“What do you mean?” you may be asking yourself. Allow me to explain.
This really all begins with a belief that a lot of people who meet me seem to have. They tell me, “Mari, you really have your shit together.” Well, first of all, thank you very much. You have been a great reassurance to me and my insecure need to seem like my life fits into a neat little box. But of course things are more complicated than that. And since I can’t seem to shake this false image of general invulnerability (and also because I think I scare people off), I thought I’d take some time to share with you all exactly how not-together I am. Because let’s face it, nobody is really that “together.”
First of all, I don’t get all of my reading assignments done. I realize that this is an expected byproduct of being in grad school and also being human, but it bears mentioning. I also sometimes finish assignments the night before, or occasionally right before class. I don’t always give myself enough time to print papers, and so I’m often late to classes on days when papers are due.
Speaking of which, I am also not always on time for things. I go to sleep late, then wake up late, and barely have time to shower and get dressed before I’m rushing out the door. I end up buying food and coffee instead of making them at home, which means I’m pretty constantly broke. While I’m usually pretty good with finances, I’ve been lax about it lately, which has caused problems in my general life stability. This in turn makes me cranky. I feel rushed and tired all the time. I don’t take the time to properly care for myself. My room is a mess, and my bonsai tree is dying because I haven’t had the time to figure out what the hell is wrong with it (or so I tell myself).
I’m also emotional, in a sometimes destructive way. I’ve been known to get angry for no reason. Usually there is a reason, but I’m more angry about it than is warranted. I tend to blame people for things, even when it’s really my own damn shit that I need to work through. I also don’t know how to express gratitude. I don’t expect people to appreciate me, and when they do, I become awkward. I often turn bright red when people’s attention is unexpectedly focused on me.
Which is probably why I’m writing a blog instead of saying all this in class.
And speaking of class, I talk too much. Yes, I will be the first to admit this. I’m sure part of this has to do with not really being heard when I was younger, but whatever the cause, I still end up talking disproportionately more than most other people that I meet. Think about it this way: if you consider how much I talk in class, and how much I talk when I run into you, AND the fact that I have a blog in which I can just rant about whatever the hell I want to anyone who will listen for no real reason other than personal enjoyment, you will get the idea. Thankfully, my partner talks a lot too. We have lots of drawn out conversations in which both of us cut each other off and then get upset when it happens to us, and ultimately realize we’re both incredibly lucky to have the other around.
So that’s a start. I could probably go on for a very long time, but I’ll cut it off here. You may be wondering how this relates back to Naropa. Well, I’ll tell you. Naropa points these things out. Not overtly, but it does. Mostly it helps me notice these things about myself, and work on them. And as someone who puts off this affect of “togetherness,” I really need that. I need an external force to point out my flaws. Because let’s face it, I’m bullheaded and I don’t always slow myself down when it’s warranted. But the longer I’m here, the more I start to notice these things without other people pointing them out, and the more I progress. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Naropa teaches me to be a little less hard on myself for all of this. It shows me that we all make mistakes, and that there’s wisdom in anger, and that I don’t have to take myself so seriously all the time.
So I’ll admit it to everyone. My name is Mari, and I’m a Naropaholic.
Thankfully, this sort of “addiction” seems to be helping rather than hurting my spiritual, emotional, and intellectual growth. So I think I’ll keep at it for a while, and see where it takes me.