In Which Good Days Can Be So Surprising Sometimes

Today was my second review of the semester for my thesis project, and I have one more final review after this. Today’s review went fine, not great or badly, and sometimes that’s all you can ask for. I wish I was always excited about and interested in my project, but I tend to go back and forth between feeling good about it and just being really tired of it. But three weeks of school left and then I can go on questioning everything about my life like I do now, but without taking out school loans at the same time.

The day got better after I was finished with the review. A great new friend of mine works at a little bakery, so I stopped by for lunch and said hi to her for a minute before my sandwich was ready; it’s always nice to see friends and have a decent sandwich at the same time, you know?

What really made the day so good, though, was an email I got a few minutes ago from someone I’ve never met. There’s a girl who apparently has been reading my blog for the past five years, going back to my first Xanga account, and decided to email me yesterday and again tonight to say she’d been reading my blog for so long and to tell me how some of the things I’ve written have affected her. It was an incredibly nice email, probably the kindest one I’ve ever gotten, and really humbling. I don’t think it’s too much to say that when I write seriously, I hope that it affects someone in some way, and it’s so reaffirming to learn that sometimes it does. Affirmation can be a really good thing sometimes. Her email made me go back and read some of my old blog entries looking for one she specifically mentioned, and I found this one while searching through the archives. To give some background, I had just read the twelfth book in the Series of Unfortunate Events books, and I wrote down this quote, which I think is especially appropriate now:

“Dewey was wrong when he said that being noble enough is all we can ask for in this world, because we can ask for so much more than that. We can ask for a second helping of pound cake, even though someone has made it quite clear that we will not get any. We can ask for a new watercolor set, even though it will be pointed out that we never used the old one, and that all of the paints dried into a crumbly mess. We can ask for a Japanese fighting fish, to keep us company in our bedroom, and we can ask for a special camera that will allow us to take photographs even in the dark, for obvious reasons, and we can ask for an extra sugar cube in our coffees in the morning and an extra pillow in our beds at night. We can ask for justice, and we can ask for a handkerchief, and we can ask for cupcakes, and we can ask for all the soldiers in the world to lay down their guns and join us in a rousing chorus of “cry me a river,” if that happens to be our favorite song. But we can also ask for something we are much more likely to get, and that is to find a person or two, somewhere in our travels, who will tell us that we are noble enough, whether it is true or not. We can ask for someone who will say, “You are noble enough,” and remind us of our good qualities when we have forgotten them, or cast them into doubt.”

Thank you, Mallory, for the emails, wherever you are.

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