It’s inescapable: we will view our own struggles only relative to our own sense of justice, and our own sense of entitlement. I will never be happy simply because I am not a Syrian refugee, but I will certainly be unhappy despite not being a Syrian refugee.  What I am getting at, here, is that the first month of 2016 has not been easy for me, despite the fact that I can count my blessings and they are many. I don’t want to turn 30 without my dad, I don’t want to be worn down gradually from the beautiful idea of a life into the hard nub from which it once bloomed, I don’t want to learn that everything that is wrong in this world can be broken down into the process of not showing up, not standing up, not paying attention. But of course, in so saying, I have committed to doing all of these things. I will turn 30, I will bend my will towards the disappointing work of the world, and I will become fluent in fallibility.

Although, there is a part of me that finds the death of romance gratifying.

The Concert for World Peace at New Years was quite beautiful, but the meditation with Dharma Punx was disappointing – there are fewer and fewer places left where one can get a nice, secular, crystals-free meditation session in. Plus, it was overcrowded. However, I am taking a class in meditation that is based on research done at Stanford, starting this Sunday, so who knows – perhaps I will become more compassionate and in so doing, be better equipped to base my overall wellness on my many blessings. Finals were easier than I expected – therefore I am only taking two classes in the Spring, and I will endeavor to do extremely well in both of them, rather than doing pretty well in three of them. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like I definitely knocked something out of the park, and it might cheer me up.

I am still feeling optimistic about having delegated the responsibilities of boyfriend-finding to L, and even cautiously optimistic about being able to afford a trip to Austria, Germany, Poland and Lithuania this Summer. I just finished an excellent little tome, by the name of Austerlitz, that H sent me. Next up is the first of a two-volume biography of Matisse.  Perhaps most exciting of all, I have badgered some interesting people into being my pen pals, and so I can hone my letter writing skills.

Today was the first of two days of training at the central library location for new librarians, and I did enjoy meeting everyone. Public librarians are some of the best people to work with because by the criteria of their job are meeting community needs and providing a welcoming space for everyone, so training is all about how to be better people, basically, which is…uplifting and nice, to be working on something meaningful like that with other people.

Classes at NYU start on Monday again. I am taking a class on race and the city, and a class on imperialism and colonization. So, essentially, the Hampshire education I avoided at Hampshire.  The guy who’s teaching the imperialism class is even a Hampshire alum. It’s a bit much, universe, and don’t you think for one second that I didn’t notice!

And Friday of next week, I travel home to Chicago for the weekend. Visiting my old haunts, watering my roots.