I have not written for a while. I should remember more often that blogging -- or writing what I think, in any case -- helps me remember who I am. My sort of meditation.
I'm writing this from one of the meeting rooms, which we've taken over on this Friday night for end-of-semester work. Nikitha and Cindy and Dan are here chugging on their papers; I'm working on mine. Velvet is in the office nearby and Tosin also swung by when food appeared.

I brought food. I cooked too much and instead of eating it myself for days I texted people and found out they were all here and so I brought it over. It feels good to cook for people and to eat with people, and I'm getting a reputation as a cook around here now... it's burrito bowls, so there's chopped lettuce, cilantro rice, diced tomatoes, yogurt (instead of sour cream), homemade tomatillo salsa, and microwave madras lentils because the beans took too long to cook. And spicy chicken. It was a hit.

I have my headphones on now and I'm cranking through the Allan Collins paper on cognitive apprenticeships and it's no easier than it was before but I'm not alone. And I guess it's... something I don't know how to reproduce, and I don't really know people here yet, but it's in spending extended hanging-out time with them that you get to do that, right? Maybe some of these will turn into friendships. I certainly think they're all incredible people. I just need to stay here instead of always trying to go away. I don't quite want to stay here yet, but I want to want to stay here; there's a lot of good here, but it's just that it's not home.

Maybe that's the blessing and the curse of being a bridger. You're always caught in between, but that constant feeling of tension and not-being-home-yet drives you to bring your places together. A blessing to everyone else, a curse to you, a blessing to you to be the one changing the world in such a way. We only really change the world when it hurts us the way it is now, though -- so the people who are changemakers are, I think, in many cases the ones who know what hurting feels like.

I should get back to writing this paper. I don't really know what I'm saying or typing any more and at some point I'll take my headphones off and listen to the conversations in the world around me. It's hard, learning to be here! The world is incoherent and overwhelming sometimes and makes you feel things. It's easier to be in my own universe or in one I can tightly control, especially now when I've had the terrifying revelation that I can become suddenly fragile. I'm not really used to being a person yet.

It was like something Tosin was explaining to me tonight - disjointedness as a driver for change. Growth is uncomfortable. It comes when you realize your current coping mechanisms aren't sufficient to do what you want to do, but you need to keep yourself there to get past it. (She explained it in way more subtle detail; there are entire theories and papers and books and dissertations about this stuff -- transformation theory, change theory, activity theory... but I'm simplifying because I haven't read those papers and because it's 11pm and I still have 2 books to read tonight.)
But now we have migrated to a coffeeshop and I have a sweet matcha latte that I'm sipping and the book is by my side and I can do it. Cindy's reading another book by the same author in the overstuffed leather chair across from me. And so... back I go again. Stay in the disjointedness and learn new things.