Thesis Update: Letting Go Part II

I’m about done with this thesis and I’m getting tired of it so it’s about time. Today I dropped by the Classics department to see old theses so I could get a sense of formatting and stuff. It’s crazy to think that in a few days I’ll be done with my thesis! So exciting! In a way, it’s scary though. I was telling a few friends today, I get this feeling as I revise and edit that there will never come a point where I feel like I’ve finished. It just looks like a bunch of unfinished pages to me. Even as I was writing my conclusion, I felt like there was much more I could/should say. I hope my readers don’t get that sense when they read it too.

I also really hope that I can keep putting God first with this. I just really want my work to be a reflection of Him. Like, seriously. That’s my biggest prayer.

About a month ago, I wrote a thesis update entitled “Letting Go” . It was a pretty sad post about letting go of Princeton and friendships and other things. Really interesting stuff. But today I want to write about the opposite. I want to let go of myself.

That doesn’t make sense, I know. Also, the backstory would take a long time to write so I’ll do the sparknotes version starting from my junior year of high school. Junior spring I visited Johns Hopkins and fell in love with it. I wanted to go there for college and be a cool doctor like House, and be successful and have a great life. Senior year came, I applied and got in but the financial aid wasn’t good and I ended up going to Princeton.

Senior spring I went to Princeton Preview, came back, couldn’t hear and was eventually diagnosed with MS sometime before graduation. I remember being on an IV for three days right up until graduation. That’s one of my most distinct memories of the spring of ’09.

That summer was not cool. I went to France (yay!) then did a summer program at Princeton. I remember going to the doctor soooooo much. It wasn’t great. Somehow, I managed to do fairly well in both of my classes but I’m pretty sure those classes were much easier than anything in the world.

Got to Princeton, somehow got hooked up with a PFA BC, made a lot of friends, became “cool” (don’t know how that happened), got decent grades, and basically got almost everything I wanted (even to a fault). There were some hiccups along the way – Fall break ’09 and Math 104 come to mind – but generally I shouldn’t complain because my life has been better than I deserve.

And yet, this year has been one huge complaint. It’s been me complaining and throwing tantrums and just being an unattractive person to be around. Seriously, with all the ridiculousness my life has been this year, I can’t understand why anyone would want to be around me. I’ve proven to be flaky, unhelpful, distant, sometimes neglectful, distrustful, self-sabotaging, and at times callous, all while being a little too hard on myself. I’m basically a walking contradiction.

And the other day as I lay on my bed with my two closest friends in the next room over, I couldn’t help but shed a tear when God convicted me of how selfish I am/have been. Because when I applied to those schools as a teenager, I never for a moment thought I wouldn’t get in. And when I got into schools, I didn’t care about how I’d live out my faith on campus. When I made all those friends I didn’t worry much about what I could give to them, only how they made me happy. And when I think about my life there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to know people are happy without me.

So I want to let go of my selfishness and self-centeredness. I want to let go of my pride and arrogance. Because I don’t want to be anyone’s god, especially my own. I think that’s what I’ve learned from the year. When I’ve put trust in myself and my abilities and my relationships, I’ve fallen so short. I can’t meet my own expectations of a self-sufficient person. I thought I could because I’ve been trying for so long but I’ve also been failing, I just didn’t realize it. What I have realized is that I can’t be the best at anything without being lifted up on someone else’s wings. I can’t be anyone’s best friend, I can’t be the best student, I can’t be the best daughter or sister, I can’t be the best writer, or guitar player, or singer, without God. Or better yet, without giving God my best.

And that’s where I’ve fallen short so many times. So I’m letting go so I can do this.

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