This week marks a return, several, in fact, but it has also been a time of stepping out of my comfort zone to try new things. After finishing my last written exam this past week, I returned to my research, part-time at least, which meant a return to the Newberry Library. I began working out again, but joined a class to learn something I’ve wanted to for some time but allowed busyness and fear to keep me away … until now! And after falling into some bad eating habits during comp preparation and the exam itself, I’ve also returned to my normal, much healthier, diet. In all of this, I feel like I’m returning to myself, but a slightly different version, one that has become more aware of my weaknesses and learned to overcome paralyzing fear, illness, and depression. I’m taking time to let all of that sink in, to recognize the person I’ve become, and to allow that recognition to grow into self-confidence, something I let slip away this fall and winter.
Finally returning to the Newberry to work on dissertation research this week felt like such a victory after everything that has happened over the past six months. It had been some time since I had been able to work on it at all, but this week, I traveled over the Allegheny Mountains and down the Ohio River with a land agent for the Ohio Company who founded the town of Marietta (Ohio) in 1788/89, examining his views of the settlers and Indians he met along the way, and sympathizing with his losing battle against June gnats.
(In another post, I will write in more detail about some of my processes for note-taking and keeping everything organized for those that may be interested.)
I have to admit that I’m rather proud of myself. I love to learn, but I’m always nervous when trying something new because I’m such a perfectionist. However, I have been wanting to learn one (or several) styles of martial arts, so tonight I went to my first Muay Thai kickboxing class. It was a fundamentals class, and I was not the only newbie there, so I felt quite comfortable. We began with conditioning, which reminded me how out of shape I’ve become! I kept up though and will definitely be in the gym more in between classes. The instructors led us through basic kicks and punches and then had us pair off to practice simple sequences of blocks and strikes. I loved it and can’t wait to go back! There’s a class tomorrow that I’d like to attend, but I should probably wait to see how sore I’m going to be before I make that decision.