Fate, finals, more Eat Pray Love, one more DW thing

Looks like I have one final story to cover for the Arizona Daily Wildcat. I’m writing about tonight’s ASUA meeting, and the story will go online. As you know, I pretty much can’t get enough of writing for the Wildcat, it’s becoming a negative obsession being that I’m about to finish college. Oh well, I’m feeling pretty tireless these days and I plan on staying that way forever.

I finished my most difficult final exam this morning, so I’m fairly checked out. I do, however, have a French film final on Thursday, but I’m prepared for that. It’s indescribable to be done with academics “forever.” I’ll miss the school environment, but as I always say, I have the greatest feeling about my future. It’s this nasty, uncertain transition period that has my stomach churning and sleeping patterns in a serious funk.

After the final, I went to Espresso Art to read Eat Pray Love, which is, of course, a memoir. What else do I read these days? The author Elizabeth Gilbert describes her life threatening depression as a result of a bad marriage and not wanting to have kids and live in the suburbs. Basically, she seems like she doesn’t want to subscribe to the normal day-to-day life that is expected of a thirty something. She breaks off the marriage, has a passionate love affair that ends explosively, and decides to travel to Indonesia, India, and Italy to figure herself out.

Anyway, I really love her writing style, and I appreciate that she makes no apologies for her misery, emotional reactions, and self pity. A lot of critics complain that there’s too much whining in this book, but it’s honest. Suffering is relative, and it’s unfair to criticize one person’s complaints as being petty. Everyone’s different, this is something society has to be reminded of.

Read the book if you’re into non-fiction works and personal stories. Out of every non-fiction book I’ve ever read, Gilbert’s voice, in my opinion, is most similar to my own. She’s obviously a much more experienced and talented writer, but we reveal a lot about ourselves in a clear way. Not all non-fiction writers take that route. I do, and Gilbert seems to do the same.

I’m a superstitious person by nature, and to an extent, I believe everything happens for a reason, so you bet I was pleasantly surprised and moved by a brief yet unexpected interaction with a stranger today.

Just before heading to my car, I decided to make a pit stop in the area near the Highland dorms so I could pick up an extra copy of the Wildcat. I’ve been planning on sending some of my writing clips to relatives. Out of nowhere came an old man wearing a sun hat and Gatorade towel draped around his neck. He said he wanted to get a copy of the paper for his granddaughter, and I mentioned that it was the final regular issue of the Wildcat all semester.

Before I walked away, he said with a shaking voice, “Good luck to you. I wish you good things in your life and I hope you keep going.”

I thought this was somewhat of an unusual encounter, mostly because most strangers don’t have those sorts of exchanges, especially at random. Perhaps he recognized me from my weekly column, but I was wearing my bug eyed blue sunglasses as well as a pony tail, so I didn’t look like my newspaper photo at all.

This actually helped me considerably. It was exactly what I needed, mostly because I’ve been having a rough time with graduation/job searching/planning my grown-up life. I just want it to be December because I know I’ll be settled by then, so it’s incredibly scary and stressful to not have a plan right now. Not just that, but there are other situations that I’ve let get to me, and there have definitely been some mishaps this semester that I wish did not go down. Because of this random act of kindness/brief encouragement, I’m able to see the bigger picture and understand that I will have everything in line someday.

Say what you will, but it made me feel better, and that’s really what counts in the end.

Wish me luck at the ASUA meeting, and for the graduation ceremonies this week.

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