Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Just Who Is This "Claire" Person, Anyway?

An interesting result of having a blog for spiritual thoughts, feelings, and writings is that I only hint at other things occuring in my life and other contexts of where I am. I'm a firm believer that there is no divide between secular and spiritual - if there were, where then, would I suggest that the spirit was not? However, this does not automatically lead to describing everything going on in my life in a spiritual blog such as this.

Today, partly inspired by some memes over on Amanda's blog, I felt like filling in a few more bits of the "rest" of my life. Needless to say, a lot of this post is not necessarly going to be spiritually inspiring or anything, but will perhaps give a little more insight about my life as it is and has been recently, and perhaps how rapidly it's changing these days. I'd like to point out also that it is by no means comprehensive - not all aspects of my life are covered here, of course. (There's a lot more to it, but this is a start.) So, here goes. Feel free to comment or ask questions or just entirely ignore it, as you see fit.

1 Year Ago:

I was nearing the end of my first trimester of senior year in high school (we had three trimesters rather than two semesters my senior year). I was attending the NC School of Science and Mathematics, a public boarding school 5 minutes from my house and from Durham Friends Meeting (my home meeting), a school with intense academics and a schedule that resembled college more than high school. Being at that school was tough, frustrating, fantastic, and allowed for more opportunities and growth - academically and spiritually - than I ever would've hoped to experience in the two short years I was there.

I believe, actually, that I was about to enter one of those weeks that I look back on with the thought, "If I can get through weeks like that, I can get through anything." It was less than a week before my Early Decision application to Wellesley was due, finals were going to begin in a couple days - including organic chemistry, asian history, and AP calculus with adv. topics; quite a load! This was also around the time where I learned that my SAT score had improved by 140 points, and that I had done very well in a prestigious, national science competition; this was the point where I finally gained some confidence about the possibility getting into college, and started feeling really good about where I was going, academically. However, doing well in this science competition meant that in the next week, on top of finals and my Wellesley application, I had to work with my research partner to prepare a 12 minute presentation on the research project we'd done, and be ready to answer judge's questions - a trip to the regional competition in Georgia was scheduled for right after our finals.

Spiritually, especially with all of this craziness going on, I was quite distracted and unfocused. I had a Pendle Hill clerking workshop to look forward to attending that was a few weeks away - I was to be one of the FGC Gathering high school program clerks in 2005, but other than regular attendance at meeting, spirituality was not in the forefront of my mind. Even so, it'd been a year and a half since I'd stopped attending First Day School (and had been attending the full hour, instead). Earlier in October I'd attended my fourth and final Young Quakes, a national, FGC-sponsored, young Friends gathering, and I yearned to retain the centeredness I usually found at such gatherings once back at home. Usually, though, the glow would wear off, and with it would go my spiritual focus.

I had not yet read a single Quaker book - a thought I now can no longer understand. I have traveled so tremendously far in my spiritually journey since then - and I'd been traveling right along before, too. Many turning points were on my horizon a year ago. Perhaps I'll post on those, soon. I keep encountering more!

1 Month Ago:

It was nearing the end of September, and goodness, it feels like yesterday! (Is it really almost November? This is ridiculous!) I'd been here at Wellesley for a month, and was frustrated by a lack of stress - it sounds odd, I know. (No worries, things have picked up a bit and continue to, slowly.) I had quickly learned that at this point in my life, I don't function very well without a certain amount of stress. A month into college, while taking organic chemistry, I still wanted (and want) to do research, I still loved (and love) chemistry and it's application to biology (biochemistry, really). I had discovered the possibility of being a chemistry tutor in the department, and am still planning on looking into that possibility. I had already started doing some computational chemistry research with one of the chemistry professors (though I'd rather be doing "wet" chemistry, or lab work, rather than just computer modeling). Exploring Boston had proved to be a wonderful experience, and an exciting new level of independence.

Spiritually, as evidenced from some of my earlier September posts, I was still searching for grounding. It wasn't an ungroundedness like I had a year ago; I'm certainly in a different place now than I was then. I just wasn't focused as I felt I wanted to be and needed to be. However, I was beginning to get closer to that groundedness.

1 Week Ago:

I was still chugging along here, academically speaking. A couple tests, a paper, an almost-all-nighter. The sun was out, after over a week of gross rain.

Spiritually, well, see what I posted a week ago and in the last week.. My journey continues.

1 Day Ago:

Monday afternoons and evenings I usually meet with two different groups for organic chemistry, and usually also have to set up for my Tuesday afternoon cell bio lab. I suffered from a bout of complete distraction. For an unreasonable amount of time I was entirely unable to focus on setting up for my bio lab, which I knew wouldn't take that long to do once I actually did it. There are times when I need to bite the bullet and just do something, and there are times when I can't fight the distraction. Don't worry, this isn't a huge issue. I'm not talking about having ADD (which I don't), but about finding the balance between distraction and focus, as everyone needs to do. Last night, the balance was just inconvenient. Yesterday I also got some laundry done, and it was fabulous.

12 Hours Ago:

I was in my cell bio lab, listening to the instructor go slowly through the procedure that I'd read the night before and had made notes about in my lab notebook. Well, actually, I wasn't really listening to the instructor; I was spacing out, thinking about other things in my life. The redundancy of listening to the instructor go over the procedure and theory again was just too much (too boring, unhelpful), as it usually is.

That, my Friends, is all for now.

Love and Light,


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