lately I been dreaming about drowning. when I’m not drowning, I’m still in water. just a lot of water everywhere I turn, and I don’t know if it’s because I miss the ocean or because the rivers here hypnotize and hum in my ears. If I had any money I’d bet it on both. I have arguably survived my first year of graduate school. for all of the late nights and the pots of coffee and the new friends and bike rides and the bottles of wine and the long hikes and drives and nights of crying and even more of laughing, for the stories I have written and the ones I haven’t, for being smarter and stronger, and better than I ever have been at anything in my life. this has been undoubtedly the best thing I have ever done for myself and for as much as I have gained I have lost that much as well. And sometimes I drown in the idea of who I was and find this truer version of myself a little bit less palatable. she’s shy in a way I don’t remember being but also forceful and opinionated and less afraid of absolutely everything, but she has more self doubt than before, but wonderful ideas that spring from that very murky doubt and deliberation. more imperfect than every before and yet more pleased with herself than ever. I am both exhilarated and terrified to find what the subsequent years here will do to me, for me. one down, two to go.