My New Relationship

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So I think I’m falling in love. Not sure, but it’s the only thing I can equate my feelings to at this point so I’m just going to go with it.

It all started about two and a half months ago. It was innocent at first and very unfamiliar–often overwhelming–and mostly I wanted to bolt. But I didn’t. And now here I am and I can’t believe that this is my life because I never expected to feel this way. I want to give my all my spare time to this new strange relationship. Suddenly it’s like everything has purpose again…

You see, I just started a Masters degree.

It was like jumping into cold water with my eyes closed. I tried my hardest to see what was down there and look around to make sure it was the right decision but there was no way to tell except to take the plunge. But once I dove in I found that the water was warm and full of life and that was more of a shock than the cold sting of the ocean in December.

I am studying Maritime Celtic history and literature. I know there’s no one out there who can really understand this, but I love it. I am particularly focusing on the poverty of the Irish and Highlanders as they arrived here and how that has since influenced our culture. My topic keeps getting more and more interesting and the more I learn the more interested I become.

I never ever expected to fall in love with my homeland. In fact, I spent most of my time growing up expecting to leave it. But it’s like there is something I just can’t get away from and it’s scary because now I know I might not ever be able to leave. I find myself driving around and wondering what things were like here 100 years ago…or hear a maritime accent and instead of being embarrassed I beam with pride. I look at the run down houses and the struggles people here face everyday and feel compassion and empathy…but never pity. How could I? This is where I come from. And the more I understand and uncover the buried treasure of my land, the more my heart softens. It’s like blinders have been taken off my eyes and I can see what was always right in front of my face.

How crazy do I sound? I drive around and just silently take it all in–the land, the architecture, the people-because there are no words to describe the way I feel. I am the luckiest girl I know. I have a place where I come from, a heritage, and I am part of what I see as a great story. It’s like we’re in the middle of it all, only part way through, so no one else knows how amazing the story is going to turn out but somehow I got a glimpse. The past, the present, the future all connected…and I get to live it. The only feeling I have ever felt that can compare that of falling in love…only without the fear that it won’t work out because it’s all already finished.

I don’t expect you to understand. I know that I may stand alone in this, but that’s o.k. I just wanted to share this new relationship and tell someone that I have never felt so whole.

And yes I love studying local history, literature, and language and I thought I should share that with the world. If that makes me crazy, well I guess I can deal with that.

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7 Responses to “My New Relationship”


  1. 1 Chris November 28, 2007 at 2:51 am

    So when I first read your title… haha
    But yeah, Shelley, that’s amazing that you’ve been finding your masters so fulfilling. I’m still searching for something like that for me, but although I can’t completely understand how you feel, I know that it’s possible to feel that way, giving your all to such a topic. I’m excited to talk to you next, to hear about what your studying and how it’s shaping you. Being part of that bigger picture; it is something special. So good buddy. You’re making me want to head back out to the east coast and just drive around… I miss that.

  2. 2 gbecks@gmail.com November 28, 2007 at 3:09 am

    You’re tricksy, so I knew there would be a twist to the “falling in love”, you sly thing. You know, I feel the same way (I think) when I read and study ancient literature. People can’t understand my facination with English folk and fairy tales, ancient Greek and Roman myths, or nearly forgotten oral tales of ages past and cultures lost. I love them. I can’t get enough of them. Show me a picture on the ceiling of an ancient Greek temple and I’ll excitedly tell you what it means (if I know) until you fall asleep. I’ll go back into the history and relationships of all the characters portrayed and how they relate to our present culture. Even just thinking these thoughts makes my heart flutter and my fingers are flying over the keyboard in an attempt to express how enthusiastic I am. So, you’re not crazy for loving something many people don’t understand. Some day you and I should get together with (spiked) milk-shakes and you can tell me about the Maritimers, past and present; I’d love that.

  3. 3 Stacey Sparshu November 30, 2007 at 1:54 am

    I do understand, I do!!!

    I want to study too…..you inspire me!

  4. 4 Tim Kantel November 30, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Really good post Shelley. I’ve heard lots of conversations lately around the topic of studies especially in the circles we travel in. It’s amazing how many of our crew are either studying or consider/applying to programs right now.

    The passion for what you’re studying is what’s really inspiring to me and what I can identify with. Having grown up in that corner of the country I know a little of what you’re discovering and am exited for you as you’re unearthing the real stories of the birthplace of our nation.

    I think I may have to post something too soon on why I’m studying what I am. Thanks again for the inspiration my friend.

  5. 5 Heidi Renee November 30, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    I am “from away” Shelley, but I get it. I have never felt so “at home” as I do here. The people are so generous with their time and their stories. The landscape is breathtaking and changes beautifully with each season. The culture is so rich and deep – it will take a lifetime to absorb and I pray that I get to live out the rest of my days learning about it.

    Beautiful post.

  6. 6 sweetlybroken December 3, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    well if you’re “crazy” then I’m off my rocker crackers. I can sit and just look at old architecture and travel (in my head) back to the building’s glory days. I also heave a huge sigh when I first catch a glimpse of the red cliffs every time we return from away.

  7. 7 Brianmpei December 12, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    I’m so glad you’re posting more frequently now. 😦

    That was textual sarcasm…


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