Frightening how it all comes together

Subject: Frightening how it all comes together

Date: Friday 7/14/06 5:29:00 AM

Mood: transition

So I was talking with my Mom on the phone yesterday; and we’re (my family) all just about ready to hit these different stages in life.

My Twin Brother Dave just got his dream job at Toyota as an engineer designing cars, they’re paying for his apartment, cell phone, clothes and I’m so incredibly proud of him. I think he finally gets that we’re (him and I) not in competition with each other…that our fields of study and thought processes are so separate and distinctively different that we couldn’t possibly compete on anything. I think he finally gets that when I say I’m proud of him, I mean it. That when I say I love him, I mean it.

My Dad’s a success in life and in business and so is my Mother; though she doesn’t give herself nearly enough credit for what she’s done and what she does. But I don’t have to worry about them, or when and if they’ll be able to retire or how they’ll fund themselves; they’ve got it taken care of. I have complete faith that my Younger Brother Sam will make it and it’s exciting that next year he’s a Sophomore in High School…and scary, so scary because of drugs and alcohol and all the other little monsters that are hiding in the corners, in the shadows that I wish he didn’t have to see. Because he’s my younger brother, whose diapers I changed and with whom I sat next to in synagogue and he’s about to enter a very real and very scary world…and it scares the crap out of me because I won’t be able to protect him. Because he’s capable of thought and therefore, capable of making his own choices and I only hope that he’s strong enough to make all the right ones where certain things are concerned and where it isn’t life or death, I hope he learns from his mistakes…”and you shall be a blessing” But he’s a man now, and that’s a hard role for me to picture him in, even though he stands taller than me and his voice deeper than mine…and I know that he’ll handle entering the real world with the usual Schwartz way of doing things: Head on.

I’m 532 days (give or take) away from graduation; this is my Senior year…yes, I have two summer courses to take after this year and two courses to take in Fall of 07…but this is it. I’m on the last leg of the race and pulling straight A’s like no one’s business. I’m taking no prisoners and I’m hitting life with the ton of bricks it usually likes to hit me with. I won’t sit in trepidation or fear of the future, because even if there was some secondary shoe waiting to drop…I won’t let it.

As far as I go: my Arabic Studies are coming; slowly…as they should be studied slow. Learning to write Arabic and how to read it is a very relaxing, meditative process. It teaches you to enjoy doing things slow, to relish in how your hand feels when it touches pen to ink to paper (there is no substitute for writing with a quill) and to listen and focus on your inner voice and every time I wish I was better at it faster, I stop and list at least two reasons why I wish to be better at it slower.

This year I’m forcing myself to practice writing Arabic Lines two hours a day, all except Saturday and Sundays; for as much of the day as possible I will think in the language, write in the language…learn to transliterate English into the writing system just as I learned to do the same in Hebrew and truly master it. I will read, and reread all of my books on the subject (and I have many) until I can recite them in my sleep backwards and forwards…because my future career, as I see it and demand that it be…requires it and I will not allow myself to fail.

I’m almost done as an undergrad, and a whole new world awaits me as a grad student with research and ideas that I’m dying to investigate…and I’m standing on this cliff of excitement and while the fear is there, that fear of “what if you don’t make it” I push it out of my head saying to myself, quietly “I’ve always made it…and I always will…I alone decide my fate” and I’m about to jump off and instead of falling I’m about to soar…but it’s this wind up, as I run towards the cliffs edge, this last mile, that’s terrifying.

It’s terrifying because I’m rapidly becoming the man that I’ve always wanted to become…and it’s…it’s happening…it’s really happening…but then what? I’m about to enter what for me is uncharted territories…and despite what younger children think…Adults don’t get a rule book, we don’t get maps…and most of the time when it looks like we have all our shit together, we’re really just flying by the seat of our pants.

And, as my father’s words of advice to me go “Keep your wits about you” and everything is possible…other than that, I just have to remember to breathe.

And now that it’s all on paper, I can head out. I’ll catch up with everyone after this weekend.