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Thinking Makes It So: One final sunflower

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By Kelly LeVan

So this is it. I ate my cookie. I drank a big gulp of soymilk. And now I’m writing what is most likely my last “Thinking Makes It So.”

There are some of you, I know, who are probably thinking, “Well, it’s about time. I hate this column, and yet I read it nearly every week. Why do I do that? Anyhow, it will be great to have my Thursday nights back.”

I free you, disgruntled readers! From now on, read something you truly enjoy.

Try Yann Martel’s “The Life of Pi” if you haven’t read it yet, or Chuck Palahniuk’s “Diary.” Heck, try the comics page – I love the advice column. Sometimes I try to give advice, but I don’t know how often you should call your ex-husband or what you should feel when your wife says she wants to sleep in separate rooms. Maybe read some Billy Collins if that happens. Read it in the bathtub long after the water drains away, but you still have a puddle under your back that makes a lewd sound every time you push it down.

To the ones who don’t mind reading this column so much: I will miss writing to you. I really will. Writing to you is something I truly enjoy.

But I’m moving on. I’m leaving the Monitor.

For quite a while now, I’ve been going through a post-adolescent, pre-mid-life angst. I fight it all the time. I take ballet and jazz classes. I learned stage acting. I took philosophy, psychology, chemistry and calculus. I tried immersing myself in the library, reading thick books by Jeffrey Eugenides and Amy Tan. I started writing a couple of novels and finished a few poems. I’ve baked and run and weeded my garden – even of its sunflowers, unfortunately. I got carried away.

You know when you can’t find a file in your computer, how you run a search and the little wheel spins round and round? That’s where I’ve been: inside that little wheel.

But being in the wheel is infinitely better than where I was before, which was more like under the wheel. If you look back at very early editions of “Thinking Makes It So,” you can probably feel the rim thumping over the words.

Anyhow, let’s get out of that simile. Even as I baked and ran and weeded, smiling and enjoying the sad, accidental uprooting of my beautiful sunflowers, I wanted something else.

In the past, I might have wanted somebody else, but these days I have no doubts about who I want. And I think that’s part of it, actually: Once I found a wickedly handsome tennis partner, I was no longer preoccupied with the “I’m going to die alone” thoughts – mine always stretched out into “I’m going to die alone in a studio apartment in some anonymous way, with my back to the only window in the room.” Minus this preoccupation, I was free to think about other things.

It turned out that beyond not dying alone, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.

After many false positives, I now know – OK, am super close to knowing – that I want to study and write about the brain. In order to do this, I need to join a graduate program in psychology, and in order to do this, I need to work harder than I ever did in my creative writing program just to get accepted.

I succeeded with the GRE this past weekend, thanks to weeks of practice with my patient, algebraically advanced fiancé, so one daunting task down and I’m afraid to estimate how many more to go. I’m terrified, seriously, of trying for something I want so much.

I hope having a little more free time and less stress will help as I prepare for the GRE subject test in psychology and work on other parts of the application process. I’ll be working part-time at Corazon Del Oso – feel free to stop by and say hello. I will still accept poems and blandishments for columns long recycled.

Actually, let me check with my new boss first.

I also want to mention that I’m getting married this fall. This has very little to do with my decision to go back to grad school or to leave the Monitor, but I like writing it. “I’m getting married this fall.” I’ve never been happier.

E-mail love or cholera to Kelly at laeditor@lamonitor.com – but do so by Saturday or she will never know how you feel.