Epiphany no. 1: I am not a failure/disappointment to my parents, mentors, sunday school teachers, or college professors. Now I can see the incredulous looks on the faces of some of my beloved readers, but let me just remind you all that deep in the heart of every perfectionist lurks an irrational, yet terribly compelling, suspicion that the world requires us to be flawless (just us--other people are allowed to make mistakes). This is what fuels our perfectionism. Along with that comes the much more realistic suspicion that we are always mucking things up somehow. This is what makes us irritable and neurotic. Lucky us. In any case, I learned that even though I have not written any symphonies, published any research papers, or filled any posts as conductor of some impressive philharmonic orchestra, Dr. Hanson is still proud of me. I heard him say so. Coming from him, it makes a big difference.
Epiphany no. 2: I have a mind that was built for scholarship, and I am not referring to the kind of scholarship where people give you money to go to school (although, if you think about it, I am getting paid to go to school--just not to learn). In the words of the inimitable Steve Urkel "I simply crave academic nourishment." For a while, I thought I was done with taking classes and writing papers and all that stuff. And it is possible that I am. But I am certainly not done with learning and thinking, and it is a distinct possibility that some of this learning and thinking will eventually land me back in school (as a student), barring some sort of social breakdown in which all of civilization is compelled to return to subsistence farming. Although, with my future, your guess is as good as mine.
Epiphany no. 3: I am, and probably always will be, hopelessly weird. Maybe someday that will be cool. Today, it mostly means that while big concepts like the progression of Western Civilization from medievalism to rationalism to romanticism to modernism and postmodernism and post-postmodernism make perfect sense to me, practical things like how to date someone remain hopelessly out of reach.
Epiphany no. 4: If I want adventure, I had better just go out and have it. What's the point of all this freedom and independence if I'm going to just sit around and whine about where I am? Also, If I really do want adventure, then I shall have to let go of any expectations as to how my life ought to turn out. I feel like that's a really big idea, although I can't really explain it any better.
...And that was just my Friday afternoon. I got to spend the evening watching Dr. Who with the aforementioned Adrienne and her husband Josh (fun!), and the next day featured such refreshment of the soul as only a Lazy Afternoon at casa Walter can provide.
Like I said, it was a really great weekend.
*A medium sized epiphany is somewhere between "Oh, now I get it!" and "I will now sell everything I have, move to Guatemala, and spend the rest of my life contemplating the innate artistry of a single fern frond."