Fall 2014 Finals

It’s a bittersweet time. I’m finished with my general education requirements, except for one or two that will depend on what university I end up attending. My chemistry career is over, unless I miss it enough that I miraculously make time to take more courses in the subject. I’m saying so long to some great professors, and some not so great ones.

I’m anxious about finals, but relieved that I’m statistically very unlikely not to pass. I’m excited for my next set of courses, but unhappy because I know there are gaps in my knowledge of this semester’s material. This semester’s routine hasn’t been my favorite, especially since my moving meant I ended up with a longer commute… but next I’ve structured my schedule for spring completely differently, so I’m hopeful it will work well. I’m probably going to be one of those people again who works out in the wee hours instead of the afternoon. Will my ankle be well enough that I can resume regular running? Will I have time to read for recreation again? Will my new schedule benefit my productivity (I have set it up so that my school’s parking situation will basically force me to spend more time in the library)? Will rush hour drive me insane (I already face it in the morning, but in spring, I will face it in the afternoon as well)?

I don’t know. All I know is that today I received my chemistry lab grade, and I was happy to have an A. Today was the last physics lecture of the semester, and we talked about the curvature of spacetime. My professor made some very funny jokes, although until today, he hadn’t been very funny at all. It’s all interesting.

Now I don’t know what’s going on. I have some studying to do for final exams, and vague plans to drive to Texas after those exams. Date? I don’t know. Stops? I don’t know. Probably Flagstaff. I am happy I will be going to see some of my family, but also wish it were possible for my husband to go with me there–and honestly, for the two of us to travel somewhere alone. I’m not sure when the next opportunity for that will be, and I have mixed emotions about my mother’s planned trip here during one of my breaks from school. Of course I love my mother, but when I have limited time off, I would also love to spend time with my husband, to travel, even to check out local things I never have time for, and also to be alone. There is the phrase, “Vacation from your vacation,” and sometimes that’s what I feel I need, after I’ve spent a lot of time with people–even the ones I love. When I traveled after separating from the Navy, I spent a lot of time with family and friends in various places, but what I really enjoyed and strongly desire now is…

The solitude of the road. It’s funny. Of course when I can’t have my husband with me, I wish I could. Of course when I arrive to a loved one’s town, I’m happy. Of course when I leave, there is some sadness to it. But there is also relief. There is something very peaceful and wonderful about driving or walking or running (not so much cycling, because of course I’m not extremely fond of biking, and often stop to walk anyway) through an unfamiliar landscape—particularly if it is devoid of power lines and fast food signs and bank buildings, and even farms. I like rivers and mountains and trees. I like rocks and canyons and coyotes. I like thinking, “Did I bring enough water?” and not debating in my mind whether to bring my cellphone or not, because where I am it doesn’t function anyway. I like all these things by myself, without trying to find words to express to my hiking partner, “oh how beautiful that vista is.” Alone, I have no desire or need to describe what I see or how I feel about what I see.

Anyway, what will the coming weeks bring? I don’t know. I have mixed feelings, and I’m in no mood to make plans. I will get where I’m going when I get there, and I will leave some time after. Doesn’t anyone like to wander? Doesn’t anyone go for a run without having a route in mind beforehand? Do other people get the desire to follow a track they see, or even an interesting car on the highway, or an animal, or a smell, or a sound?

I just like to explore… but my time for exploring my thoughts and feelings here has expired. It is time to “explore” my garage and lift some weights, then study.

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