Thursday, February 21, 2008

Alma Mater

Tonight I stood at the front of a room full of ravenously inquiring brilliant minds; young, hopeful, yearning. I began [paraphrase], “Interesting that our firm is presenting to you this evening in this location; I have quite the fond memory of this room because it was within the very same chairs almost 10 years ago that I sat where you are today…” RRRRRiiiiii!!?? [That, if not plainly evident, is my alphabetical representation of a record scratching violently to a halt]. 10 years? Has it really been that long?

What I recall from that fateful 1998 fall evening in the warm confines of the student union building, where I drank hungrily the words of my future colleagues, was pure, intimidation-brimmed excitement. The hymen-tearing “I want to do that” experience; raw, unjaded desire. These consultants represented the brass ring; the fruit of my academic labours. Their delivery was effortless, their passion unparalleled, their culture so obviously unprecedented.

And now I am the embodiment of everything for which I vocationally ached. At least, that’s what I’d like to imagine I exude as I speak with as much confident energy as I can muster to an audience full of Me Juniors; the only thing separating me from them being the words “10 years”. Their drive, their naiveté, it’s so sweetly enviable. The soul of my younger self perches playfully on my right shoulder and mocks, “Oh, for these students to be flies on the wall of your subconscious right about now...”

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


There are so many tidbits of information orbiting the hemispheres of my cerebral cortex at the moment that I doubt my present ability to write with any clarity. My mind is peppered with the uncertainty of momentous change and the pong-ball mayhem of my endless to dos. Most days I surface only seconds long enough to gasp hungrily for air before sinking again below the weight of my tiring schedule.

Interestingly enough, in the midst of my deep, sparkling chaos my husband and I have begun to consider our family plan. Unbeknownst to him, many a solitary tear has strolled across my cheeks in the last few weeks as a result. If you’ve read my blog for any short period of time, you know how vividly I dream of children. At the same time, a child means absolute upheaval. What I desire most frightens this control freak in much the same way that a dog trembles under the refuge of a dining table in a thunderstorm. The boom of black clouds rioting is enough to send rational consideration out the window. I married my soul mate who promised me partnership for better or worse; regardless, I cannot seem to squelch this innate fear I have of surrendering dictatorial governance over my own well-being. I rule me. I take care of me. I prosper, because of me. This regime, this formula, this methodology - it has worked for decades. Jessica is because Jessica does all and [please pre-excuse my French] I am scared absolutely shitless to let someone else take over. How can a caregiver accept the role of care given? The answer: with a vehement amount of resistance, procrastination and relative anxiety that materializes in the form of needless overexertion. Hence, the periodic tear or two. How else is a wound up girl like me to release those built up bubbles of hesitation?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Today's Carat Word = Patronymic

It’s a curious feeling this “in limbo” thing. I’ve been making slow but sure progress on the legal documentation of my new surname, but I still flinch every time somebody refers to me politely as “Mrs. Clark”. It’s been more than four months (not including the few months prior to my wedding where I whispered my future name to my atmospheric audience and practiced my future signature on newspaper scraps) and the adjustment has not sunk in. What's odd is, the sound of my maiden name in conversation is equally as bizarre. My name no longer rolls off my tongue without conscious deliberation; when somebody asks who I am, I hesitate.

In my honest opinion (because what other opinion would I offer?), the only deplorable thing about marriage is the name update process. Though by law I can call myself whatever I please, by convention I’m a traditionalist who loves the idea of sharing my sweetheart’s patronymic; in symbolic gesture of my gratitude and respect. The administrative hours spent in line at the county clerk, DMV, immigration, Social Security, bank and HR (not to mention countless internet upgrades)…have, although fleetingly, made me consider the sanity of my choice.

Now that I’m nearing the end of the paperwork, I wonder how long it will take for the change to feel natural. New clothes – a few days; new address – a few weeks; new car - a month; new name – to be determined…