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each feather fell from skin

This posts has been knocking around inside my head for a couple days…

I’ve never been one to take on a new year like a chance to be reborn and improve myself, this year isn’t any different.  However, 2008 has had a distinctive yet blurry feel to it.    I get stuck finding the right adjective to give this year meaning.  Do I lambaste it for its numerous scary and sad moments or do I champion my personal triumphs that arrive in 2008?

I’m stuck.

I can’t get over hating 2008 for all of the medical scares my dad had.  Never before, I had I had to confront the actual possibility of the mortality of my parents.  Never will I forget the drive from Cottage Grove to the hospital in Oregon City where my dad had urgently been admitted.  Until then, hospital trips were resigned to the oldest generations of my family, for broken bones, but never for something that was life-threatening and so close.  It is amazing how the mind sorts through and presents every possibility and how rarely it is positive.  I can’t shake the sense of mourning that had already begun to fog my mind and body as I drove faster and faster.  Thankfully, I was very premature.

I can’t let go that 2008 has been one of the best years for me personally.  To change myself so drastically, to improve something that had been weighing me down literally and metaphorically.  To run my first 5k, to be able to feel like I had never felt has been truly a metamorphosis.  2008 has helped me not only lose nearly 70 pounds but also fix those habits and tendencies that plagued my life to the point that it was dragging me into a unhealthy lifestyle and most likely a premature death.  I never thought that I was able to run over four miles continuously without stopping… both mentally and physically.  It makes me what else am I capable of?  What have I been telling myself “no” about for so long that I wholeheartedly accept a misconception.

How can I hate a year that brought me that?

But I think it is far more complicated than I have laid out.  These two events, which are by far the biggest, are laced together.  Had my dad not had his pulmonary embolisms, I wouldn’t had realized that I was at far more risk for far worse consequences of my own.

I don’t think 2008 was a good year, I’m glad its gone, I also know that it wasn’t a soul-crushing year either, and I’ll be fond of it.  So if it wasn’t either, than it had to be a year of my own education.  Hopefully, I have learned, or at least begun to learn that I must value my body and take care of it.  As well, hopefully I have begun to learn the wealth that exists in the people around me and to let go of the trespasses that I have long held onto, to improve upon my faults and mistakes that I committed on others.

We’ll see what I do with it.  Hopefully I’m not all hyperbole and metaphors but of action.  Here comes 2009.  I don’t have any resolutions.  I just want to keep on learning, hopefully these lessons are at the hands of positive situations, but if not, I must make the best and not let the bad take the fight out of me.

I’m sure it only gets more interesting after this.Train to Salzburg Chris

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I need to move my spirit, but I don’t know where to start

Welcome to the new year. The beginning of my year was initiated through ice, snow, and general slush. Speaking of which, I found out how emasculating it is to have your car get stuck in the snow and slush. The testosterone leaves your body even quicker when a group of neighbors come out to help you get your car back into your drive which was never more than six feet away. After the flying slush, unwanted down-hill movement, and a pair of extremely wet shoes, I was still stuck at my house in Eugene. Luckily, it was Pratt’s car that got stuck, so my masculinity is still in working order. Thanks to our New Year’s experience, we finally found a downside to living in the hills. Of course, that was the weaker of winter storms I had to endure. Since the start of the new term was coupled with three days of ice, I was trapped in my house for each of those days. Thankfully, I am an experienced in-doorman (as Garrison Keillor would say) and boredom was dealt with on am around-the-clock basis.

Which brings me to my next point. The University is stupid. Out of the three Universities south of Salem, Oregon was the only one open–and I think it was open for ego’s sake. They had the mantra of “we have students who live on campus, therefore, we are not responsible for those students who live off campus.” This just seems like they are actively putting students, staff, and faculty as risk… not the smartest move, if you ask me. But you didn’t. I have only been to my Agnes Stewart Middle School only once, so far. As of right now I am completely unsure of what this term will bring, as far as teaching goes. I’ll just mask my fear… I hear pre-adolescents can sense your fear. What happens if they approach me, and I supposed make myself look big and not run away? Is that middle school students or bears? Totally random: I just had a flashback of Mr. Bowen’s health class my sixth grade year, where we had to read through a book about adolescence… and it was narrated by Bill Cosby. weird.