Maybe it’s because there is no school today because it’s Labor Day, but this is the best day of school I’ve had so far. I say that it’s the best day of school I’ve had so far not because anything particularly nice has happened today, but because today has offered me a chance to slow down and reflect on all the amazing things that have happened in two weeks of school; today also is giving me the time to look forward to what awaits me in the next few weeks.
I have been blessed to have already made some incredible memories with some of my best friends in two weeks of school. I camped out with Mike at H.E.B. to get A.C.L. tickets on Friday, and since then my life has been an amazing blur of four a.m. nights and eight a.m. mornings. I am finally getting back in the swing of running, and I think that having the opportunity to physically spend myself makes me happy. Of course the endorphins and other physiological factors play a role in the happiness I derive from running, but part of the happiness just comes from knowing that I can run when I want to now.
Another set of events that made me really happy took place on Saturday, when I finally received my textbooks from the Co-op and went to the first Texas game of the year. I had been waiting and stessing on those books for almost a week, seeing as how I’d already had two weeks of class without them. Moreover, it was just the sense that “everyone has their books but me” that was really beginning to erode my optimism. There is a grace period where people shuffle classes around and teachers give leniency, but that period had passed and I still didn’t have my books. So imagine my relief when I desperately went to the Co-op, having given up on receiving the customary email telling me that “my order is in.” I walked down to the bottom of the Co-op and found that my books were all there and ready! Something had just gone wrong with the email, I was told. Regardless, I took them home, stood them all up next to each other, and took in a deep breath of happiness. After that, I went to the UT game without my roomates Sean or Mike, both of whom will be sitting next to me in our seating group for the remainder of the year. I knew I was sitting with a group of fourteen people, but I only knew who three of them were, and without Mike or Sean, I was apprehensive. Turns out, I love the group of people, we had a great time, and I think I made some friends that I will be able to keep. After the game I celebrated with my friends and some of the girls and realized how happy I was to be blessed with such a good group of people to call friends.
Yesterday was brilliant, too. I went on a great run because I was reading a book by Dean Karnazes called Ultra-marathon Man. I already read one of his books, and my dad got me his seminal book for my birthday. He writes so simply and clearly that I absolutely tear through his novels and love every bit of it. I just finished the book, and I have to warn you–don’t read it if you are afraid of being motivated to go do something crazy. I wasn’t afraid, and so after I read it I went on a long, challenging run that really marked my re-entry into the running world. Then I went to Mass and saw some of my good friends from there. After that I went to a coffee place my friend recommended because I really just wanted to read some more and drink some good coffee (the coffee at Dobie is so bad). I liked the place, called “La Tazza Fresca” and I was overjoyed to be able to use my bike for the first time to get there. After that I went to Jackson’s apartment where there was a little party, and got back around three.
I know I started this post talking about how happy I’ve been because of different things that have been happening in my life lately, and if you’re acute you’ll have noticed that all I did was write what I did this weekend, in truncated fashion. I find that I have so many things to count as blessings, that when I try to count them, I micro-focus too much and am unable to examine the breadth of my blessings. That is why this Labor Day is so important for me: I get a whole day to look back on what has seemed like a very long two weeks, and realize just how good I have things at this point.
I’m also looking forward, too, which is something I didn’t do much as a freshman. Things moved so fast last year that I just let them wash over me, experiencing the thrill of the wave as it crashed on me, rather than watch it come into shore. I am looking forward to seeing some of my good friends this Thursday as they come to Austin to watch the N.F.L. premiere with me. Aaron and Trip from my fantasy team both live near San Marcos, and we’re trying to make a tradition of “N.F.L. premiere night;” this time, Nate is coming too! In addition to N.F.L. premiere night, I am also looking to take the next steps with my cooking class at Travis and spending more time there in general. Last week I didn’t go enough at all, just on Monday. On Wednesday I had The Daily Texan tryout (of which, I cancelled my second day) and on Friday I was exhausted and sick from camping at H.E.B. So, this Wednesday I’ll go to Travis and turn in my paper work and begin the long steps of sorting logistics for my class.
I’m also looking forward to Tuesday night Bible Study, because I had such an amazing time last week. That big group of twenty-five guys or so has really become my family, and our relationships are no longer just shallow, surface relationships; we’ve grown together and I love them so much. On Wednesday, I go to my first Bible Study at the U.C.C. which I’m excited about because I’ll get in touch with more Catholic believers. Then, Friday, I have the Plan II retreat from four to nine, and my YoungLife Retreat after that till Saturday afternoon. Then after that is the B.Y.U. game I think? I’m not entirely sure.
And in the midst of all this, I’m biding my time and following in.gredient’s blog, just waiting for opportunities to volunteer and hopefully get hired. Plus, my teacher finally responded that we would, and has, written me a letter of recommendation–turns out he was studying abroud and was a little busy. Tomorrow I am going to turn in my copy of the application and finally finish the process. Oh ya, I’m also taking classes. So far I love them all, even though I’m being bombarded with more reading than I would have thought. I have a mythology quiz tomorrow which I am underprepared for having only gotten my books two days ago. Still, I’m not in college for the grades, and I’m learning a lot.