Netflix, the Holy Spirit, and my Husband
Long hours of work, late nights, early mornings, too many hours sitting, less time working out, less yoga, little laundry doing, less cooking, and many tears, and not as many hours sleeping have characterized my first few weeks of marriage, all because of school. In that same vein, I have felt more support and care from my husband that I’ve experienced since our engagement. Sometimes I’ve joked that my school feels like our “kid” — the amount of near sleepless nights I’ve given it, the fewer meals I’ve eaten because of it, the personal humiliation and frustrations I’ve experienced from it. It is both good and difficult. Any language student will tell you that learning a language even feels like childcare at times. Sometimes you’re not sure if you’re the child or the language is the child.
Possibly every single day in this month of March so far, I’ve asked Campbell: “Campbell, I can’t believe I’m asking this but can I drop out of school? I really want to. Maybe I can do an internship, or start a small business. But anything, anything but this craziness.” And before I can even finish that sentence, he lovingly hugs and shushes me and says “No, you should stay. It’s good for you. You really do like it, even if it doesn’t feel like it. I promise you do.” I tell him those feelings are old. That I’m done. I quit. I just want to get more field experience. That I deeply miss missions, I want C and I to travel more, I want to perfect my Spanish. My to do list is endless. Somewhere in my past life I used to oil paint. Now my easel and beautiful paints are in a backpack in in our spare bedroom closet. I genuinely ask myself, “What happened? How has school changed me this much? I thought I used to love school. How can this much change be good?”
I’m not attempting to tell you in this post to tell you something you already know, or even direct you to do or not do something. Most average orthodox Christians reading this probably already know that good things are hard, school is hard (specifically undergrad, not to mentions any further schooling), and that being married while participating in all these things is just asking for difficulties upon difficulties.
But you know what? I’ll tell you what I try to tell myself as often as these frustrations arise. When my Latin is hard, and I get another bad grade on a quiz I spent days studying for, I tell myself: I could be taking Hebrew or Greek. When work is hard: I could be working more hours in the week. When I feel like I don’t see Campbell enough, I say: I could see my husband even less *shudders*. When I wish that I could paint more, I tell myself: you do create, on the Torrey Gazette and in your papers for school. I could be surviving this semester without Season 3 of House of Cards, or worse (thanks heavens this DID NOT HAPPEN) Campbell and I could have kept our original wedding date (the week after he graduates this May) and I would have to go through all this while we aren’t married. Shoot me now.
School is completely different than anything it’s been before, and that sucks. I can’t even say for sure (at this point in my life) that it’s even worth it from an academic standpoint… though if I had to lean one way or the other, I’d learn towards a yes. And I’d lean towards the fact I need to be here, at this school, at this time in my life, learning the good things I’m learning and reading the good things I’m reading, even though it’s hard sometimes.
So, yes, things are hard now. But isn’t this why God gave us things like Netflix and the Holy Spirit? To help us through these times? Claire Underwood to humble me in all her glorious grey scale perfection, Kimmy Schmidt to remind me that females truly are strong as hell, and the Bluth family to remind me I’m not actually going insane. They remind me to stay strong, of who I am and what I’m not, and to push through this craziness, one assignment at a time.