Wednesday this week was one of those good days that happen only when the stars are aligned and meteors are showering down around us. I wonder if the meteors had something to do with it. On Tuesday night a group of us went down to Mona to the ponds to watch the meteor shower. We got there before the moon came up so it was pitch black, and we made our way into the water which was surprisingly warm (in spots). I floated on my back in the middle of the pond and saw nothing but stars. It was a little early so we only saw a few meteors while in the water, but it was pretty magical. After we got out of the water we all laid on the ground, freezing cold and huddled together, and watched for more meteors. Then the moon came up and ruined everything.
So Wednesday morning I got an email saying that my department needed more TAs for the fall and asked if I would help out. I had just talked to my mom about moving all my stuff to her house, so it was kind of a big change of plans if I accepted. I would need to get enough hours and a cheap place to live to make it worth it for me. Also, I didn't want to TA for a part-time faculty since I've decided to start "collecting professors", as my friend Kristina calls it. I want to be involved in the department with full time faculty so that I can add to my arsenal of references. So I went up to campus to talk to the department secretary. She gave me a class with a full time professor for 15 hours a week and said she might be able to get my 5 more hours for an evening class. I said, ok.
Then Kristina and I got pizza at one of my favorite pizza places. We came back, ate pizza and then went and talked to some professors. Dr. Sederholm read my first chapter of my thesis and told me that he liked it. And then he spent 15 minutes convincing me that saying he liked it meant a lot, that he doesn't pass of crap. He made me feel like all the work I did this summer was worth something and encouraged me to look for publication opportunities. I needed that reassurance, more than I realized.
When I got home my roommate and I decided to go to the community garden. It was my first time there and I was really upset with myself for not going at all during the summer. Pulling weeds, pruning, harvesting, watering, just being in the garden in the middle of the valley with the big blue sky and the mountains in the distance: it was heaven. I strongly believe that being out in that type of environment and working with your whole body makes people happy, because its healthy. Our souls, our bodies and our spirits, need this type of experience on a regular basis. After being out there for a couple of hours and helping load all the produce up to bring back to people to eat, I felt better about everything, about life, about myself, about my future.
While I was out there an acquaintance of mine mentioned that there were a couple of openings in her house. Since that morning I needed a place to live in Provo, so I was very pleased to learn that the spot was only $225 a month. A steal. I pay $385 now. Later that night I looked at the place and realized it was perfect. It's cheap, it's in a cute house in a nice ward, it's only a block from where I live now and thus still near some of my favorite places and people, and it has loads of off street parking.
After the garden we came back to Alicia's house where seven women all pitched in to help make a leek soup and a peach and blackberry cobbler, with ingredients we had just brought back from the garden. I found it very interesting how so many people could be in such a small kitchen and everyone helping and the whole thing running so smoothly. It also struck me how amazing the people were that I was with. Seven women, all coming from different places and backgrounds and all successful and strong. And all of us were working together with food we had helped create. I felt proud to be in such good company. And then the food was delicious.
I was supposed to go to California this week with my family, and while I'm sure I would have had fun I'm glad that I listened to whatever it was telling me I should stay and sort my life out. My life has the tendency of sorting itself out at times, if I just let it go a little and trust that things will fall into place. They almost always do. I realized when i was going to bed that night just how wonderful the day had been, how I had received so much sustenance from so many different venues, from good people, good places, good food.
I signed the contract today for that house and I feel really good about it. Last summer when I moved into the big empty house I'm living in now I needed so much to be away from people, to have space and time to think. I was living in a house that I loved but that was always open and fully of people almost all times of the day, and so escaping the noise was my number one goal. After living in a big empty house for a year I'm now ready to move in to a place where people are there, coming and going, living. I need to be in that environment again, to feel the pulse of life. I need people and I'm excited for the coming semester. I plan on strengthening the relationships I have now and building new ones. I plan on being more involved in the community and in my department. I plan on preparing myself for a PhD program, and finishing my thesis, and being the most professional and helpful TA that I can be. Apparently my time in Provo is not yet over, and I'm excited for another chance to end it well and feel satisfied with the run I had here.