Intro: More Unnecessary Writing, This Week So Far
These are just an overlong reflection of thoughts so far. It's possible it might be a confused reflection. I'm entering into a state of mild oblivion, zoning out, of sorts right now and everything seems fuzzy and unclear. Hopefully that'll make more sense from below.
Monday: Getting Home Late
Tuesday: A Blur
I went to Lynn lab and graded the last of my EtOH assignments from my students. I'd managed to read one paper and grade all put that last two questions on them in the van on Monday. Submitted grades and emailed them that they were ready. Left at 4:30 p.m.
Got home at 5:30 p.m. Started working on my presentation. Ate dinner. Worked on my presentation until 12:30 a.m.
Wednesday: Being Squeezed from a Toothpaste Tube
Today, I presented in bioorganic. Zed went first. He said he didn't do that great a job on it, so he was sure I'd be fine. Strangely enough, I wasn't that stressed about it. I was just kind of numb - I was stressed - but numb stressed, so it didn't hurt much. And, somehow, I disorganizedly got through the presentation and it was over, praise the Lord. I felt He helped me with it, just like He said He would.
Dr. Weinert talked to me afterward and she didn't act as if I'd done badly and talked about the trip I went on and how it was good sometimes to have other hobbies and get away from science for a while, because your work would always be there. There's always more to do, even if you spend every waking minute on it. So at some point, you have to say - aaaaand, what's the point of all this? It'll still be there on Monday. So don't overdue it.
It was a relief to hear this from her. I worry that if I go on trips, I'll be a disappointment to my professors, because it takes away from my work. So it gave me some extra peace. John is really happy I came with him. He's been telling me a lot how glad he was I came and that I had fun, and he had such a fun time with me there. I'm really glad I went. It was the right thing to do. Dr. Weinert it right. It's how I've come to view things.
With the presentation pressure gone, I discovered something else
After the presentation, I went to be with the Lord for a bit. I had to get out of the lab. I went to the theology building and immediately felt some relief. I just wanted to be totally by myself. Sitting there reading, I realized I was in pain - not a sharp, biting pain - just a very deep, horribly insistent and agonizing, gnawing pain. It felt like I was an extraordinarily dry sponge that was imploding from the inside. I knew why. But I wasn't going to visit the Salaita lab for two reasons:
1) I felt like it would just have made the overwhelming pain worse instead of better.
2) I felt like it was a short cut I wasn't supposed to take, and that I just needed to wait on the Lord to supply what I needed.
That's just what I felt like. I was kind of going off of instinct at the time - in a confused daze. I asked the Lord to take away the pain, but He didn't. He said He'd be with me in it. So, after reading, I went to Rise and Dine and ate the veggie omelette and a croissant - both very tasty.
I clung to the Lord. If I thought of anything else, there was only pain. Clinging to the Lord, at least there was less pain. I felt very tunnel visioned. I asked the Lord to provide strength for me to bear it and texted Esther the same. "I need extra strength." I wondered - why am I in pain? I felt like, if I followed the Lord better, maybe I wouldn't be. Did I do something wrong? I must have done something wrong. I have no idea what. I asked the Lord to show me what I should do better or what I had done wrong, because I was confused. As I said, I was kind of in a dazed and confused state. I could have survived like this a long time if I had had to. It just hurt continuously.
And then I walked into the building from lunch and saw - Daniel, Kevin, Erin and Yuan. It looked like a little oasis in the desert, to me. I grabbed Yuan in a hug, like I was clinging to a life raft, and teared up. Fortunately she didn't notice. They said they were going to eat with the speaker. I had completely forgotten the speaker. When they said this, I recalled seeing it on the calendar last week and making note that I wanted to go.
It was literally impossible for me not to go also, whether I had eaten lunch or not. They were like fly paper to me. I hope it wasn't a test - because if so - I failed utterly. I'm thinking though actually, it was probably the Lord providing me what I needed.
I didn't say anything at all really during the lunch. They decided on Doc Chey's. I just got a coke there. Kevin was his usual amusing self, which was really comforting. I told Daniel about the Convergence army and he said yeah, he knew - I assume from Facebook - and he seemed kind of annoyed, which made me feel badly. He's also interested in Convergence and is probably annoyed that I got a whole army for free and he doesn't have one yet.
I just sat and listened to the conversations and absorbed - what exactly? - I don't know - but I absorbed a lot of strength from listening to and being near them. It was perfect that I could just sit there with them for nearly a whole hour. Much better than just merely visiting - which wouldn't have helped. The gnawing pain subsided significantly. I felt so much better afterward. And the speaker said interesting things. It's always interesting to me what they say.
The Seminar and the Defense
Afterward, I went and read a paper about peptide nanotubes. Kathryn and Alisandra were getting coffee, but I declined, since I'd already spent much too long at lunch. Then, there was the seminar.
I'm glad that the Lord strengthened me during the speaker lunch, because I might have died otherwise. Seeing Khalid was 5x more painful than my previous pain. It's not because I dislike him - the opposite - he's the one person I'd most prefer to be around, but can't, and would most like to talk to, but can't. Having him nearby but unable to interact, especially since I hadn't seen him in forever, was suffocating. The longer time away the worse it is.
Plus, if I ever don't see him for a long time, I then suddenly wonder if maybe - somehow - I've vicariously offended him and he's suddenly decided he hates me. This is incredibly stupid. But it terrifies me nearly every time. And then sometimes, he'll look stressed, which will also scare me and I'll wonder if it's my fault, and will try to figure out what I could have done or why he looks stressed - and if so, how could I help, but I generally can't. I also know I shouldn't worry about that because there's nothing I can do. I realize it's from the enemy - but somehow knowing doesn't always help - it still takes an incredible amount of energy to refute these fears. I have to remember to ask the Lord more to help me with that. I've found that when I remember to ask, He does help.
So, in the end, I felt really weird. Who knew one could have such peace and also be in pain at the same time? It didn't hinder my listening to the speaker either - for the most part - except when occasionally, I thought I might be fading out in a faint due to the energy drain. I've been really tired anyway.
Dr. Lynn told me that Noel was having his second year report after this. I was SO mad I'd forgotten about it. I almost forgot about Kornelia's. I'm forgetting everything these days. But fortunately, since he told me, I didn't miss it. Dr. Lynn is actually nice. I feel badly that my last post sounds as if I think he's mean, but I don't. And he cares about his students. I don't have any animosity toward him. But I still think what I think.
I'm really glad Khalid talked to us after the seminar, because it helped nullify my fear that he hated me. And I stopped suffocating as much and could finally breath, stress diffusing away. It wasn't long enough to completely get rid of stress, but much of it. Then, being around him was comforting instead. So, Noel's defense was comforting. Also fascinating. I could think so much better than the last time I tried to listen to what he was saying and actually thought of some questions. I had a question there at the very end but I couldn't formulate it fast enough. I was impressed with him. I wasn't sure initially that he knew all his stuff - but he fielded questions very well. I wasn't going to ask him any - but when I saw how well he was fielding them I felt less badly about it and couldn't resist because I was curious about some of it.
Lab meeting was tiring. I didn't understand anything the first guy said. My brain was like - noooo. I ate some of the cake but none of the pasta. Yes, there is always pasta. However, Fish gave the second talk, and I found that fascinating. I actually listened to most of it and asked a LOT of stuff. People must have wondered what suddenly happened to me.
Rolando said I looked depressed after we left. I said no, I was just exhausted. Which is true. The day was thoroughly exhausting. But, I felt remarkably less in pain - just drained to the bone. The Lord strengthened me. I'm incredibly grateful for this. I'll pray He somehow creates chances for me to see Salaita lab people so I'm not in as much in pain. He has to provide that and/or the time. I can't exactly seek it out - it doesn't work like that.
Conclusion: so this is life for a while - it'll still be mostly fun - just hard, some days harder, and tiring
Currently, I'm tired, and I don't see anything changing any time soon. I'll still enjoy my work and all that. But I'll be so happy when this is all over. Some days are better than others - but mostly - I feel like I'm entering this zoned out tunnel of darkness / pain that's pressing in on me constantly. It seems never ending. The only thing I can do is cling to the Lord. That's what He wants. I think He's using all this to show me how to more perfectly make Him my source, by taking all other supports away.
Yesterday, when I was praying, I saw a perfect image of that in my mind of what He was saying - it's hard to explain, but I'll try. He wants me to cling to Him - while I go through this tunnel of intense, painful pressure - like, a storm of darkness around me - but His hand was covering me protectively, in it. And, there's light at the end of the tunnel, though I can't see it. Eventually - at some seemingly far, far away time - it will end - and the pressure/pain will be gone. I long for that day. But until then, I feel like, all I can see is the work in front of my face and everything else is just looking to the Lord in a haze of pain, that is sometimes much less and sometimes overwhelming, like today. I hope some day, after I join the Salaita lab, there can be some opportunity for me to plop down next to Khalid and listen to him for 3 hrs. Or 6. Or 10. That would be great. And, then I can always talk to him any time I want and follow him around, which will be such a relief.
*sigh* I don't understand why I'm this way and most everyone else I know isn't at all - except, my mom. She's also like this - very attached to people, places and home. I feel badly that I'm so apparently weak. Almost nobody understands it. But, I wouldn't change it. I love the people I love and wouldn't want to be any different.
James's new job
James called me and told me all kinds of awesome stuff! He got a job recently - the Lord answered His prayers for that. It's a contractual thing for now. He's working for a non-profit organization helping them with their website - creating links and such. However, he did everything they hired him for until Dec. 31st in one day. Now he's trying to figure out what else to do. He said he started doing things they talked about that they wanted, but didn't tell him to do - which is fixing the broken links. He found four pages worth and he's not even done. He said he fixed half of them today. He told his boss he thinks he can fix the entire rest of their website links tomorrow - maybe a bit ambitious - but he really thinks he can do it.
He says they talk about him like he's a computer genius and think he's amazing - and I was like - JAMES! THAT'S BECAUSE YOU ARE!! I'm SO happy James finally is "in his zone." He's always been down on himself, like he's a no-gooder, but he's actually REALLY smart. He just prefers to be lazy. But, when confronted with something he loves, like computers - oh man - it's great to see him go-to-town. It made me really happy. The Lord is throwing all kinds of blessings our way it seems.
Randomness About Introversion/Extroversion
Signs you may be an introvert
- You often dread going to an event where there will be a lot of people
- You relish the time you have alone, sneaking off to take a bath or go for a walk
- You prefer to sit back and observe
- Your inner world is rich
- You enjoy spending time by yourself
- You dislike small talk (yes, if it's with strangers; no, if it's with favorite people)
- You enjoy discussing your favorite topics with others
- You tend to tune out when someone you don’t know well is giving you their entire life history (No. I've unlearned this, because it's not what the Lord wants.)
- You need to get out for walks during work to take a break from all the people
- You like people, you just need them in smaller doses
- You prefer to spend time with friends one-on-one, or in very small groups
- You dreaded your wedding reception (all those people to talk to)
- You have a few close friends rather than many acquaintances
- You are often stressed by being in a group of people
- You listen more than you talk
- You enjoy solitary activities like reading
- You need a space of your own where you can go and shut the door
- You get crabby after spending a lot of time around other people
- You are humiliated if you think you made a mistake in public
- You don’t easily share your feelings with others
- You like creative and imaginative activities
- You don’t like to talk to strangers
- You may or may not be shy (I'm not anymore.)