Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Stress Kills, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love New York

I don’t have much of an excuse for the lack of updates on this blog, other than that the fact that I’ve been working more than full time, “studying” for the GRE, making connections with professors in Ph.D. departments, falling in love, and losing my mind, all at the same time. So, when my friend A. mentioned yesterday that I hadn’t updated this thing in quite some time, I figured, why not just write an entry about the perils of STRESS.

I have not been able to finish an entire meal (and believe me, I am as far from anorexic as they come—you could possibly even classify me as a “glutton” in some circles) in three weeks. I live for food. I love food. There is nothing better than a delicious steak with an arugula salad and baked potato on a chilly “it’s just beginning to turn autumn in New York where is my scarf” day. But every time I sit down to eat I am immediately confronted with the idea that I may not get into graduate school anywhere because my GRE scores are going to be so low that the admission committee will think I am mentally handicapped. I think about all those thin, regular sized envelopes appearing in my mailbox, and I just can’t do it.

Most of my conversations with my boyfriend (yeah, he’s new, dear reader, and wonderful) over the past two weeks have gone something like this:
“You’re so pretty.”
“Thanks!” (complete with schoolgirl blush)

*lapse of two minutes in conversation*

“What do you mean?”
“I wasn’t quiet, I was just thinking!”
“No! I love you!”
(I think this scene pretty much speaks for itself).

And then of course there’s the “it’s Saturday afternoon but I’m just going to take some time to work on my research proposal OH MY GOD I HAVE WRITERS BLOCK WHAT MAKES ME THINK I COULD EVER BE A SCHOLAR I CAN’T FEEL MY HANDS OH GOD” syndrome, which usually concludes with a phone called placed to my mom in which I weep inconsolably for several minutes before retiring to read the new US Weekly.

Then it dawned on me: I can’t teach myself math. My math score on the GRE is going to be foul. It’s going to stink from here to high heaven. There’s not much I can do about that. And hey, when I took my practice tests my verbal score was actually pretty good and I did worlds better on the practice literature exam than I thought I would. Yeah, so my proposal sucked. Well, I rewrote it! And you know, it’s actually kind of interesting now. How did this happen? How did I get from Point “I want to die, motherfuckers” to Point “Weird, everything might work out” ?

I started to appreciate what I’ve got. Which is a lot. I don’t think I could’ve come to the conclusion that I am doing my best in trying to get to a place in my life where I can feel like my work is something I believe in without the support of my friends, my man, and my family. And then there’s New York. In the past few weeks, I have been to more theater, seen more movies, met more people, and tried new things than I ever have before. I ate Ethiopian food for the first time. I saw the National Ballet Theater of Spain perform a piece about Castrati, I went to Dim Sum in Chinatown. I went to Roosevelt Island on that scary thing from “Dark Water” (yeah, you know what I’m talking about) and it was actually really beautiful. I put a piece of raw squid in my mouth (I promptly removed it), and for the first time, I realized that faith and trust in yourself goes a long way—it gives you the strength to put your trust in others and believe in yourself, which is a gift no one else can give to you, no matter how hard they try. And that, my friends, is a cure for stress. I’m still working on the unreasonable freak-outs and lack of appetite, but I’ll keep you updated. Hopefully soon I might even be well enough to write a real entry on this thing. God knows there’s a lot I want to discuss.


RI 360 said...

Glad you liked our Tram!

Anonymous said...

Ethiopian food is dynamite, and so are you-- I have a feeling everything is going to work out better than fine. And new love on the cusp of a new season, how magical. Do enjoy it all!


kat said...

Ah, you're back. Please stay.