My lovely invisible readers, I am speaking (er, writing,) to you from the most glamorous, enviable location: My bedroom.
YES, you read that correctly: I AM HOME! I am not rotting in a muddy ditch on the side of Route 90, or being force-fed shellfish by an emotionally-stunted unibrowed goon named Carmine who has the secret ambition of being in the Follies. I am fully intact and have full function of all of my limbs. I haven’t succumbed to dysentery and I haven’t shaved my head. For the most part, I am A-okay.
Now, let me guess: You are probably scratching your head in extreme confusion, your head cocked to side and your brow most likely furrowed. ‘But, PeacePenPineapple,’ you’re probably saying aloud to yourself, ‘If you are A-okay, then where the hell have you been?’
Well, I’ll tell you where the hell I’ve been. It may take a while, but I’ll tell you. I wasn’t anywhere exciting, unless you for some reason believed me when I told you my bedroom was exciting and glamorous.
A little over one month ago, I wrote my last paper, printed out my last assignment, and sobbed my last school-related tears into my pillow (for the year, at least.) I packed up my dorm room, threw away all the rotting food under my bed, and waved a quick “see ya” to my professors and friends. I hightailed it out of my junior year of college with my family in tow, and our 9 hour road trip home began. Good-bye college, hello summer!
Well, more like “hello, frizzy hair and self-loathing about how my thighs look in these shorts!”
In all seriousness, after completing my junior year of college (my first year away from home, mind you,) I was exhausted. Like, I had no idea how utterly and completely EX-HAUS-TING it is to, like, be an independent woman. And I’m not even a truly independent woman, because I have not yet moved to the big city and spontaneously thrown my hat into the air in the middle of a crowded street.
After this year, (more accurately, this semester-you know, the one I constantly complained about both on and off this blog?), I felt drained. Never in my life had I put myself out on the line as much as I did this semester. I know that sounds silly, but for someone with anxiety, there’s like this never-ending feeling that you’re not doing enough to stand out, or to fight for yourself, or to get ahead. Maybe it’s just a part of having low self esteem, or maybe of being a woman, or maybe it’s a little bit of both. Whatever the reason, constantly pushing yourself to do things outside of your comfort zone-things like securing a Fall internship as well as a promotion at the school newspaper, yay!-can really take a toll not only emotionally, but physically: My under-eye bags could have been buy-one-get-one free with a pair of sandals, and my neck and shoulders gave Quasimodo a self-esteem boost. In short: I needed a break.
I didn’t look forward to writing, which scared me. If there is anything I DON’T avoid doing, it’s writing (usually). But after I (FINALLY) got home from school, I realized that what I needed most of all was a mental break. Hence, my (second? or third??) extended hiatus.
Everything felt weird when I got home. It all looked the same: My family, my bedroom, my backyard with the big tree that looks like a giant heart. Everything looked the same, but it felt so different. This sounds cheesy, but when I left for school last August, it felt like I was closing a chapter that I would never re-read, or something. Coming back felt like I was re-reading a book I never expected to read again, and now I can’t re-acclimate.
I know, I know: It’s dramatic and corny and, yes, it’s pretty much exactly how I felt when I got BACK TO SCHOOL in January. My emotions are weird, okay? Just bear with me.
There were things that changed, but they weren’t visible unless you looked with a magnifying glass. For one, a very, very close family friend died about a week after I got home from school.
It wasn’t a shock. She had been sick for two years, fighting two kinds of cancer valiantly and with style. But just because it wasn’t shocking doesn’t mean it wasn’t devastating. My grandparents all died before I was 9 years old, and this woman took their place. She was kind and generous and graceful, and determined as hell to make a mark on people’s lives. I can’t list all of her accomplishments here, not only because she disliked social media and how intrusive it can be, but because there are too many accomplishments to list. This woman was the first non-family member (genetics-wise, that is,) to show me what it means to grow up and be successful. She was my mother’s best friend, and she and her husband impacted my family in ways that, again, I won’t include in this post. The wound is still raw for most of my family, but I plan on writing a post about her soon. She deserves to be honored in some way, even if no one ever reads this blog or anything I write for her.
I know this is a weird place to stop, but I’ll end this post here. It’s part 1 of what I hope will be a 2-part return post. I just realized that I have so much more to say/confide, and I don’t want this post to drone on and on into oblivion/until my last remaining reader dissolves from boredom 🙂 BUT, I SHALL BE BACK! Stay tuned, and get ready for the most awkward summer of your life, because I’m here to stay.