Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I have been thinking a lot about support lately. As decision time looms near (and for the record, the official acceptance count is now 2, Washington State and Missouri, with 1st or 2nd place on Washington's alternate list, and Utah's decision coming any day now...) and some other events transpire in my life, it seems to me that I require an abnormally large amount of support these days. It also occurs to me that some very special people in my life have needed more support from me than they probably normally do. As I think about these things, it occurs to me that support is a complex issue. Sometimes we need it, sometimes we give it, sometimes we move along, totally unaware of it. It looks different to different people and even looks different to the same person in different situations.

It's a fairly tricky thing to offer support to someone. Some people want to talk, some people just want to be left alone, knowing that you're there if they need you. Some people like to be asked, "How's it going today?", some people don't (just fyi, I'm usually in the "don't" category -- that question makes me cry and I'm not a big fan of crying in front of other people). Sometimes, a small gesture is appropriate (my old roommate, one of my best friends, used to take me out for a beer or stop by the grocery store for ice cream if she knew I was having a bad day), sometimes a big gesture is even more appropriate. Sometimes just showing up when you're supposed to, where you're supposed to means the world. We don't always know what to do, when to do it, how to do it because support is complicated and it isn't always easy.

What it really boils down to, though, I think, is someone standing beside you when you need them most. Someone who is on your side and who, in that moment, is there only for you. Support can come from anyone - even from within yourself.

In yoga this morning, we were asked to consider the relationships in our lives that mean the most to us and offer up our practice to them. I immediately thought of all of the people in my life who love me, who make me laugh and who stand beside me. Then, I thought of myself. I thought that in that hour, I was going to be on my own side and be there only for myself. I decided to give myself the love and the support that I have been needing and offer my practice to myself. And although it may sound silly or sort of out there, this morning, with the heat of the room wrapped around me, that support was tangible.

Have a very happy Tuesday, everyone. And may each of you find the warmth and the support that you need today, no matter what it looks like, no matter where it comes from.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Hi everyone! Due to a busy (although not terribly stressful yet, which is nice) schedule and a few personal bumps in the road lately, I haven't felt incredibly inspired to write lately. HOWEVER, there is one MAJOR thing going on that I want to share with you all: SCHOOL!!!

I have been preparing to apply and applying to PhD programs for the last 10 months or so. It has been a VERY time, energy, and monetarily intensive process, but in the end I think it has been worth it. I made trips to 4 programs: University of Utah, University of Oregon, University of Washington, and University of Missouri. I also spent countless hours researching different universities and contacting faculty and students at all of the places I was interested in. In the end I applied to the University of Utah, the University of Washington, the University of Missouri, and Washington State. I felt very satisfied with each of those decisions, so much so that I decided if I was only accepted to one of the programs, I would be happy with whichever one it was. I also thought, once I sent off my last application, that I wouldn't have to think about things much until late February or early March, when I was supposed to start hearing from the programs... Things never happen when we think they will, do they?

Last week I made my trip down to Columbia, MO to meet some faculty, check out the city, and just get a general feel for what the program is like. I did NOT expect to come away with the general feeling that I would be receiving an acceptance letter in the mail and a possibility to work on a grant! (I should emphasize here that I haven't received said letter yet, and I don't know anything for sure, but am feeling pretty confident based on conversations that I had.) So, that was pretty exciting, but again, I decided to wait until I started hearing from everyone officially before I put too much thought into decision-making. THEN, this past Saturday and Monday, letters came from two schools! I found out that I am an alternate at the University of Washington, which is pretty stinking good, considering they have a few spots and over a hundred applications every year. I also found out that I have been ACCEPTED to Washington State AND that they have a teaching assistant position to offer me as well!!!! Now I'm waiting on news from Utah and official news from Missouri, and possibly more news from Washington.

It's pretty exciting (and has thrown me a little off-balance as, like I said, I didn't think I was going to have to think about this stuff yet)! I have worked really hard over the last year and a half, not just to make sure I applied to the right places, but also to do well in classes and in the program I am in now. I wanted to put myself in the best possible position to get into a good PhD program, so that I might give myself a chance to compete for a good job when I'm done. As I said earlier, if I am accepted only to Washington State and Missouri, I would be thrilled to be a part of either program and will have a very hard decision on my hands. I don't know what I'm going to decide yet. I'm not really leaning one way or the other. I'm planning to wait until I have four letters (acceptance, alternate, or rejection) in my hands before I start weighing the pros and cons and make a final decision. Once I do, I will be sure to let you know! Until then, thank you all for the encouragement, support, and positive thoughts you have been sending my way ever since I started down this road. It means a lot to have so many people behind me and has certainly helped me push through some of the really stressful (and sometimes even discouraging) times. It has also made the successes even sweeter because I enjoy telling you all that it wasn't for nothing! : )

Hopefully some inspiration for regular posting will return soon. Until then, take care and enjoy the sunny days when we get them!