Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Trouble with September

At last, I've reached the end of that trying month, September. Even with the blessings it brought (beautiful new granddaughter!), September was overwhelming, like a tsunami I was trying to surf.

I don't know how well I did, but at least I am still here.

We are entirely moved out of the house, which was a chore so monumental I can hardly describe it. It was more than just a move; it was a complete reconfiguration of a family. What was once a family is now fragmented, its members and their many possessions scattered in several directions.

It was more emotional than I expected, stranger, more difficult, more full of surprises.

A defining moment: My son's things all boxed up, my ex-husband's things loaded on a trailer and the house cleaned, it was time to say goodbye to my cat, Paris, who was about to be loaded into his carrier to go home with my ex.

I sat on the porch steps, with my great big cat in my arms and soaked his sleek black fur with tears, while Paris purred patiently, unaware it was goodbye.

This pain is Novocaine-numb and as mysterious as an iceberg; I don't even want to know what's under the surface.

On the bright side, my son is staying with me after all, so it turns out we're not as fragmented as it seemed. And the new apartment is coming together like a work of art; the final product will be a home. I'm comfortable already. And now that I'm finally online, work and school will be easier.

I am engaged in an epic battle with the flu, valiantly fighting it off, though it won briefly on Monday and is still not conquered yet.

I am afraid to visit my little granddaughter because there have been several confirmed cases of H1N1 on campus. Dammit.

She is 21 days old and I have only seen her once. Send me get-well wishes so I can see her Saturday. I really must see her.

Finally, the other trying thing about September is uncertainty about my chosen career. Teaching academic writing to university freshmen is in sharp contrast to teaching ESL to international students, who were motivated, mature and respectful.

I passionately loved teaching ESL over the summer; ESL is where my heart is. Surprise, surprise. I wish I had known this earlier so I could have added a TESL minor to my master's study.

Usually I have long-range vision about where I want to go and what I want to do, but I can't see beyond December. Finish the thesis, finish grad school.

Lingering heartbreak has me experiencing all these events as if I were watching them through a window on a rainy day. Unfortunately, something has happened to tarnish the golden memories that were supposed to sustain me through this difficult season.


Anonymous said...

Hi K, lotsa thought and hurt feelings seep through your blog all the way to Germany. I can understand every line you wrote so much, although I have no real words of comfort for you, I'll keep on writing. When you wrote about Paris my eyes started to water... and I sniffled through the part of you not teaching ESL for the moment. That you have left your old home, which was more of a having-to-go-through, moving episode in your life in my eyes and the past memories to this unlucky Sweden trip were sure painful, but God not just led you to them experiences, but led you through them as well. No you are a stronger and more aware woman, I'm sure! And look at you: you're comfy in your cozy new home already. You'll get over your flu sooner than you think!! I keep you in my prayers and be assure of my get well wishes for you. Now what's next on your agenda, or let me say on your life plan? You need a new boyfriend my dear, someone's shoulder to lean on, a male figure to confide in and to communicate... and I know he's just around the corner when you'll least expect him. And this time it'll be a good pick! Test him, before you'll fall for him head over heals, girlfriend! Enjoy the fall (season), today it started in Germany... the leaves begin to fall and the colors are unbelievable! My thoughts and warm feelings are with you. Keep me/us posted and keep up the good work (whatever it is...) ;-) (((K.))) R.

Anonymous said...

corrections: memories OF Sweden; NOW you are stronger; head over HEELS; *sigh* one should read one's comments again, before posting *grabbing her own nose* sorry... :(

Indie said...

Yes, R, you understand me perfectly. Paris is going to be happy and totally fine. He is still with his family, just not with me. Saying goodbye to him just suddenly seemed symbolic of saying goodbye to everything, all the hopes and plans, the life we knew.

But life goes on. More adventures are ahead, I'm sure, as soon as I can rally my spirit enough to start dreaming some dreams.

I will be sending you Get Well prayers as well, dear R.

Kristabel said...

Sweet indie, you illustrate your feelings in words so beautifully, and they resonate deeply. My throat and stomach and heart are all aching, but your graceful, albeit difficult, transitions are lovely to read about and filled with hope. You've just helped me more than you know. Thanks. xo

steviewren said...

As I write this comment I'm hoping you are well enough to visit your Granddaughter today. I'm sorry to hear that something has happened to tarnish your memories of better days. As to teaching, hopefully your students will buckle down and stop being babies...remind them high school was mandatory but college is their choice.

Indie said...

Thanks, Stevie. No, today, I am still sick. I will be grading papers all day, but I will get to talk to the kids on the phone and find out every detail I can about how they are all doing.

Kristabel, I'm glad something I wrote helped you. It's not the first time you've told me that. You are very sweet.

kymk said...

coming to this late, as I often am this Fall. The part about Paris made my throat ache. Still, Here's a hug and some hope that you are feeling better and got to be with the new baby.

Anonymous said...

We are raised with the idea that we humans are higher in understanding than (other) animals. I'm not sure that is so true. They aren't verbal, of course, but their ability to perceive and appreciate emotion is sometimes quite remarkable.

That said, I think Paris knew what was going on because he could feel your emotions as you said your goodbye. And think of it. Paris will be living with your ex-husband, someone he has known and whom he has trusted for a long time. He ought to be happy there. And you assured me Paris will be safe because he is a country cat, wise to the ways of wily country predators.

Knowing how you felt about saying goodbye to Paris and knowing he will be with your ex is a great comfort to this member of the Paris Peanut Gallery.

Indie said...

Yes, I agree on all counts. I miss Paris, but I have been assured he seems quite content in his new/old home. Thanks for sharing my care and concern for him!