Crying at a Dinner with Strangers

Five minutes before yoga began, I read an email from my school’s Dean: “no large, in-person meetings or events (apart from classes) should take place through at least the end of April. For example, there will be no in-person Forum events, Quorum Calls, large alumni gatherings, or other activities that generally draw 100 or more people.”


One of the most rewarding and intellectually stimulating parts of graduate school is taking part in these large events – listening, exchanging ideas, feeling part of something much greater than ones self. And even more, the email also mentioned the testing virtual classroom technology to be used post-spring break for classes, rather than meeting in-person.

In my rest and restore yoga class, as I lay in chest-opening positions, tears started to roll down my face. I understood that the things that I value the most about my degree program will most likely be ending much sooner than May. They might already be done.


As I promised a friend that I would join a dinner he was hosting, I thought I could pull myself together to stop in (which I was already an hour late to because I wanted to let my body relax at yoga). Before he opened the door to his apartment, he explained to me that there were about 30 people inside and that they were playing a game where you ask someone you didn’t know a question about themselves… I almost didn’t enter, but I thought I could be strong.

Well, I was wrong. Because I didn’t know anyone at this dinner besides the host and one other friend from drawing class, I was quickly asked a question. “What is one word that someone close to you would describe you?”

I said loyal. Loyal because I couldn’t have not gone to that dinner because I had said I would go. Loyal because hardly anyone is these days – it’s much too easy to be flakey. Loyal because it’s there already enough uncertainty in the world? So shouldn’t we reduce some of that uncertainty at least in our relationships with others?

At this table of strangers, I explained why loyal, and why I came to this dinner even though I was emotionally crushed, and then, I cried. Sitting at the head of this table of 30 people, I wept as to why I was so upset by the feeling that my program was ending early.

I am still very sad. I am trying not to be.

I am ok. I will always be ok.


Hugs can heal little pieces of sadness, and friends have given me lots these days.

And we will keep going, as we always do.


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