Around 1 am approximately 7 hours before this moment on the sidewalk, I was crawling into bed feeling defeated and like I hadn't gotten enough accomplished. Convinced to accept defeat by what-is and always-is Monday, I decided to go to bed. I am incredibly happy here and in no way do I think I made the wrong decision to come here. In fact, I do not think I will EVER feel that way. But things are beginning to get a little tense and stress is building (one temporary escape, feel it start to permeate). I am no longer in the "honeymoon" stage of thoughts like, "Wow! A new and exciting city!" or "can't wait for an email back on what happened at work yesterday." I feel like promises made in my last few days from certain people whom I love deeply have been sworn to the sky and that the fears I shared with them could come true. This frightens me deeply. We had laid with our hands gripped tight and now I'm all the way over here- an ocean and miles of land away and maybe the distance is overwhelming.
Things are beginning to become real. This is becoming life.
I am torn substantially between hanging onto everything and everyone from 3 weeks ago and so desperately wanting to include them in this new phase and diving into things going on here.
From home, the baggage I managed to pack included friends of all shapes, colors and sizes and varying degrees of quality. I also loaded the plane with my desires and intentions to go to law school in 2012. I am now nose-deep in applications and answering the most absurd personal questions along with intellectual essays that require sessions of genius followed by writer's block and procrastination again accompanied by genius. These applications are overwhelming me, to say the least. And without the support system that I had cheering me on through my battle against the LSAT, it's even more tough. Unbeknownst to me, all the things on my plate when I boarded that direct flight to Madrid is stuck there like when you use Wal-Mart dishwashing detergent and as soon as you open the dishwasher, its apparent that off-brand just couldn't quite get the job done. This is just one example.
Additionally, I gained new wonders and stressors simultaneously. Things like opening a bank account, signing a lease, obtaining a temporary foreign residence card and moving into an apartment all within a few days, overlapping with starting a job that I have absolutely no training in and incredibly rusty Spanish posed quite a challenge. I love it so far. The chaos hasn't yet caused a complete anxiety attack, but my OCD self can only handle so much so it's only a matter of time before a complete hostile-takeover begins and I attempt to start running the place. Color coding, lists, file folders, schedules and nicely typed Word documents included. I've met some really amazing people here so far. I've also encountered some sketchy people that I feel like I cannot trust at all whatsoever which illuminates loneliness I don't even know exists until the moment I am reminded of it. I've also had students that I have contemplated risking an Amanda Knox trial, thinking no one would notice if I just slapped them square across the face... On the other hand, I've had students that remind me of the nerd I was, and still am, with this glowing eagerness in their eyes that reminds me of the potential I hope others see shining equally as brightly through me.
As I am navigating what I escaped to that's managed to become permanent, I am feeling things crumble, break and shake. Not at all in a bad way.
I am here to enjoy this time. To soak in whatever adventure comes my way. To do whatever the hell I want (and I don't care if you fucking like it). To escape. To relax. To learn. To stay focused on what I want to be doing. And I'm realizing that I'm not sure I can do all of those things at once. I feel like the pre-October 4th Stephanie and the post-October 4th Stephanie has partially lost her ability to understand the balance between who she IS, who she WAS and who she WILL or WANTS TO BE. I am trying to find the in-between but I am young and naive.
As I've said 1000 times on this blog, I have literally no CLUE what the future holds. As I marked through pages of research regarding schools realizing which ones I still know nothing about and which ones to mark as "reach" or "match" or "safety" I thought to myself for the first real time: I AM GOING TO LAW SCHOOL. I have a score that I am proud of because I worked my little white, pale ass off for it. And that's what I want. Above nearly anything else right now, what it comes down to is that's what I want. This leaves me with an eery bittersweet realization of the sacrifices that I am going to have to continue to make in order to ensure that this law school dream is realized.
Everything else is going to have to fall into place afterward.
And I finish this long-winded blog with begging you to read this epiphany with a grain of salt. For now, can you whisper and assure me that I am and have been making the right choices instead of counting my mistakes like tallies on receipt paper lining the ceiling of an elementary classroom counting down the days until school is over. I don't have it figured out, at all, not even almost maybe.
So there it is, devoted readers, Mastering The Balance of "In-Between:" Still Very Much So A Work In Progress.
While I am young, naive, with bittersweet between my teeth, putting love under a stack of other paperwork, counting up mistakes and requiring certain skills, plotting my nearest escape in fear of this place becoming permanent, bear with me. Live this ever-so-strange life with me or one of us better let go before it's too late.