Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Works

Wow, I haven't written a blog post since last year.  Not acceptable.

But I'm afraid that while second semester has been less demanding academically, it's been more demanding personally to such a degree as to more than make up for it.  Most days, it's just too exhausting to contemplate writing anything here more substantial than,
"Grrrrr mean circulatory acid fast WHY IS IT RAINING AGAIN groan my birds are out of food and have no T cytotoxic cells and my serotonin hurts why?"
Then I'm supposed to keep doing things?  It's like the things never end.  (Hat-tip to Hyperbole and a Half.)

One way I try to cope with this is by finding great blogs online and devoting myself to them religiously.  I've gone through Zen Habits, Nerd Fitness, Conversion Diary, Psychology Today, and a number of others.  I think there was even a short Cracked stint in there, but I don't talk about that anymore.  (Just kidding.)

These are all great blogs, but in each case, I go there looking for life guidance.  I'm trying to find someone I can emulate and try to be just like in every detail.

The problem is, no one else has my life.

How do you take the advice of Zen Habits and simplify your life...

...when your life is subject to the whims of people trying to teach you every detail of the most complicated system in existence?

How does an unmarried, childless student emulate Jen Fulwiler or Simcha Fisher in their grace and devotion?

I'm a vegetarian, prone to injury, and a tad busier than most, so Nerd Fitness isn't always a great fit.

Psychology Today occasionally has some gems, but most of it isn't terribly applicable to a Catholic.  Also, my depression and attention problems were mostly under control last year.  Only now that everything has dialed up to 11 have my coping mechanisms stopped being able to keep up.

Older medical students are a great resource.  But even the female Catholic medical students usually don't understand what it's like to carry Churchill's black dog, to wake up and hope the weather will be nice today and that the inner hurricane will be far away today. (If you'd like a taste, not that I can imagine why you would, a group associated with MIT wrote Elude, which provides a pretty decent metaphor of depression and what it feels like.)

Even trying to be a carbon copy of Jesus Christ isn't quite it, for the simple reason that Jesus does not have my exact life.  Imitating Christ is always worthwhile.  But I don't just want a role model.  I want someone to have taken all the questions and uncertainty before me and made every decision ahead of me, effectively removing all doubt and risk.

Of course, the answer is to just do my best and make my own path. But making one's own path is risky, so I find myself longing for someone to mindlessly follow through all this. But I'm slowly learning to do what works and not beat myself up that I'm not just like someone else.  

Or I could just opt to try to be Kara Thrace, which is what I eventually settled on.

So I've spent most of this post complaining.  But I've discovered that the answer to almost anything is gratitude.  When I think about how lucky I am just to walk this earth and breathe this air, I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.