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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer in the Ministry

This nice and hot summer afternoon I am sitting in my office, alone. Half of the Ministry is gone on a vacation and I am enjoying the empty hallways, being my own boss, maybe coming to work 20 minutes later than I am supposed to…and though I still have to run around with all kinds of papers, I feel like a tide of calmness has swept through here. I am finally content. I have tons to do, I’ve agreed to write some paper about topics I have to research deeply, I need to paint the door at my house and mend my shoes, but still, life is fine.
A bit exited. A bit scared. On the verge of new beginnings. I am leaving the Ministry! I am leaving this stress! God help me, I am quitting my job and diving into unknown future!
In 22 days, I will be out of here. Probably forever. I can still return in January, but that’s just a backup plan, something that makes me feel like I am not a total looser. However, I really don’t want to leave, make such a big deal out of it, start new life, just to come back in 6 months. But how stupid is it to leave when I finally get a promotion?
 In 22 days, I will be in Denver! Yes!Yes!Yes! I miss it, oh how I miss it, I will go camping, storm the Rocky mountains, get lost in University of Boulder library (my school, my campus, my cafeteria, my youth…was it really that long ago?), do all the clich├ęs I am supposed to do in the states—Starbucks, Wall Mart, Burger King—let me embrace you, capitalist, money-making, evil franchises I would never touch in college, now that you’re far away, I miss you. Victoria’s Secret! Target! Malls! Hamburgers! Pizzas! Mint chocolate ice-creams! Maple syrup! Lucky Charms cereal! F*n Dr. Pepper!!!!!!!
 Colorado! I am so exited! Let me come back to you and hug you!
 So, last days here. Then, a month off. And after that, I am stepping into a horrible in-between-jobs limbo. I am looking for a job…anyone? Help? I will send you my CV…
How often we feel frustrated, threatening to leave, but never leaving, complaining about lack of development, progress, inner growth, now I smile to myself and I think: “I did it! I broke free! I dared and broke free!” I am an idiot.
 Colorado, time to take bunch of online classes, read some books, improve my qualification a bit, come back, start internship with a clinician, go broke…I am starting over. Like I have just graduated from college. It gives me feeling of freedom though. Feeling of power. Like I am controlling my life again. Like I am making my own decisions again. I know that I will regret it later, when lost and frustrated, I will complain about how horrible it feels to sit home, do nothing. But for now, I am enjoying it. Changes…it has been so long. Changes. And this last month here? Doesn’t seem that bad.
pic:bunny hubby gave me. expresses my current emotions.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Thank you Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett for reminding me of what it felt like to read without putting the book down! This weekend, I read “the Good Omens” and felt young again.
The last time I was actually reading (versus staring absent-mindedly in my Nook, in a marshrutka, while on my way home from work), was in college in the US; I had an access to the huge library and I decided to take full advantage of it. Rather than doing research and making my own list, I just went ahead and followed one already approved by smarter people—I decided to read all of the authors that have received a Nobel Prize in literature. So I started with prize-winners from 1905 and finished with 2006. I skipped poets (reading poetry in translation makes no sense) and the university library lacked few authors, or had their work only in original language, but other than that I made my way through a century of literature, some of them better than others, some clearly chosen for political reasons, others being overrated, or underrated, some I liked, some –I didn’t, but basically they were all good books. It gave me material for talking with strangers on planes for years. See, everyone knows their native authors who had won a Nobel Prize.  Thus, I talked about Isaak Bashevis Singer with Jews and Grazia Deledda with Italians.
How sad, out of these 100 books, I can probably name 10 now.  Others were interesting to read, but I barely remember the plot…or the authors…damn.
Additionally, I took classes in American literature, world literature, women writers and Jung in film and literature. Main reasons for choosing those classes were that grades were based on participation and essays, rather than tests, so each semester I had at least one class which required last effort and was actually more fun than hard work. Another reason is that I did not have to buy books for those classes. Again, I took advantage of the library.
Back then, I was commuting for 2 hours (one-way, making 4 hours roundtrip) each day to get to college; when you spend so much time on bus and train, you read, read, read…oh, happy times.
My intellectual development was at its peak in college; I have been degrading since then. I think I have not read as much books in all the years since I’ve graduated, as I did in one year back then! See, I can’t even write in complete sentences that make sense. If this was my college paper, I would get C.
I sense changes in my life. I am thinking of leaving work. I am thinking of developing, learning, growing.  I am planning to take a month off and fly to Denver. And I have discovered that I have to catch up with my Nobel authors—I am 4 authors behind!
God bless the Nook and Torrent system. Truly, this is the best marriage of two cultures: an E-book from abroad and opportunity to download free books at home. I am toying with the idea of conquering the Pulitzer’s prize…
the pic: my purple nook