Friday, December 9, 2011

"I close my eyes, I tell myself to breathe and be calm."

It feels so good to be chilling. These past two weeks have been among the most stressful of my life, and not just because of the disappointment my church has sustained. I have knots in my shoulders the size of golf balls. I have never felt so tightly wound as I have felt these past two weeks. On Thursday if you had've poked me I would have shattered, I was so tense. I walked a mile in a Type A personality's shoes, and I did not find them comfortable!

One of my problems is that I've been trying to create time. Make it appear out of thin air. I have staring contests with the clock, willing everything to work out and it just never does! I'm strung out between responsibilities, often needing to be in two places at once, and I'm beginning to realize how impossible that is. I am not transcendent! I am not an infinite being! So why am I trying to stretch time out or make like it doesn't limit me? I've been jamming puzzle pieces that clearly don't go together and it's like, "Is this girl even out of the pre-operational stage of cognitive development yet?!"

That was some psychology humor there for you. ;D

Speaking of psychology, my psychological development class is such a beautiful foil to my abnormal psychology class. The former features the dream professor, and the latter the professor of your nightmares. And I have a pathetic horror story to share! Thursday dawned a bright and bitingly cold morning, on which I got to sleep in until the ripe late hour of 7am, dressed sharply in a blazer and sun dress for my presentation later that day, and booked it to the library to print out my very last paper for this intolerable abnormal psych class. It was just past 9:30 when the tears started flowing, as I searched for a functioning computer in the lab and battled printer malfunctions at the library and phoned home to get the right file emailed to me. I was panicked at the thought that I would not be able to hand in my paper, because I cannot even explain the fear this professor breeds in me.

Late to class, I forced a smile on my face while I rushed to my classroom building, hoping and praying that the professor (in usual style) was also late. My stomach dropped when I saw her stalled by another student, chatting by the door. Missed it by THAT much! I sank into my seat with complete relief, stapled my paper, clipped it to my research, and plopped the packet on her desk . . . and then I realized. I did not have my other, previously graded paper. I had forgotten it at home. And she would not accept my paper without this other paper. There was no phoning my way out of this one!

Fortunately, she was in a good mood that morning and gave me the option of meeting her on the Providence campus and passing in my paper then. But because things never work out the way they're supposed to . . . 

I was in the car for an hour and a half! My wonderful, self-sacrificing, back-guarding parents agreed to meet me in Providence with my paper, my only challenge was getting there. I survived traffic, getting lost, my own dangerous driving risks, and tricky intersections. With a half hour to spare, I parked in the general area I though maybe the Providence campus was, and began wandering. For the record, considering I was wearing a sun dress, it was super cold. I was lost in a tangle of sketchy alleyways, completely disoriented, and my only salvation was phone-a-friend; Peter's navigational prowess saved my sanity! I arrived outside my professor's classroom with minutes to spare, and my mom passed off my paper with a hug. 

I walked into the room as I heard my professor saying, "And don't forget to pass back your first paper along with the one due today--" and I handed her mine without a word. Her eyes crinkled at me, "Thank you" was all she said. So then I left. Wandered around for a little while trying to find my way back to my parking spot. Got on the road en route to another uncomfortable church meeting and was reminded that growing is a process, that no one is perfect, that healing takes time. Ah, God be gracious to us.

Concurrent with my ongoing desire to grow into adulthood, I think Thursday taught me that I really need to be less of a pansy, I mean, really. And also, that stress is overrated. (But maybe, it's only going to get worse from here on out . . .) 

Bring on winter break!


Michael said...

Hayley! I just want to give you a big hug. I'm praying for you a lot, (and I'll pray for your church) *sigh* I don't know how to uplift you. I love you.

L.E. Fiore said...

My heart quaked and qualmed with you. EISH! the stress of papers and horror teachers and NOT ENOUGH TIME.

And sundresses in December? Hayley, I love you. But I'm beginning to think dresses (and stresses) are overrated, too. ;-)

:bless you:

Break on the break. :-)