missed so many opportunities to see old friends these three weeks.
- I am not ready to apply to PhD programs. Shock and surprise may be your first reactions; they may not. Truth be told, I have wanted to be in school for as long as I could ever since I could remember. It’s the one place that I know I can do well, and it’s not let me down yet. Despite the fact, or rather, because of the reasons underlying the fact that I have yet to study for and take the GRE, research appropriate schools, etc., I have come to see that I am simply not ready for PhD-sized doeses of school now in my life. I’m just not excited enough for it. Perhaps I need a year or so outside of schoolwork to make me realize how desperately I need it, but perhaps spending a year or so out of the classroom will lead me to realize that all this school-obsession has been a useful period in my life, but that it need not continue for me to be happy. This kind of hiatus worked in the past–it lead me to my current M.Div program–who says it won’t work now? And this time around, I have a feeling about better choices to make when taking that anticipated hiatus, however long that hiatus happens to be.
- Though I am still the amatuer, I love gardening, and it is slowly becoming my life’s ambition to plan a vegetable garden. Seriously: tiers, bricks, peat, and tomatoes, squash, zuchini, potatoes, maybe even some kale or leafy green of that sort. Oh, the possibilities! This obsession is much like last fall’s idea of opening a vegan bakery (to which there have been planned additions of a yarn/knitting store adjacent); just because it seems unrealistic now does not detain it from being the lovely day dream reason behind most of my happy looks.
- I am not as good with a budget as I’d once thought.
That about sums up my vacation thoughts. Now I am back in the office, content with the usual-ness of it all. I’m tackling an annual project for the third year now, and things seem settled. I don’t have the comfort of a Decatur, GA house, or a quick 40-minute drive to visit parents, but I do have the same streets that I’ve grown so acustomed to in these past two years. I hope that wherever you are, you are well. Take some time to reflect on yourself, the next time you’re on a long drive.