I know the month isn’t quite over yet, but can we please talk about August?
See, I was well aware that I was in for a crazy few weeks. I was ready. I even let myself oversleep once or twice in July in preparation.
But August, oh dear August, you out did yourself on the crazy.
I could write a long, ramble-heavy blog post for every day of this month, and indeed, I was struck by a daily urgency to blog through out–the ache to type, to spit out the oddities, contemplate the mundane, but every minute was stretched so thin (and now is stretched even thinner), how could I (and why am I)? If I was typing, I should have been working on my revision. If I wasn’t working on my revision, I should have pushed away from my laptop and reveled in the moment, my family, the places I saw and adored and tried so desperately to embrace to the fullest.
Which I did. I totally embraced what I could of each day. Including the bears.
My thirteenth class of the 2012-13 year finished. I flew home to California. I was there for four days. I revised, revised, revised. I stuffed myself in a truck with my family and drove five hours north to Paso Robles and Lake Nacimiento. I drank wine. I turned 22. I sat on a boat and watched my sister wakeboard. We drove back home, where I stayed for another four days. I revised, revised, revised until I got to a place of thinking–wow–I may actually almost finally be getting there with this book. But then I boarded a plane with a spiral-bound printing of my manuscript (thank you Kinkos) and, twenty minutes into the flight, I realized I’m NO WHERE NEAR THERE. Oh well.
Eugene. Portland. Seattle. Victoria. Vancouver. The northwest that I so adore. The northwest, where I so hope to live one day, if only for a few months. I was there. I was spinning. I was giddy and stressed and blessed. I was there, all the while scribbling FURIOUSLY in my poor little spiral-bounded manuscript. It was magic. Insane magic. Though, as life always goes, there was a moment of horror.
Because would you believe that while I was on a ferry, crossing over from the United States and into Canada, in the last ten seconds of my still having cell reception, my flatmate called from Colorado? He did. And he left a voicemail. It was a very long voicemail–which probably cost my dad three hundred bucks to listen to because by the time I received the voicemail I was in Canada territory–but all my flatmate needed to say was this: ceiling fell in Hilary’s room. Apartment is a disaster. We’re breaking the lease. You need to move out. You need to find a place in the next few weeks.
And it was hysterical, it was bloody hysterical, having just left Washington water for British Columbia, and learning that my Colorado home I’ve grown so attached to, the home I’ve nested in, wrote so much in, the home I was certain I’d live in until graduation, would no longer be my home for very much longer, was (and is) no longer safe to live in. (Though for the record, I’m currently typing from said home. My room was undamaged and I have no where to go. I’m in the nauseating lull of house searching, hoping to be out of this moldy mess in a week or three.) I cried. I laughed like a maniac. And then said, what the hell, onwards to Victoria!
The Oregon to British Columbia journey passed. I wore sunglasses in window-heavy restaurants and smiled with my brother and sister for my parents’ camera too many times. Ten days, and then another flight. Vancouver to Orange County. Landed sometime Sunday afternoon and at the baggage claim, as I was being told I’d left my Kindle on the plane, my glasses fell off my face. Broken. The arm just fell off. Irrationally, so pathetically, I sobbed. My apartment. My Kindle (which I don’t even really LIKE beyond for traveling back ease). And now my GLASSES? I sobbed and laughed and sobbed and laughed.
The next day, Sunday, with a flu like no other flu I’ve had this year (not counting the flu that left me in bed with a high fever for three days, unable to eat or drink water beyond spare sips), I boarded yet another flight: Orange County to Denver. I landed after 10 PM. Ex-boyfriend-now-friend picked me up in my beloved, terribly missed car. From there it was an hour and so forth drive south to Colorado Springs, to my soggy apartment that I thought would be my home for a year but really will only be my home for another week. I was in bed no earlier than 2 AM. I was sick, sick, sick. You know, please don’t wake me for a century sick. I was asleep no earlier than 3 AM. My alarm went off at 7 AM.
FELLOWSHIP TRAINING TIME! Go, go, go, go.
Fancy dress and tights (because being an Admission Fellow means dressing PROFESSIONAL) and ibuprofen pumped in my blood, I scurried to campus. Training from 8:30 to 5. I may have overdosed on Pepto-Bismal and Tylenol. I didn’t think I’d survive. I ate a few bites of a sesame bagel. I drank a lot of water. I sweated all that water out just by sitting. (I AM A SUPER HUMAN SWEATING MACHINE.) I hugged old friends I haven’t seen in months (because fall semester starts Monday and all my fellow dear seniors have returned to campus). And, despite feeling so terrible, despite not knowing if I’d black out at any moment, despite the paralyzing stress of my terrifying new job that I feel so unqualified for, I was wonderfully happy.
How do I know I’m meant to be a Fellow? How do I know the absurd cost of my school is worth it? Because, two and half years later, telling my “journey to CC” story, my discovering/visiting/interviewing/application experience, still makes tear up and my heart race and my palms sweat and EVERY CLICHE PHYSICAL SIGN OF DRAMATIC EMOTION PLAUSIBLE.
Also, I kind of adore my name tag. Is that lame?
My work in the Admission Office is, for the most part, confidential, so obviously I won’t ever write about that arena of my life in any depth, but gosh, do I feel honored, do I feel blessed to be a form of a gate, a beacon, whatever to CC for prospective students. To interview, to listen, to enthuse. My hermit-status is well known–I’m not a part of CC culture like the average CC student (blame my writing addiction)–but nonetheless, this incredible school is my home. A home that, dare I say, saved my life in more than one way.
But how did I get off on a Yay Me I Love Life tangent? AUGUST, YOU’VE NEARLY KILLED ME. I’m mad. I’m excited. I’m awed that I survived. Because now it’s Wednesday night. Or Thursday morning. The bulk of training is behind, and until Sunday, my mission is to type type type. The Big Revision MUST be completed this week. This is it. I don’t break deadlines. And because of the unexpected–the illness, the broken glasses that were held together by tape until Tuesday when a lady at Costco graciously replaced them, the heavy-heavy-heavy fellowship training, the viewing of six apartments in three days time because, dude, the wood in this house is most definitely rotting, the emotional turmoil of having to find a new home because I’m a nester and I DON’T LIKE MOVING DESPITE MY ADDICTION TO MOVING–well, because of all that, I’m a day or two behind where I wanted to be.
My revising desk spread. I will miss that window.
It’s funny, because there’s no real force behind this deadline. No force but me. More than anything, I’m revising furiously for me, because I said I would, because I want to give this book my all before I have to divide my focus among other things. Like my thesis. And the GRE (which I rescheduled for October). And work. And graduating. I’m not sure what I’m saying. Excuse my total tangent, my head is in a several different places right now. Did I mention my senior year kicks off Monday?
Obviously I’m quite grateful the flu departed my body sometime yesterday.
August, you hurt my head, but somehow, I still adore what you did. Surely it’s good to be pushed to your limits every now and then, right? The chaos only clarifies just how desperately I care. My passions, well, obviously I’d give up sleep for them. The infuriation and anxiety and uncertainty is worth it. Goodness. I need to go to bed before I get any more cheesy, before I top 2000 words. I’m singing to myself at this point.
Only three more days to revise, until I send the book away and push it aside for who knows how long.
Wish me a clear mind. Wish me a new home for nesting.
Wish me a happy senior year and rewarding fellowship.
But most importantly, wish me sleep.