Saturday, August 29, 2009
Today I'm packing up the most essential of my belongings-- computer, internship wardrobe, a few key textbooks, put them all in my beat up Jeep and drive 90 minutes South to Dupont, because tomorrow is the day when five years of studying culminates and I begin my practical education-- whether I'm ready or not.
My living arrangements came together finally and beautifully. I met my friend Stephanie in seventh grade-- neither of us remembers if we first became friends because our flute teacher put us together to play duets, or because we went to the same church youth group, but either way, we've been friends ever since. It has been my extreme good fortune that Stephanie's mom works as a nurse at Madigan, where I will be doing my internship, and has graciously offered to let me live at her house only a few miles from the base for minimal rent.
I also know I am incredibly lucky to have an internship in-state at all, and it would be much harder if I were packing up and moving to Texas or Idaho or who knows where else. I am very lucky that every weekend I will be able to come home and see Marc and my chickens and come back to my life.
Never-the-less, I am feeling sad. Other than one miserable year in a dorm with a roommate I disliked, I have never even *kind of* been on my own before. Marc and I moved in together 10 years ago, when I was 19. The longest we have ever been apart is 3 weeks, when Marc had to do job training in Texas. He is my support system, my biggest cheerleader and my safety net. While I know he is still here for me, only an hour and change away I am feeling vulnerable not to have him to come home to every night.
Oh the other hand, it will be very good in some ways as I will have fewer distractions in the evening as the inevitable mountains of homework and preparation add up, I will have nothing but dietetics to draw my focus.
On top of this, I am missing my Bastyr friends-- it is scary to go into this new and intense phase of my education without them-- where is Laura to explain the mechanism to me when I forget and Reed to simultaneously know the answer, correct the professor and make me laugh, and Laine to get mad at Reed for all of the above? Who is going to greet me in the mornings drinking murky beverages from jars or get irate about the state of agriculture in America over lunch? The world outside the Bastyr bubble is a bittersweet one-- it is what we all worked so hard to achieve and yet in order to get what we wanted we have to leave behind something equally special.
So it with is this confusing mix of anticipation, gratitude, apprehension and a little bit of sadness that I embark on this new journey. On top of all of this-- my father-in-law is in the hospital in Los Angeles, having had a heart attack while on a business trip and has been diagnosed with a bacterial blood infection. Though his prognosis seems good, it feels wrong to leave my family during this time of crisis, and yet leaving is exactly what I have to do.
I have no doubt this will be a year of great growth, not only professionally but personally, as I learn to navigate the world much more on my own than I ever have been before.