All quiet on the western front. The calm before the storm. The calm within the eye of a hurricane/tornado/what have you. Any of the above metaphors work for my current situation. It’s been pretty quiet lately, eerily quiet. Even walking across campus this morning to go to a meeting with the graduate school advisor, there was hardly a peep from anyone. Granted many people were in class, but typically 10 minutes till an hour, classes get out in the morning. I saw student milling around but didn’t hear much. I actually coughed to make sure I wasn’t the deaf one. But no, I heard my cough loud and clear. A bit too loud since it wasn’t drowned by the usual chatter of overly energetic college students awaiting the lunch hour.

With exams coming up next week, the beginning of this week has been marked with atypical quiet. Even the people I’m talking to say that the full force of exams hasn’t yet hit. I guess it’s a matter of time. What’s odd is that this quiet also stretches across friendships and seems to strain relationships. It’s a bit of paradox, I know, but hang with me. With friendships, it seems that everyone is a bit preoccupied with their own lives, their own version of the calm. Meals have been relatively uneventful as conversation quickly dies down after the “how are you? how are classes going?” introductory remarks. With the lack of excitement, of activity in the other aspects of our lives, friendships have been rather calm. On the other hand, I’ve been seeing that relationships are getting a bit strained. They seem to be similar to the animals that lay down in fields in anticipation of a coming storm.

Cow in field

They are sensing the change in the air, and even though it’s still calm and quiet, they are reacting. Ima, Ally,  Phantom and the “Ukrainian,” and an acquaintance named Tea have all exhibited evidence of this. Granted, they each have their own circumstances but it’s strange that so many of my friend’s relationships are going through rough patches at the same time. My theory is that everyone is subconsciously (or not) stressing out about finals and the upcoming changes so they are taking out on their significant other.

The calm is a curious phenomenon. It gives you time to relax and further ponder the upcoming storm. It gives you time to spend with friends but it’s not all that interesting since everyone is consumed by their own thoughts. It gives you time to get your affair in order and it makes you feel like you are preparing your will or something of the like. Either way, in spite of being slightly apprehensive of what the calm will result in, I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying having time to breathe and email everyone that I have been meaning to email for the past two weeks. I’m enjoying having time to watch TV without feeling too guilty since there isn’t much else I should be doing. I’m enjoying having time to sort my thoughts, understand myself and learn to be alone (a work in progress). I’m really enjoying the calm. I guess we’ll just have to see what the storm brings.


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