Warmer days have become a more usual occurrence around here as of late, which has been a nice change of pace. I find myself more joyful about the simple moments that occur throughout my day when the sun is shining and the skies are clear (sounds corny, but true). The nice weather has also arrived in perfect timing as my first year of grad school has come to a close and I now have more time to do other things, such as this-blogging. This last year has been rather busy trying to maintain a balance between the roles of a full-time student, a full-time employee, and keeping up my relationships with my family, friends, and boyfriend. Thankfully, I found myself surrounded by understanding and supporting family and friends. Part of me hated that my friends and family had just come to the understanding that I would often respond to “hey, do you want to get together to do this or that?” with “sorry, would love to but I have pending papers that I need to work on” or “I just don’t have time right now but after my semester ends, I’ll make sure to get in touch.” Now that my semester has ended, I have way more time. However, with all this extra time I have been given, it sort of feels like a strange concept to me…a bit unfamiliar. I have yet to contact friends I haven’t spoken to in awhile and still find myself in front of books or my computer doing school-related things. All semester long, I have been saying how much I could not wait until it ended so I could start painting again. Well…my semester has been completed since the 16th of May and I still have not even held a paintbrush in my hand. I feel like to I need to rediscover my interests and hobbies all over again. Like I need to approach painting again as someone who has never held a paintbrush…it’s almost like I need to fall in love with it all over again. Part of me is excited to have the opportunity to experience that first-time excitement when trying a new activity, but part of me is a bit fearful…like, what if it doesn’t come as natural to me as it once had. Just the other night, I was presented with a jade plant as a congrats for the completion of my first year in grad school. For those who may not know, I love any type of succulent but jade is my absolute favorite. I don’t think this person knows, but receiving that jade plant was rather symbolic for me. Traditionally, jade plants have long been symbols of prosperity in Asian cultures. And while prosperity typically means being successful in terms of money, I interpreted it more as a reminder of ‘wholeness.’ I don’t see my wealth in terms of money and material possessions. I see my wealth in terms of my relationships with my family and friends. This past year I did not have as much time as I would have liked to have to be able to spend time with friends and family, yet, my friends and family are still by my side and are as supportive, loving, and understanding as ever. Now as I have time to redirect my thought elsewhere other than school, I realize that my life is surrounded by prosperity…the relationships surrounding me are abundant of love and support even despite me not feeling like I had the time to give them as much attention as I would have liked. And for that, I’m ever so grateful. Thank you to all my friends and family for your patience, understanding, love, and unending support. And thank you to my very best friend for your belief in me even when I doubted my own abilities.
“Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being.” – Kevin Kruse