Lo! How A Rose

December 1, 2015 at 8:14 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s December 1st, so obviously I’m listening to Christmas music. It’s a rare break from Hamilton, but I’ve already listened to a bunch of that today, so we can call it good. The rain is falling outside, which is nice. Makes things feel a bit more normal. I’ve only got a few more papers and one more final before I reach the end of my first term of grad school! This quarter system is kind of crazy. Not sure I see the appeal over semesters, but regardless it goes by incredibly fast. I just finished my final presentation today in my sociology class – I think it went OK, but I also know that I’m my own harshest critic, so it probably turned out decently.

Lo! How A Rose ‘Er Blooming is one of my favorite Christmas songs. Not my FAVORITE Christmas song – that title has been held for quite some time by O Come O Come Emmanuel, but it’s still pretty great. I’m fairly sure that the song has some kind of allegorical significance of its own, but when I think about the song I like to think of myself as the rose, springing from tender stem. I think a lot about the process of becoming, of being. Who am I? Who do I want to be? This public policy program is helping me discover some of those things. To borrow from a completely different song for a moment (from the musical Waitress – you’ve GOT to listen to Sara Bareilles’ album version of a bunch of songs from the show) there’s a line in particular that relates and that always gets me. It goes “What if I never see/myself ever be/anything more than what I’ve already become?” Woof. How do I reconcile this notion that I am enough, just me, right now, with the person I want to become? How does a person exist in the moment while still moving onward and upward? I need a bad idea. Just one.

Anyway, the rose! I like the image of a flower – growing, sprouting. I like the idea that beautiful things can spring from unlikely places. I enjoy the idea that in the darkest moments something can blossom and remind you that there are things in this world worth cherishing. I suppose if I was more the religious type I would tie this into miracles, or god giving people signs, or Jesus swooping in during our darkest hour – when the night was half spent, as it were. However, that’s not me, so I would rather think about taking the time to notice. Notice the beautiful things that are blooming around us all the time that we may not always be mindful of (this, of course, isn’t mutually exclusive with all the Jesus-y stuff if that’s more your style).

Grad school can be challenging. I often have doubts – not about my chosen course of study or my dreams and goals, but about myself. I try to remind myself that I have the capacity to chase my dreams; that I have the capacity to lift others up. I can be better. When I’m not doing well, I can choose to try again the next day. I am surrounded by every opportunity, and a whole bunch of excellent human beings every day. We can all raise each other up. It’s pretty cool, really. That’s how life should be.

In less fun news, I messed up my back a little doing deadlifts yesterday. Nothing super serious, but I am hobbling around a bit when I’m not taking ibuprofen. A good reminded not to be sloppy with form when you’re lifting ~50 pounds more than you weigh, for sure. I have no doubt I’ll be back in commission soon enough. I gave myself an early Christmas present, too, signing up for the Vancouver USA half marathon (it’s in June). One of my goals is to run a sub 2:00 half marathon before I turn 26, so this is my chance! That probably means I need to start running again.

Speaking of starting again, I’ve probably spent enough time procrastinating and writing. As far as bad ideas go, though, writing is a pretty good bad idea.

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