Friday, April 28, 2006

Strange Emotions

So this has been a pretty good week for me...

I don't know I've ever gone into it on here or not, but a big part of my new job is planning events that either help raise money for the University or help make friends for the University. Well, this last weekend, I had three of those events (one friend raising event, one fund raising event, and one event that was sort of a blend of both).

The friend raising event pretty much took care of itself, the fund raising event raised $10,000 for an endowed scholarship, and the blended event raised over $3000 for the same endowed scholarship. While $3000 doesn't sound like much, it was the first time since this annual event started that it actually made money for the endowment. Although I was a part of the planning for the other two events, the blend event was completely mine. I went out and got corporate sponsors, negotiated a great deal on t-shirts, and got a lot of stuff donated that we should have paid for. After the event, several people (including my boss, my vice-president, and another vice-president that I don't directly report to) told me that I had done a great job with everything and that they were (I'm paraphrasing here) thoroughly impressed with my performance thus far. So professionally, the week was off to a good start.

On Monday, I got an email from OU saying that I had passed my Comprehensive Exams. That means that now, aside from fulfilling a few minor technical requirements; I am officially a Master of Education. This is the test that I wrote about almost a month ago. I believe I mentioned the fact that I was having trouble studying for it. Well... although I had every intention of studying, it just never materialized. I was worried at the time, but looking back, it's clear that (yes folks) when it comes to the testable portion of Higher Education knowledge, I am a stud. I would feel a little boastful saying that, if it weren't for the fact that the messy problems of Higher Education don't really lend themselves that well to the testable portion of my degree. I digress... but the gist of it is that Monday was a good day.

On Wednesday, the president of Rwanda was on campus and I got to hear him speak. He was quite a visionary and it was really exciting listening to him talk about where his country was headed in relation to where it had been. In addition to getting to hear him speak, I was also invited by the president's office here at OC to a private reception in his honor that afternoon. Even though I found out when I got there that I had been invited to be the valet parker, it was still a lot of fun driving all those rich people's cars. And hey... after all the cars were parked, I was told that it would be OK for me to come in and join the party. I declined, but Wednesday was still a pretty neat day. After all, it's not every day you get the opportunity to drive the cars of people that get to rub elbows with heads of state.

Last night was Senior Night (another event I planned) and although only four people showed up, I'm still happy about it. I got to spend an hour or two getting to know four alums-to-be that I probably wouldn't have met if all 300 members of the Class of 2006 had showed up. Not only that, but I also only spent $11.15 of the $1000 budget for the event. Looks like next year's Senior Night will be AMAZING! So... Thursday was a good day.

I called this post "Strange Emotions" because although this week has been an extremely good one for ME, it has been a real struggle (academically and to some extent, professionally) for the one person in this world that I care about more than anyone else, DW (Dear Wife). I know this may seem like a pretty duh statement, but when you marry someone, you really do become one person with them. Even though this week has been good for me, there is still a big part of me that hurts for her and the tough time she's been having.

It's weird. I don't feel like she's raining on my parade or anything like that. I'm still really happy about the "success" I've had this week, but at the same time I am sad for her. Don't get me wrong, I don't pity her though... she is not a pitiable person. She is amazing in so many different ways. There's not a day that goes by that she does not encourage or challenge me to be a better person spiritually. My day is always better after I've spent some time talking and listening to her. When it comes to deep thinkers, DW takes the cake. You might not guess it from casual conversation (she likes to keep this side of her a secret), but within her mind is a thought life that is even more beautiful than the face that it often hides behind... her ability to intuitively read and navigate even the most complicated of situations never ceases to amaze me. Emotionally, she is probably one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. She has an uncanny ability to assess and understand her own emotions and the emotions of others. I've seen total strangers completely open up to her and start pouring out their soul to her as if they've known her for years. While this may be a bit annoying for her now, when she's a therapist and can start charging $100 an hour to be opened up to like that, it will totally be worth it.

I digress, but the point I'm trying to make is that DW is truly an amazing person in so many ways more ways than she will probably ever realize, and although she's been having a tough time these last few days, and although I'm sad for her, I also see an amazing inner strength in her. I know she will get everything done in time and I know that her clinical interview will go fine and I know that she will be a great therapist some day... so while there's a part of me that's sad for her, there is also another part of me that is more impressed by her than words could ever express. As an outside observer with fairly intimate knowledge of the person she is, I know that her struggle is temporary and am completely confident that she will emerge in just a few days (when everything is behind her) a much stronger person, and so a part of me is happy for her.

And that's the long and short of the strange emotions I'm experiencing. I'm simultaneously proud of what I've accomplished professionally, happy to be finishing my master's degree, happy to be finishing my job, happy to be moving into a house, hurting for my wife, proud of my wife, amazed by my wife, and completely confident in her ability to successfully get through this but not sure how to express that without seeming like I don't care.

Wow... that was a long post. I hope I have clearly articulated not only the content and reason behind the strange emotions I'm experiencing, but I also hope I have clearly articulated the difficulty I'm having processing all of that.

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