22 July 2010

Keepin' on, and keepin' on... summer

My days of shipping out are long since over-- now, I just move to a new place-- but it seems that moving has a lot in common with the times in the past when I've changed stations.

That's not necessarily a good thing.

I'll admit to being a bit of a pack rat, so I've been finding a lot of things randomly stored among the stuff in my apartment, or in my basement storage locker.  Letters from home received during basic training, or while deployed.  Things from high school and earlier.  Old bills, military paperwork... an old computer.  Things with memories attached, some wanted and desired, others not so much.  I find it interesting what isn't there, sometimes-- there are entire blocks of my life that aren't represented in my collection of stuff.

That's not necessarily a bad thing.

I'm having a rough summer.  Now that the rush of dealing with spring semester is over, all I really have going on is work.  Full time college has been hard on physical fitness for me, so I haven't been able to do some of the things I did last summer; it's hard to keep up with active and fit people when you're not so much.  Money has been tighter this year, again making it harder to keep up with people who have full time jobs (that make taking several trips a summer possible).  And, most of the people I normally interact with on campus are gone or busy for the summer.

PTSD--- the tendency to withdraw, and to not trust people-- added to my academic troubles, added to the change in social structure that came with becoming a full time student, they all add up.  It is quieter on a university campus in summer, people do see you a little different when you're a 40+ year old college student.  What might be a welcome change for many people is a serious concern for someone with PTSD.   Feelings like being a little lonely, a little isolated, a little frustrated... these things are magnified.  Peace and happiness are fragile things, easily and often shattered, even by every day circumstance.  It doesn't take much.

I am making progress getting ready to move.  Lots of things wrapped and put in boxes, a few things thrown away, a few things left to sort out.  I'm trying to be packed up and basically ready to go by the end of this month, even though moving day isn't until the middle of next month.  It feels overwhelming, sometimes... all of these boxes packed, and it doesn't look like I've accomplished much-- but it's a process.  As boxes get moved downstairs, it'll start to look empty.  As it starts to look empty, it'll look.... empty

The most important thing, I think, is that while things feel less than perfect now, they're going to change.  A new place offers a chance to rearrange, set things up differently, optimize for the new situation.  When I moved here, it was mostly a matter of having a decent place to live.  This time moving, it's setting up a place to live that supports my life as a student.  It's something I've never had the chance to do properly, and I'm looking forward to getting started.

So maybe this summer isn't the One Crazy Summer... maybe things aren't perfect...  but that only means that things will be better.  A new semester is coming, with new tools and new methods and (some) new classes....  and, maybe a rental of an old movie before that new semester starts.

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