Life as an Extreme Sport

strange days of gratitude

I guess you know I’m tired when I sit down to the computer and start typing, and wake up 3 hours later, still sitting up at the computer. As far as I can tell, I hung up the phone with Dad and fell asleep almost immediately after that; it’s basically where my memory stops, anyhow. (Experience has taught me I was probably active a bit longer than that, since I tend to lose the last 15-20 minutes of memory when I fall asleep like that – zaps the internal p-ram or somesuch.)

It’s weird to do that, especially since I partly recognize it’s because I took my nightly medications closely together, rather than spaced out like I normally do. I try not to think hard, or much, about the medications I take, except to space taking them out a bit, because I could work myself into a major freakout quickly if I did, especially with Heath Ledger’s death earlier today and reports coming that it was likely a combination of medication for his pneumonia and sleeping problems that caused the death (rather than suicide or OD). Sleeping problems, pneumonia, and oh, then add in the pain management medications – yeah, I get nervous. Especially when I suddenly snap awake over a computer three hours later, with no memory of even being sleepy enough to fall immediately asleep (as opposed to “I’m getting tired I should get to bed”).

Anyhow. That’s not what I’d typed out prior to falling asleep, the below was.


Today was my first day back on campus since December, and since I was only there a day or two, it was really my first day back seeing everyone since October. I was a bit nervous walking into it, especially as I was there for a job candidate – and one of the people specifically focused on who should be there for the candidate, since the position the department it looking for centers around familiarity with ethics (preferably applied and bio). And as quickly became apparent, a good chunk of the graduate department turned out for the interview – we were joking that we’d never seen so many grad students together at the same time, even inside a classroom.

I was genuinely surprised at how welcoming and warm everyone was. Smiles, hugs, affection – and maybe more importantly, a lot of joking around and laughter. I laughed into coughing fits several times, and although it hurt, it was fun and energetic and just… how I was always hoping to feel there. Like a part of the group, like I belonged.

Small things really stand out – someone patting me affectionately and comfortingly on the back when I got choked up talking about Mom, just a simple gesture of support. Being asked if I knew any of the candidates by name, because I was the one who would – an acknowledgment of the knowledge I can bring to the table. Planning get-togethers, classes for upcoming semesters, coordinating things, lots of teasing of each other. Even a joke about action theory turned into a fun (if short) conversation about female action stars, and Summer Glau.

There was a lot of positive energy coming from everyone, and it culminated in dinner with the candidate and other department members, with conversation ranging from philosophy on television to in depth and pointed discussion on the candidate’s presentation on how we experience emotion.

Being around that positive energy, truly sinking in to a feeling of belonging, was a much needed experience. I spend so much time alone and isolated that I curl in on myself and can lose the spark that excites me – especially when I’m overwhelmed, as I have been for much of the past 18 months. I am such an introvert that it’s easy to forget how much I do need to be around people, especially those who share overlapping interests and passions.

It will be an interesting semester. While I lost one course I had been interested in taking, I have the minimum two already enrolled, and the classes start in the morning. I’ll be on campus daily this semester, for a minimum of 3 hours, which means I’ll have a chance to get into consistent habits that are good for me: waking up at a set time, showering, dressing, eating, getting out of the house. All things that can be difficult to enforce without outside factors.


Alright – I think what is happening is that lack of sleep from the last week, when the coughing and phlegm and needing to sleep upright in order to not drown in my own fluids, has caught up to me. I find myself starting to drift off again, even though I’ve only been awake 15 minutes or so. Which means I should take advantage of it now, and rest up prior to the start of what will hopefully be a very good semester.

Comments are closed.