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Saturday, May 7, 2011

The end is where we start from

If you had told me last year at this time that I would be sad when grad school ended, I probably would have just laughed. I pretty distinctly remember saying to one of my friends/teammates "If I got a full time offer from my employer to start right away after the summer, I'd probably take it and not come back."

The reasons I was so stressed out and unhappy last year were numerous, and the reasons this year is so much better are equally numerous - I won't get into all of them right now, but something about my life this year felt like a new beginning. I'm not sure if school changed, or if I did - yes, having a less stressful schedule made a huge difference, and having a job already lined up took a ton of stress off, but I definitely came back after the summer with a different attitude.

In the Anusara immersion and in my yoga classes, we talk a lot about looking for beauty in every situation and maintaining a beginner's mind. If you keep your mind open, there is always something to learn and to appreciate... which is hard to remember when you are getting yelled at by a less-than-awesome member of your administration (see I can be PC on the blog... 'less-than-awesome'...), realizing that one of your classmates created a website saying nasty things about your school, or feeling the after-effects of Wild Turkey shots at the Country Bar (questionable choice). Even though at times it was really difficult - wondering whether I'd made the right choice, if I belonged there, wishing I didn't have to spend two years apart from Ben - I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had and the friend's I've made for anything.

Now that we're basically done I realize there are so many things I'll miss about CSOM. Why is it that in school, we feel like we have carte-blanche to act totally ridiculous and then as soon as we start work we have to pretend we're grown-ups? I think the official term for something like this is liminal place- a time or location where normal rules of conduct do not apply, like Mardi Gras, Halloween and Las Vegas...and, I think, college and B-School.

The title of this post is from one of my absolute favorite poems - Little Gidding by T.S. Eliot (the fourth of the Four Quartets). It reminds me that the end of one thing is really the beginning of something else. Accomplishing one thing doesn't mean you're finished - it means you are ready to begin the next chapter.

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.

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