Saturday, May 20, 2006

Free Time

I took the second exam in a series of four which will hopefully lead to me finishing my degree this summer. It went okay. I say, ok, because although I felt confident with the content, I totally butchered the German. I mean, it was mangled. But hopefully the professor will look-over that, and see through to the content, and be able to judge if I answered the question correctly.

I actually came out of the test 30 minutes short of the 4 hour total, and was welcomed with pouring rain. Biking home I was shivering, but didn't care because the biggest exam albatross had been removed from my neck, and I was feeling pretty free.

Lately, I haven't felt myself too much. I am so stressed out that I don't understand my own thought processes. Also, I have practically aborted my whole life. If it weren't for the fact that I stayed at my boyfriend's last week, I probably would have had no human contact for a week. He took me out to dinner on Wednesday night, because I had literally not left his apartment since Sunday. I was just learning all day long. And eating. And drinking Coke. I don't drink Coke, I am a coffee drinker...but I got sick of coffee. I actually called him at work to ask him to bring more Coke back with him.

That is huge. You have to understand, I am not an “at-work-boyfriend-telephoner.” He was awesome. He would come home, massage my shoulders while I sat at the laptop, make dinner...oh, he bought me ice cream, too.

Which brings me to complaint #23: I haven't done anything mildly athletic in about 2 weeks. Unless you count dancing at the ball...and well, if you saw me dance, I think “athletic” would be the closest thing to a compliment my dancing will ever get.

So, I was feeling stressed out, isolated, and jiggly. Now I feel less stressed out, less isolated, and well, the jiggly I can get over.

I only have two more exams to go. And I feel more confident about those 2 exams, than the two I have already taken. So I am starting to think about “the afterlife.” As in, what will I do with my “free time” then.

I guess, part of me was so focused on last year's deployment that I think I lost myself along the way. It seemed like my goal was my boyfriend's return. And now that he is back, and life goes on, it's almost like I have lost that “hobby”. I don't read the Milblogs as much as I did. I don't scour the net for all the news on Afghanistan. Oh, I definitely still read Milblogs, I just don't feel so involved. Some may call it selfish, but my soldier is home, and I want to spend time with him.

I was getting giddy this afternoon thinking about things I would like to pursue. I would like to attempt to learn some basic verbal skills in Chinese. I would also like to start branching out in my running. I feel the next step is perhaps a triathlon. And someone sure has inspired me.

Also, I have a projects. I have so many pictures collected over the last 9 years of my stay here in Europe that I just stashed in boxes. I want to organize them in some matter. I don't think I would want to scrapbook them all, but certainly a few, and perhaps put the rest in albums.

I want to read again. I never really stopped reading, but I feel so out of the literary loop. I want to get lost in a book again. Read it in 2 days. Not over the course of 2 weeks.

I know I would be kidding myself if I believed that I will suddenly have all this free time when school is over, because other responsibilities will fill its vacuum. However, I am nonetheless very excited. Just two more exams!


Blogger Faith said...

Being a Cali Valley Girl myself I was quite thrilled to read your site. I just recently married my husband. In March, while he was home on leave. We are moving back to California in four weeks.

My actual website is and I basically joined blogger for commenting purposes. It was wonderful to hear about your story and how you are handling things abroad. Good luck on your last two exams.

Very Respectfully,


2:22 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

Hey Girl!
You are almost there! My students just turned in 50(!) term papers, so I'm in it with ya! I'll be in DC this week, but I wanted to let you know that I'll be thinking of you through these last few weeks. Hope you get a chance to come up for air soon. Good books await! (Thanks, by the way for the recommendation of Naked in Baghdad--Read it and loved it!)

See you soon :)

3:23 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Congrats! I know that's a great feeling to be nearing the finish line :) Treat yourself!

5:46 AM  
Blogger Bluesman said...

There is not much wish for reading fiction when you read every day books you need for your exam.
I just the shortcut movie to get into another world for two hours, where I did not have to think about learning.
The preparation time for your exams is not the best time for decisions. You are way too stressed and impatient and in a constant battle with yourself as you have to motivate yourself, cope with your thoughts and wait to get over with the exams.
But the feeling afterwards makes it worth it. Totally.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Lizzie said...

Triathlon? You should totally go for it!

You'd be amazed at how many resources there are on the internet for triathlon: has forums, workout plans and logs. has the same.

Start with sprint distance, work your way up to olympic and you'll fall in love with them!

And on the topic of inspiration; your blog was one of the first that I read and inspired me to start mine :)

Take Care!

9:26 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

End of school stress. It magnifies everything out of proportion. Add to that the personal stress of the last year and going into hermit mode is not as crazy as it sounds. Once your exams are over and you have a week or so to recover, I think you'll be back to yourself.

Working out for a triathalon is a fabulous idea. Especially since it will get your brain operating on something completely different and working your body physically does wonders for the mind! I look forward to hearing about your training and what you think of it all.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Jon and Billie said...

Good luck with the rest of your exams! You really should plan something fun when it's all over. :)

Good luck with the triathalon! I have been on break from running for way too long...trying to work the motivation back up to get my ass on the pavement!

9:51 AM  

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