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Scattered Thoughts

I feel as though since Christmas break, I have been turning over a new leaf in my life. I once again take great pleasure in walking through town. Why, just tonight I watched a group of youth having a snowball fight down in the parking lot a hundred feet below. What delight it brought me, seeing this innocence at play!

This is a small and trivial example, so let me explain in a little greater detail.

From my previous posts, you might have been able to tell that I had been going through some depressive stages. I carried these brooding thoughts with me back to Kansas, but, through a tightly-budgeted schedule, kept myself too busy to have many negative thoughts.

I especially enjoyed seeing my old professor, Tash. Around him, I feel as though someone really takes an interest in the things I take interest in. I feel like he "gets" me.

I also visited my second mother, Marci, and several of her offspring. What a delightful visit! I even just laughed when they began making their silly jokes about liberals. I didn't mind. I was just glad to be with people that had a history with me.

At my Uncle's Christmas Eve party, I saw some classmates for the first time since high school. One of them asked me, "So what are you doing these days? You're in seminary, right?" The thought! This guy's last impression of me was so vastly different from who I am now that - well, I didn't even bother explaining to him that I had been an atheist for the last three years. I just laughed and said, "No no no. No. I'm working with a nonprofit agency right now in Kansas City. I'm about to go into the peace corps in August."

I got to visit many old friends from high school and college both. It was a nice refresher for me - a reminder of where I had come from, what I had been working through all my life up to this point. Perhaps one day I'll visit with my fellow team leaders and reflect on the person I am today.

The most momentous part of Christmas break was traveling up to South Dakota with my grampuh, Uncle Zachary, and my cousin, China. We went to the Black Hills, a place I am well acquainted with, to visit my Aunt and Uncle and their family. Away from my computer and with barely a bar of reception for my phone, I was pretty well cut off from the goings-on of the rest of the world.

I suppose visiting all of these people made me aware of my existence in a different way. I had almost forgotten that I am somebody to other people. My existence has a lot of meaning, especially in relation to others' existence. I needed this reminder. Also, I had a great discussion with my Uncle Zachary that inspired me to take my last 7 months in Kansas City more seriously.

When I came back, I immediately made some changes. I've been waking up earlier; I've stopped checking  personal email at work; I've cracked down on my eating (except for a few times - damn you pizza parties!). Coffee seems to be a new, regular part of my life. I don't quite know how I feel about that yet, but it's seemed so far to work a positive change in my mood.

With all of this, I've finally mailed in all of my peace corps paperwork, sans my extraction paperwork. But over the break, I asked a family member with dentist connections in Kansas City for a favor, and she's been working on something for me. Everything is coming up Deric lately.

In the spirit of turning over a new leaf, I've also completely rearranged my apartment. I know, with only one large room, it's hard to be too creative, but I managed to sort of split it up into two areas. More importantly, I've split it up so that it encourages reading and exercise and discourages dawdling at my computer.

I'm flossing daily.

I'm reading more.

I've been going outside more often, and other places - the museum, the bookstore, the symphony.

I won't say that I have no more sad moments - I do. But I definitely feel different. I feel better, and I think the feeling is here to stay. With more confidence in my emotions, I will improve more and more, and I will love myself more and more as that happens.

Oh, one last note - I feel like, for the first time, really, I'm moving past my last breakup. Maybe that is the single most important factor in this whole shift.

On a side note, I know I've promised a video for quite some time. The truth is, I haven't been able to motivate myself to edit the pieces of footage I've taken together into something coherent. I'll get around to it, I promise.
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