Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New and Good Things

I have half of a post about Manet's The Railway written... but I am seriously struggling to not use high-faluting art theory when I write about it. So it's on hold for yet another week... my mind just can't pare it down yet. (Trust me, it's better this way. It's currently a really boring, watered-down version of my 26-page final Historiography paper. And NOBODY, myself included, should ever have to revisit that ugly monster). 

Instead, I want to talk about the experience of being home. I've thought about what it means to be home at least 10x a day, starting probably three weeks ago. At first, while in the throes of the miserablest round of finals ever, being home was just the chance to escape, to let my mind stop churning. Visions of watching tv, sleeping, and not having to use any more confounded multisyllabic words danced in my head.

Then, I realized that being home represented a major change, or at least a significant mile-marker, in my DC life. With the close of the semester, I said good-bye to a few good friends who will not be returning East with me next year. I also realized, kind of for the first time, that many of my bestest friends in the West have joined the march of the marrieds this past year, and thus can't come out and play with me like old times. But it's ok. We are meant to grow and learn and adventure in this life, and I am so proud of my friends for the bold steps forward they take.

Being home at this time, the end of 2009, means the close of an incredible and unique year. EASILY the fastest 365 days of my life. I have skipped through an internship at the Smithsonian, a round of unemployment, a summer as an underpaid lifeguard, and a fall as a first-year art history grad student. A lot of the time, I hardly noticed how quick and brilliant these days were. In 2009, I have changed, and changed directions, wildly... and I hope for the best. Being home for Christmas means a brief moment to stop and contemplate these amazing opportunities. It also means a chance to express my gratitude for the "back-east" friends I have out there, who make the cold and the distance and the obnoxious DC materialism/professionalism so worth it (special shout-out to Marissa, Jenni, Maggie, and Dani, my East Coast blog buddies :)

Finally, being home allows me to re-learn the wonderful, slightly cheesy but very true lesson: that friends who love each other are never far apart at heart. It doesn't matter that I only got to see my parents four times this year; when I came home, it's as if I never left! Magic! I've changed, it's true, but they love my changes, or at least they'll want to gab about the changes. :) DC '09 taught me that your heart will ALWAYS expand to fit whenever you find something new to care about. Miraculously, none of the older things in there have to be kicked out. What a glorious gift that is, to be able to grow in love, and never be bounded. There are always new people to serve, to laugh with, to explore, and to love. That must be why Heavenly Father's work and glory is to bring about the eternal life of his children. He's really figured it out: the best thing in life is to love as many little humans as possible, and thus keep one's heart growing.

I read over my 2008 journal this morning. Apparently, on Thursday, November 6th, I felt I had the greatest day of my life. Here is a selection of that entry, so you can see why:

"I worked more, kept busy, shared my friendship bread, went and gabbed with Dani at her desk at the Wilk, and walked home in the beautifully brisk air. And on that walk home... Milena, the Director of Public Programs at the Hirshhorn Museum in DC called me to set up an appointment for a phone interview... then we just decided to interview right then. She told me all about the kinds of things I'd be doing, and as we talked, I felt this unbelievable sense that I could not have ASKED for a better internship, one more suited to my current educational, professional, or social needs :) Heavenly Father LOVES me! I started screaming and jumping afterwards, and called the wonderful parents who support me. Mom cried she felt it was so right, so perfect.

"I have officially changed my life plan today- gonna go down a road in January I never dreamed of. It feels incredible, and very right. Ah faith. Bless it. Oh, and I listened to the great art critic Michael Fried give a lecture on High Modernism and Minimalism at the MoA tonight. I felt completely at home there. I belong in that big, beautiful world. I'm SO Happy. PS Milena was SO pleasant to talk to. I'm really looking forward to working with her. PPS Jessica is sad for me to go... and that's why I choose her as my best friend."

I've learned, taught, explored, loved, been accepted to and attended one brutal semester of grad school since January. Frankly, it has worn me out to skin and bones, and I am happily at home in order to recoup and fatten up. Next year's resolution, among several, is to find better balance between all of these things. While in DC a friend really alerted me to the value of balance; I have the nerdy tendency of focusing too closely on my art world (well... once in a while :). I've got a lot to see of life yet, and many people to love and serve.  I am extremely grateful to know that I have a Savior whom I might lean upon as I try to gain strength and accomplish great things. I am so happy to be home for Christmas, so that I might celebrate His birth with those I love. And I am ridiculously excited for the new and good things to come. Merry Christmas all.

Me at the Vegas Bowl last night- BYU vs. Oregon State. I LOVE that the Momo crowd causes the beer signs to be turned off and the hot chocolate ones to be haphazardly created.

Me and Spence after rushing the field. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO COLD! But notice the score in the upper right hand side- Cougs 44, Beavers 20! Just baaaaaarely worth it. :)

PS Please excuse the gushyness of this post. "I just have a lot of feelings." What movie?? Haha


Katie said...

merry christmas! I love you. I miss you. You are amazing. xoxo

Judy Anne said...

Oh alright, I will wait a bit longer to read about the girls at the station...but not too much longer. Lindsey, you make me cry when you write, I am so very blessed to have you in my life. You are an amazing, vibrant women of many talents. Merry Christmas, I am glad you have found your bliss!