Passed Another Semester

Yesterday, my mother took her last final for the semester. It was her math class. She thinks she did extremely well on it, which means that she should complete the course with a solid A. Combine that with the B she got in Nursing for the semester, and her semester should be considered nothing less than a smashing success.

I’ve enjoyed listening to her talk about the semester the last few days. Since she found out her final grade for Nursing, she has had this certain sense of pride about her. She realized just how well all her hard work she’s put into her schooling since January has really paid off. And to be honest, I’m more than a little proud of her, too.

I’m looking forward to attending her pinning ceremony next Friday. This is the ceremony where all of the instructors pronounce the first year Nursing students who passed as sophomores. They’re each given a small pin to recognize their success in their first year. And considering the level of difficulty of the course, it’s a success that deserves much celebration.

Of course, I think that Mom’s also more than a little surprised. Along with her pride, I often hear more than a smidgeon of amazement in Mom’s voice. After failing the same semester last year, I think she was truly discouraged and worried about her chances of succeeding. She was afraid she couldn’t make it. And now that she has not only made it, but excelled in the process, she’s amazed.

Of course, that’s the difference between Mom and I. I’m not amazed at all. I’ve known all along she could do it. I know the intelligence and abilities of my parents — probably more than either of them know these things for themselves. Mom’s often talked about how their kids are “smarter” than they are, but I’ve always known better. I’ve known my parents were just as smart as my sister and I. Stephanie and I just happened to have better opportunities to develop our intelligence in the classic, obvious ways. We had opportunities to go to school and get involved in formal programs. I in particular learned to apply my intelligence directly to the academic world.

Before Mom went to school, she’s never had the chance to test or develop her inherent intelligence in that same way, so she always assumed she wasn’t “smart.” Well, now that she’s going through school — and learning to apply her intelligence rather than letting anxiety and self-doubt overcome her –she’s starting to discover that she was wrong all along. And I like seeing her face as she makes that discovery.

There’s something precious about having such an experience when it involves your parent. It’s a sense of turnabout, to be honest with you. I see a woman who has encouraged and supported me all of my life, and now I get the satisfaction of returning that favor to her. It’s nice to see the person who helped you to grow up and fly find her own wings in return. It’s nicer still to have a small part in that process.

Beginnings

Beginning things is usually the hardest part of any endeavor. Finding the “first” is the most tricky. This is mainly because it seems like such a daunting task. Finding the first word in an entry, the first entry of a new blog, or the first thing to say to that cute guy across the room that you’re practially drooling over can seem fearsome.

I think this is mainly because we realize that much of any endeavor is overshadowed and defined by that first step we take. It is that first step which sets us out on a solid path or leads us into the mirky depths of a morass — or worse, the rubble-strewn path that leads to destruction. But perhaps I’m being a bit melodramatic with that last part. It’s entirely possible. I’ve never denied my love for a bit of melodrama. (Denying such a thing would be a dangerous thing to do.)

But in this case, my melodrama serves a purpose. I think we often do see things that way, which is why we fear beginning anything. We see those first steps not just as something which will overshadow the further endeavor, but as something which fatalistically determines the final result of the entire endeavor. We tend to see the “false step” as the harbringer of inevitable annihilation. And it is up to us to realize the falsehood in this.

The false step, while it may have some negative and lasting effect, is not the end of the world. Instead, it is merely a step which needs to be corrected for. Once we step into the murky swamp, we must realize it and seek a course that will take us back to more solid ground. But at least we are already moving. Even a brief walk down the supposed “path of destruction,” is better than being frozen at the crossroads unable to make any move out of fear.

It is with these thoughts that I open this new blog. It’s the reason I worked to get it up so quickly. When I originally started looking at setting it up, I started looking for skins and designs to have set up. I almost made the error of letting my search of the “perfect setup” stop me from action. It was only when I got thinking about it that I accepted that instead, I should simply get the blog rolling. Now that I am making this post, I can turn my attention elsewhere. I can now start the research and study I want to do in order to make a more personal design. But I can do this knowing that the real work of the blog — the writing — has already begun.

The thoughts of a gay witch living in upstate New York.

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