Ending: Inconclusive

So, the semester has come to a close. For how long I’ve spent operating under a semesterly school system, it almost feels like a natural cycle. Almost. I can’t help but imagine how my experience might be different if I was doing something useful with myself; working a job or something. Would the summer be as meaningful as it is? Would the winter?

Amherst sent me home (during a pandemic, thanks guys). While I’m glad to be back and see family, these are not the best times to be in large cities. I renewed my drivers permit, but have not had a chance to practice driving. Hopefully I can get some hours in and finally get a license. It seems like, moving from working hours a day from my desk chair in my dorm to working hours a day sitting in a bed in my family’s upstairs living room, has only shifted the strain from my shoulders to by lower back.

Endings to be useful must be inconclusive.

Samuel R. Delaney, The Einstein Intersection

I spoke about something similar with my therapist a few weeks ago; how I don’t feel like my last fall semester as an undergraduate really delineates anything important, temporally. In a way, I suppose closing the books on senior fall represents the kind of inconclusive ending Delaney speaks about. If inconclusivity scales with usefulness (perhaps not the intention of Delaney’s words, but nonetheless an interesting postulate to consider) then perhaps the end of Fall, and of 2020, will be my most useful to date. Wouldn’t that be something?

With the end of the semester has come not only my finals, and a few thesis deadlines, but the submission of my graduate school applications. As I spoke about in a previous post, I am attempting to allow myself to speculate. Not to immediately shoot down my hope for admittance, but to feel some confidence in my experience and passion and ability to communicate both. It’s incredibly difficult. I worry constantly that no matter how much effort I exert, I’ll simply be a drop in the bucket, washed away with the hundreds of other applicants, in an applicant pool that keeps growing and growing.

Submitting those apps was entirely inconclusive. I wanted so desperately to press the submit button and to feel some wave of relief wash over my body, cool my spirit, and relax my tensed muscles, but like so many things in life we simply are not allowed the closure and discrete temporality we so crave. Instead, I pressed the submit button and had to request a fee waiver. Or wait for letters of recommendation to be submitted. Or, well, you get it. Always something else, however small, to diminish the satisfaction I wanted to feel: to be done and dust my hands.

So, it’s a small solace to discover that Delaney quote; perhaps the delayed conclusions of it all will be worth it. I’m very thankful for some new beginnings this winter, however. Here’s hoping that if those storylines have to end, that all is well that ends well.

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