So here's the highly anticipated blog about my transition into real adulthood. It's taken me awhile to write for a couple of reason:
a. The last couple of nights have been jam-packed with moving things. Packing, lugging, unpacking, building, packing more shit, unpacking...etc. I've been dog tired at the end of the night and the thought of writing this blog filled with emotions seemed more draining than cathartic (which I think it is supposed to be).
b. I didn't quite have what I wanted to say pieced together. I mean, there's a lot to say about moving from one phase of life into about a million more phases all at once. I should at least try to do it eloquently...and not in a jumbled mess of what my stream of consciousness looks like.
So here I am on a Saturday night after a lighter day of building and arranging and purchasing ready to sit down and think about what it means to me to be leaving a place that feels like home in so many ways, doing it again in my real home, and moving into what is about to become my HOME home. Confused yet?
Let's start here. What it means to leave Champaign-Urbana, the magical place that I came to love. At the beginning, I despised that hell hole with every fiber of my being. Being in Chambana meant I wasn't in H-town. It meant I was away from my mom (which I'll get to later). It meant that I had to focus on school, I had to communicate less with my friends, and I had to think about the future. Major bummer. BUT THEN! And it's a BIG 'but then'...I met my campus family. Ross had asked me what I was going to miss the most. I couldn't quite articulate what I wanted to say. I wanted to say a lot of things...
I'll miss the quad even though I didn't spend a LOT of time there.
I'll miss the WRC (of course).
I'll miss Espresso Royale.
I'll miss Green Street (and everything that entails).
I'll miss the fact that I can usually call any number of my friends if I get bored and at least one of them will go get coffee with me.
...But instead I said I'll miss the familiarity. Which is true. But not entirely true. I'm not unfamiliar with our new locale...I'm just not four straight years familiar. And by familiarity, I think I really just meant FAMILY. because that's what everyone there is to me. There are my friends who are like these long lost brothers and sisters that I like to cook for and hang out with all the time. And we can party and be stupid and then the next day show up to class and take exams and all that good stuff. There are those people that were supposed to be supervisors or professionals, but instead treated me like their daughter, sister, and/or friend. There are those professors who care enough about me (one of 500 of their students) to ask me to get coffee with them or to stop by their office and just chat. And there are the people that have quickly (or not so quickly) become my role model and who I strive to emulate and make proud. Those are the people that come to mind immediately when I think about leaving that place and moving on. I just want to make those people proud to have known and taught me nearly everything that I stand for now.
I imagine that these are all or mostly all of the same feeling I had four years ago when I went from high school and college. But I was a different person then (thankfully, I think) and I will be a different person 1 year from now, 2 years from now, and 5 years from now.
I know that all of these things do not simply exist in the Champaign Urbana bubble. I know that I will eventually find these people here and at Wash U. and later on in life, whatever that may be. Hell, I may become one of those people to someone else someday. But that doesn't change the fact that these are people...: Anna, Jeremiah, Ross, Teryl, JennScott, Michelle, Bethany, Leslie, Ryan, LauraGrace, VivS., Sarah, JessicaE., Janel, NickGooler, Chantal, PatGill, and ALLLLLLLLLLLL those other wonderful ones*: who have MADE my four years at U of I something I will cherish and never regret.
I will never forget the first semester of hell. But that first semester of hell will never tinge the feelings of joy I feel when I think about my experience there.
That's what I'll miss. Those people. and many more people. because yes, I can find a coffeeshop in St. Louis that I love (I already have one in Eville..CHECK!), and yes, I will make my own imprint on Wash U the way I did with U of I..but I can't replace those people and memories I have, nor would I ever want to. It's time for a new couch...and I'm getting one**, and I'm excited. I have butterflies. I'm sad, scared, excited, happy, antsy, nervous, etc. I have moments where I cry. I have moments where I shake with happiness. I wouldn't trade ANY of it for the world.
*clearly I'm missing people. It's bound to happen. Sorry.
** Ross had an analogy about Chambana being an old comfy couch that has your ass grooves worn in and you know exactly where all the springs stick out, etc. but sometimes, it's time to get a new couch because that old couch has been used past its prime (or something like that). It made sense.
So clearly this is part 1. I'll do part 2 another time. I'll discuss my feelings on moving out of my childhood home, too. Be ready for tears, Ma.
And maybe part 3 will be about the new place. because I can.