I don't really have panic attacks. I used to, back-in-the-day--7th grade--but that was mostly the result of a huge adjustment in workload/social groups that took a toll on my emotional well-being. A friend better put in perspective what I've been through in a quotation he left on my facebook profile message board.
"A woman is like a tea bag, you never know how strong she is until you throw her into hot water" E. Roosevelt
At first I didn't really know what to think of it (honestly I found it a little sexist at first, probably because I'm writing a massive paper on feminism at the moment and that's my mindframe), and I wasn't sure why he felt the need to post *that*, of all quotations, on my messageboard, but now I think it really does represent a thing or two regarding my journey thus far in these quickly passing years. Haha. I still can't get over the hint of sexism in it though, but Eleanor Roosevelt said it, so how can I argue it's sexist? I'm not sure I agree with any statement that suggests "you never know how strong a woman is until...." ... in my opinion women daily have struggles that require a great deal of strength to get by... IOW: I don't know why someone would question the strength of women "until" something..
anyway. I'm probably reading it wrong.
At any rate, what this post is really about:
I don't typically have panic attacks, but for whatever reason I've felt this entire day a weird underlying feeling of a panic attack... Feeling like I can't breathe or might pass-out type of situation. It started on the metro (actually felt nauseous/motion-sickness and thought I might have to get off the metro prematurely). I thought it would go away once I got off the metro, but no, once I got in the office it felt more like not being able to fully breathe.. like my lungs are caving in. Heh. And I don't feel like eating anything (which honestly probably just aggravates the situation, because I feel like a health issue: proper food and sleep, might have something to do with its onset).
So I've eaten one bagel (which I felt very sick after eating), and a frappucino (which I think is the only thing keeping my energy going right now). And honestly, it's 3 p.m., I haven't really ate since 10 p.m. last night, and I don't feel hungry (except a pain in my stomach, but not hunger). I'm hoping if I push it, my body will reach a point where it's starving and I'll end up making up for whatever meals I may have missed.
What is this then? I've been thinking about it today. Am I stressed? Surprisingly, not really. Naturally I have a lot to finish within a week, but I'm not *nearly* in a binding situation compared to what I'm used to.
I spoke with my professor last night ("the mean professor"), and my research paper appears to be on the right track. I have *a lot* to write, but the -good- news is that I've done my research and -definitely- have a focus on the layout of this paper (50% of the battle). It's a great thesis, imo, very complex.. and it feels *great* when you can stand up to a professor with your idea (that happens to be on her -favorite- topic, and her being incredibly critical of specific 'terminoogy' used.. which makes writing a pain..) and she not only agrees with everything you say, but gives you props for thinking of something she hadn't. I'm a little worried about her expectations though. There's 2 of us in the class, and she said to my friend (quite inappropriately), "I'm not worried about 'Lin' because I've seen the quality of work she does (midterm), but you (my friend) have a lot of work to do.." ... I felt terrible for him, because in all honesty (and I think he knows this), he is capable, if not more-so, of any type of work I can distribute + more. He is far more advanced in historical knowledge; however, maybe my advantage is that I'm not really working off of any past knowledge, simply tons of reading and research.
Anyway (going off in tangents all over the place)..
For some reason I feel like this has a lot to do with the end of the program. It's not so-much "the program" ending (although maybe it is), but more about my junior year ending. More about making decisions, and looking back at where I've been and where I plan on going.
I was looking at my univ's website today. I really can't *believe* that I'll be ending my undergraduate career in one year. I really can't believe that I'll be graduating having only spent 2 1/2 years at a campus often rated to be one of the most beautiful in the U.S (although I really think I prefer a more traditional campus, such as where I am taking classes now). And thinking how funny it is that I had *no clue* what major to be, but randomly ended up as a psychology major. There really wan't much thought about the "major" decision, the only thing I could think to decide: "What type of classes will I not mind taking/paying money for and be capable of finishing over the course of 2 years?" (GEs taking 2 1/2 years to complete)... haha, I think that's how I decided. And luckily it just happened to fit, because there was no turning back at the point I had to decide, if it didn't fit.
As I browsed the website, I stopped by the international programs website to check-out what they had to say about the competetive Italy program - where I went abroad last year. And thinking about how I got there, such a random act of application, and thinking of all the people I met while there... and the places I went for "educational field trips" (aside from individual traveling). Looking back at all of these things, it just still seems very surreal.. I thought at some point it would set in, but no.. it hasn't.. it was just so sudden for me to spend a year of my life there.. and how quickly it passed.. crunching in so many experiences in one year. I want so badly to write in words what it was like, but whenever I think to do it, I just can't fathom where to begin and how long it might take.. and what to include.. and looking at pictures, it's just like, "Was I really there??" .. I really don't understand why I feel so disconnected from the experience. It's like I was there, but maybe I was dreaming.
And currently, I'm in the Washington DC program (the last place I ever thought I'd be), one semester after arriving back from Italy. All my friends thought I was crazy for coming here, and I thought it was pretty crazy too, but it was so strongly on my heart that I should go to the DC spring program(with the encouragement of my amazingly supportive parents) that I did (and very happy with the choice). So, again at the last minute, here I am in some random place I never thought I'd be. I use the word "random" a lot, and I recall some friend (although unfortunately I'm not sure who) pointing that out to me.. and saying that it's really "not that random", but I have to be honest when I say everything about what I do feels incredibly random/sporatic. That's not to say I don't take serious consideration in my decisions though, because I *definitely* do.
I guess, now, I feel like I'm at a very critical point. I see young adult females on the metro (or some seem aroung my age, maybe a few years older) with a ring around their left index fingers (or maybe they're just "purity rings", as people call them, and something I've never really liked the concept of.. "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart - 1 Sam. 16:7" .. I feel like wearing a ring is almost like wearing the veil in Egypt .. sorry but this is partially what my research topic is about.. I shouldn't have to wear a 'purity ring' to say I have certain values).. anyway.. aside from the possibility that they're 'purity ring's , maybe they really are engaged/married. And do I see/want that for my future? Do I want to attend graduate school? Do I want to skip graduate school and pursue a PhD? Do I want to go into a medical field? Should I be preparing for any exams?? I should be *taking* certain exams this summer if I want to open up certain possibilities for next year/years following...
.. and I feel, increasingly, that I really need to start thinking about these things now.. but I'm not exactly ready to make any decisions right now. In comparison to what I felt when I applied for DC (albeit at the last minute), I really don't feel *anything* right now. Maybe I need to take more time to think/reflect, but I just feel like that wouldn't be natural at the same time. My heart really isn't giving me any clear direction at this point, and that worries me (although if I had 8,000 to spare I would *love* to do the Africa program). But God has never failed me (evident by reflection), and so I'm going to 'keep-on-keep-on' for now, pray that God gives me some guidance, and just have faith in whatever plan He may have.
This song just on, I've heard it a couple times but I like it a lot.
Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
"I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete
Oh simple thing where have you gone?
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on..
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin.
I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?
And if you have a minute why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know?"