I was going to skimp out on you guys (whoever “you guys” are) again tonight, because I am facing the very real possibility of actually getting to sleep. But the blog must go on. (Also, I have clothes in the dryer.)
I’m gearing up to write the preface for my SIP, which is the kind of thing I will need to sit down and write all at once (that’s how I work for all papers, be they three page English papers or fifteen page philosophy papers), and it’s occurring to me just how different the person who began that SIP is from the person who is sitting here writing this right now. I’m sure that my SIP played a large part in where I am today, and I am so infinitely grateful for that.
I have had multiple conversations with my highly differing group of friends and loved ones regarding my COMPLETE INABILITY to flirt. I might have known how to, at some point…probably in high school. It’s been a long time since I had a reason to know how to. I conjectured that the reason why I hate it so much is because I have little to no self-confidence. But, while I’m sure this plays a factor, that can’t explain it completely—I’m a poet. I deal in risk-taking, in putting myself out there. I am not one to shy away from doing something just because it scares me. I think the real reason why I can’t seem to wrap my head around it is that I am finally starting to inhabit my own skin in a way that I never did before my SIP, and I will relinquish that complete and utter selfhood for no one. I hate the idea of acting like something I’m not now that I finally feel so close to what I am.
Nowadays, I finally feel as though Kalamazoo College is a part of me. I spent a very long time in complete denial of my own intelligence. I will admit that my confidence on that end is not always unwavering. Now, though, I say things in class because I truly believe that what I have to say is important, not because I want to participate enough to get an “A.” After months and months of feeling like I didn’t even understand poetry at all (there was just something inexplicable about reading it, and making it, even when I had no idea what was happening), I am comfortable with my own knowledge of it as well as accepting its inherent mysteries.
I couldn’t tell you exactly how my SIP did this to me. Maybe it was just the simple fact of conquering a huge obstacle (I wrote one poem in sections that is seventeen pages long! I never would have had the courage and the belief in my work to stick with something like that before). Maybe it’s the fact that poems teach you about yourself not only through what you do say, but (perhaps more importantly), what you don’t feel ready to say. All I know is, nowadays, that person taking notes in existentialism and film, or TA-ing Intermediate Poetry, or writing poems in Psychology of Consciousness and Dreams—that person is none other than Kim Grabowski.
I absolutely do not mean to convey that I’m thinking “Aha! I’ve arrived! I know myself now!” That would just be horrible. And boring. I’m sure things will change, I’m sure my self and I will have tiffs and disagreements, and sometimes we may even stop talking. All I’m saying is that it’s nice to have finally met.