Things to be excited about on a Wednesday

Wednesday is always the worst day of my week.  I’m busy from morning to night with class, work, homework, and clubs.  It’s easy to get pessimistic when they come around.  I’ve been pondering more meaningful posts, but it looks like seriousness is going to have to wait for another day.  Here are some things I’ve been getting excited about lately.

1. The trailer for the new live-action Cinderella

Cinderella has always been one of my favorite fairytales.  From Ever After to Rogers & Hammerstein to the novel Ella Enchanted, I adore a well done adaptation.  I’ve been tracking Disney’s latest live-action fairytale for the past few years and am delighted by the trailer.  I think the casting is absolutely wonderful and cannot wait for March to come along.

2. Thanksgiving is next week

Which means I get to escape small-town Morris for a few days at home with family before the end of semester hell sets in.

3. Mockingjay Part 1 comes out tomorrow

I’m attending the midnight release with some friends tomorrow night and it’s going to be great.

4. My least favorite class is cancelled

Well, technically we still have it, but it’s the kind of class where you’re given a big project and have all of class to work on it.  My professor is gone at a conference, so we are allowed to do our work at home without going in.

5. Shakespeare

In my Grammar & Language class, we have been studying the different stages of the English language.  We’re on the cusp of the Early Modern period and, as I did this week’s reading, I was delighted to find several pages devoted to the beloved playwright.  Like the stereotypical English major that I am, I LOVE Shakespeare.  Whenever he comes up, I automatically become giddy.

6. Scotland

Although I’d REALLY love to, I’m not going any time soon.  But I’ve spent the hour before going to bed curled up with a book that takes place in Scotland, so it’s been fresh on my mind.  It’s a beautiful country, and I’m already looking forward to tonight when I have time to delve back into it through reading.

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Me in the Highlands of Scotland last November.

 

What kind of things are you excited about, readers?

450 Years

On this day, four hundred and fifty years ago, one of the greatest writers to pen in the English language came into the world.  That’s right… I’m talking about Shakespeare.

There’s a lot I can say about my experience with Shakespeare.  I could tell you about reading Romeo & Juliet in ninth grade and the five quizzes per act my teacher forced upon us.  I could tell you about the first time I saw one of his plays live–a production of Macbeth at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis five years ago.  I could tell you about the time I lived in England and got to see a show at the Globe.  Or when I visited Stratford-Upon-Avon, toured his birth home, and cried a river of nerdy English major tears over his grave.

But, instead, I’m going to let the man speak for himself.  Here’s a passage from Hamlet–my favorite Shakespeare play thus far.  It comes from Act 2. Scene II where the title character talks to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.  When I stood in the room the Bard was born in, there was an actor sitting in the rafter reciting these words.  It was so beautiful, so poignant, I was rendered motionless, standing stupidly, unknown emotions pouring through my poor English major heart.  These words, on the surface, don’t appear to be anything special.  They’re not “to be or not to be”, or Macbeth’s “Out, out brief candle”… but in that moment, they were special.  So here they are.

I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation
prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king
and queen moult no feather. I have of late–but
wherefore I know not–lost all my mirth, forgone all
custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
with my disposition that this goodly frame, the
earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not
me…

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Here’s me standing in front of Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-Upon-Avon!

Exiting the In-Between

Existing in transit is odd.

The past nine months of my life have been spent packing and unpacking, shuffling my belongings into boxes, judging which objects are necessary to bring with in bags.  I have constantly been coming and going, never in one place for too long.  Living out of a suitcase gives you a sense of how little you actually need to live on.

All day I have been sorting through the explosion that has been my room for the past three weeks, trying to identify what to bring back to school.  It’s been a long, arduous task and I have yet to try to fit everything into my car.

The thing about life is that it always seems to be hurtling forward and I’m constantly trying to keep up.  I haven’t been sleeping this past week despite my best efforts which include praying, reading, and listening to Shakespeare soliloquies via YouTube.  (The Shakespeare is actually counter-productive.  Instead of dozing off, I just get really excited.)  My mother insists that I haven’t been getting enough exercise, which is ridiculous because my gym attendance is at a record high.  This morning, though, my dad brought up how much my life has changed over the past month.

One month ago I was living in London.  I lived in alone in a little room in a dingy dorm with an odd assortment of eighteen year old British flatmates.  Weekends were spent traveling the country.  Long weekends were spent exploring greater Europe.  In the past month I moved out of the dingy dorm room, guided my mother around my city, said goodbye to all my new friends, toured Paris, said goodbye to beautiful London, and flew home.  Upon arriving at home, I was thrown into a whirl of jet lag, holiday plans, and large family gatherings.

Over the past month I have gone from living in one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities in the world to a little town in rural Minnesota.  Talk about a culture shift!

Tomorrow I move back to Morris, the tiny little town on the prairie where I attend college.  I have half a day to unpack, settle in, and see friends before the onslaught of junior year hits in full force.  In just forty-eight hours, my life will be completely different from it is right now.  I’ll be in a different bed, living with different people, feeding myself.  I’ll go back to working two jobs, striving for good grades, and immersing myself in campus ministry.

As excited as I am about returning to all my friends, I’m also uneasy.  I know where my place used to be in Morris.  But life pushes on.  People come and go, places shift, and I have changed.  I’m not the same person I was when I left nine months ago.  In turn, Morris isn’t the same place either.

My apprehension comes mainly from not knowing where my place will be now.  It would be foolish to expect things to go back to how they used to be.  Life pushes forward, and so must I.  Adapting to the new-normal is essential.  But what is this new normal?  What role will I have?  I know that I have a place.  What will that be?  I have no idea.

I made a post similar to this one on my travel blog where I discussed the concept of nostalgia.

To conclude, I’ve been living in the in-between for a very long time.  Over the past month, my life has changed dramatically.  In a few days, it will change even more.  Change is a complicated thing.  On one hand, it’s incredibly exciting.  On the other, part of you longs for the familiar.  I’ve learned, though, that the weird in-between stages of life is part of growing up.  But there comes a time to leave the in-between behind.  Nine months are a long time to live out of a suitcase.  I think it’s time to pack up my car and settle back into a semblance of a normal life.

It’s time to exit the in-between and embrace the new.