When I was in my teens, maybe even into my 20s, maybe even beyond that, at every wedding I went to, I wanted to be a bridesmaid, to wear a pretty dress, to carry a bouquet of flowers. I never was, not until this weekend when I became a maid of honor at the ripe old age of 46. The bouquet was pretty, I was glad to support my friend, but somehow the experience wasn’t quite as exciting as what I had imagined at 17.
I got to see a few friends; I didn’t have a lot of time to try to see everyone. I also didn’t have the energy. I had breakfast with one last friend that last day before going home. I took some anxiety medication at breakfast. I think I might have almost shed a few tears in the airport. I knew when I moved out here that it might take a while to adjust, to make friends, to feel at home, but somehow I thought it would be easier than it is.
Last year was so hard, and I am dreading this academic year because of it. It’s got to get better, except that a wise person knows that things can always get worse. I will keep putting one foot in front of another. I won’t promise to do my best, because I don’t think any of us knows what that really is — if you do your best with one thing, in particular, it would be impossible to do it with at another at the same time.
I can promise to make an honorable effort at the things I am charged with. I will hope to start to feel like I belong, and like I am making a positive difference here.
One thing I try to teach my students about is grit — how to hang in there with a difficult problem, rather than giving up. This is my opportunity to have some grit.
Maybe some gratitude would help too. I will have to make a list for myself this day, and maybe try to make lists of the things I am grateful for more regularly too.