We’re nearing the end of February, which means that my JV year is more than half over. It’s strange to think that just a year ago, I was stressing out over my senior thesis and how in hell I was going to get 35 pages written by May. In a lot of ways it still feels like that semester just ended, but a lot has changed since then too. I’ve been working on getting a lot of stuff figured out… I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I have anything figured out, but I’ve been putting a lot of thought into it, which is good. I think this JVC thing was a good idea. The program has its flaws (such as a general mild lack of organization and the occasional tendency to baby us), but I also think it provides an opportune environment for you to just chill out and sort through your life, which is a pretty valuable thing to do.
It’s funny, but I feel like I don’t write a whole lot about JVC itself here. Maybe I’ll start trying to do that more. For example: I organized my third Spirituality Night on Monday—we’re supposed to hold Community Night and Spirituality Night each once a week, but we’ve been alternating weeks for a while now just to free up a little of our time. For my first Spirituality Night (back in early September) I tried to do something Ramadan-related because it happened to fall on the first day of Ramadan. For my second one, I stole an idea from Joe at fall retreat: I had each person pick a song that was meaningful to them, and then we went around the room and played our songs and talked about them. This time we decided to check out the free Monday night meditation class at the Women’s Building. It was pretty interesting. The woman who teaches the class is a Buddhist monk, and she offers the classes for free—you could tell how much she loved what she was doing. We had 15 minutes of meditation, maybe 15 minutes of talking about meditation, a short break, and 15 more minutes of meditation. I thought it was pretty cool for just the breathing and the focusing, even though I don’t really buy into all the aura/chakra stuff. I think it would be cool to make kind of a database of different spirituality night ideas for JVC, because when I’m drawing a blank and run Google searches on these kinds of things I come up empty-handed.
Sometimes I want to go back to Buffalo after JVC, sometimes I want to stay here, and sometimes I want to go Boston or Ireland or India. Sometimes I want to get a job, sometimes I want to go back to school, and sometimes I just want to wander. Mostly what I want is stories. This is the time in my life when I’m supposed to be amassing stories that I can tell when I’m older. And stories, I think, are usually something that comes to you whenever the time is right—in the meantime, I guess I learn the art of waiting.
There are times when I feel both old and young at once: there is a part of me that’s fifteen and there’s a part of me that’s fifty. On the subway this morning I could feel them both sitting there silently, watching me through my own skin as the stops slid by. For one I am the future, and for the other I am the past. This is a unique moment in my life and a unique moment in history, and I want to be present in it. I feel like reality is more real to me sometimes if I look at it from a perspective that is not my own—if I think of myself as that fifty-year-old woman thinking back on this moment that she experienced so many years ago, or as the fifteen-year-old trying to picture where she’ll end up in seven years. This is what I am, this is where I am, and this is the only reality there is. Now is the only time that this moment has ever been and ever will be. Isn’t it amazing to exist?