I have been enjoying my time working in the Campus Involvement Center here at OU. I enjoy the commotion of the office, the people in the office and what I am learning. I'm struggling with not 'knowing' all the answers just yet, but I think I am doing a-okay. The regular secretary is finishing up internship hours for a masters degree in counseling, so I step in when she is out. I have really enjoyed the time I have spent getting to know her when she trained me and I always look forward to our brief passing moments as she leaves and I come in.
I think being around and a part of the activity on campus really has helped with adjusting back to being in Athens. When I worked in Undergraduate Admissions, I spent most of my time in a cubicle staring at computer screens. I rarely spoke with anyone and very much felt like just a temporary grunt worker (which I technically was), but sometimes it's also nice to feel worth while. It doesn't hurt that with my new situation I get to see Matt occasionally, considering it is his office as well. :)
So I have decided to re-enact my graduate application from two years ago for the College Student Personnel Program (Matt's current program). I applied two years ago and was asked to interview weekend but decided to focus on marrying Matt and enjoying a simple life in Port Clinton. Since being at OU I have thought a lot about my desire for grad school and if that was still an option for me. A while back I checked with the graduate school to see if any of my information was still on hand. Turns out my application was put on a deferral status. I believe this means that I would get the opportunity (within a certain amount of time) to start the program without reapplying entirely. However, because of my attention to detail and with my recent name change, I did submit a new application for review. Additionally I wanted to add what I have been doing the last few years in the school system and the experiences I gained from working at OU. The application for the CSP also asks for our choice of desired assistantships (it's the part of the program that is "hands on" and helps pay for the academic portion). I have chosen several and hope to hear back from my desired picks. However, it's all up to them and the graduate school. I look forward to seeing what happens. And if it's not meant to be... then I will be finding something else to do with my time next year! eek.
If all goes well and I am asked to be a part of the incoming CSP class, I think I will find the purpose I am looking for here in Athens. Something to connect to, something to get me excited about and something to better my professional future. I know how much I enjoyed my undergraduate experience and I would love to be able to provide those great experiences for undergraduate students some day as well. So this is the start I guess. I have been thinking a lot about how I feel in Athens. I explained it yesterday to Matt that sometimes I feel like I'm holding my breath. That when I step away from Athens (go home or go out of town), I exhale and a million pounds of 'uncomfortable' goes with it. But why? Why do I make this place so stressful? Is it because I have not found my niche here yet? Or is it because I know it's not permanent and just a fleeting experience? I would hate to think that I am wasting this time. I never want to look back on my years here and wish I had done it better.
So the next two quarters (since our life is organized by quarters and breaks. ha.) will be a time for me to intentionally find something special about this place each day... or maybe I'll start with each week :). Matt and I know we were placed in Athens for a reason, and even when Matt feels overwhelmed and temped to just throw in the towel, he is reminded that we are here for grander reasons than we know. I do look forward to the big reveal... you know, when we find out what this was actually all about. An "Aha!" moment, if you will. And it may not come until we are long gone from this place, but I do believe we will look back and be proud of our first big adventure together. One thing that is sure, Matt and I have never been closer. And you can't get a better gift than that!
In the midst of my 'wondering' Athens moments, I'm remembering that it really is the small things, nail polish included.