Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summa Summa Summa Time

In Los Angeles, we have a late summer.  Growing up in Michigan, warmer weather starts in May and Memorial Day is treated as the official start of summer.  Here, we have to wait until the 4th of July (June gloom is miserable and absolutely accurate).  Seeing as we're less than a week out from my favorite holiday, the weather has finally started to cooperate and I got to spend an amazingly beautiful summer day on the ocean yesterday with some of my favorite people (well, not on the ocean, but a few yards away). 

I love summer.  I especially love what summer means: long days, sunburns, drinking with friends, the smell of dirt, sand and sweat.  Grilling, impromptu parties, ice cream, naps, pools, hikes and boats.  Everyone's generally in a better mood, spirits are high and worries are put away (at least temporarily). 

This weekend, I spent a lot of time in the apartment baking, cleaning and reading. Laying in the sun like a dog, trying to soak in the rays from inside my apartment.  I put off researching to catch up on some Real Housewives episodes and I filled the fridge with summer salad. 

Now the problem is that I still have five weeks of school left.  I have three major papers, two finals, a strategy simulation and two presentations before I can really let my hair down and breath.  One of my quests in life is trying to find balance.  Obviously I can't blow off the rest of the semester and play, but I also can't let what may well be my last summer in LA pass me by while I play hermit and ignore what's going on outside. 

What I'm saying is that I want to live my best life.  And that includes doing absolutely everything right now; a mighty tall order.  What I really want is someone at the end of the day, to promise me that it will all work out the way it's meant to.  That I won't push the panic buttom too many times in the next five weeks and that I'll get to play and work all in good time. But I guess I'll have to settle for having some incredible opportunities to savor time with friends, learn about myself and face this portion of the challenge head on.  After all, I've got a pretty great support system and failure just isn't an option. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Seven Weeks

As a certain someone would say, "I've had relationships shorter than that".  But that's just the amount of time I have until I'll be done!  It feels like just yesterday I woke up, decided to apply to business school and made a decision that would change the direction of my life forever.  I will have a very fancy, very impressive master's degree in less than two months and I can hardly wrap my head around exactly what that means.

And that's partly because I don't exactly know what that means.  I know it means a new job (sometime this fall at the very least), most likely a new city (here I come Chicago!) and probably missing my friends something painfully fierce. 

In the meantime, I've dyed my hair blond and put a gold ring in my nose because I can't really figure out another way of dealing with it.  After all, I'm working a full time job, taking a full load of classes (plus an extra credit for graduation), applying for jobs in a city nearly two thousand miles away, saying good bye to my best friend who is moving away with her boyfriend, trying to enjoy the last few weeks I have left with my friends, wishing the weather were nicer so I could finally get some Vitamin D, and trying hard not to let my heart break too badly. 

Needless to say, I've had moments of complete panic and debilitating anxiety in the last week.  I was doing so well for a while, not letting everything get to me. I was keeping up with my life coaching, not crying, basically keeping my shit together for the first half of the semester.  But the light at the end of the tunnel is getting almost too bright now.  I don't' know what to do. 

I'm scared, excited, thrilled, nervous and sad all at the same time.  I'm also insanely proud that I've been able to do this.  And with some pretty amazing success at that.  I've made a few friends, done well in my classes, got some amazing job interviews, made connections and had my fair share of ups and downs.  I've learned a ton about myself, about my life and about the world. 

So I'm trying to take this one day at a time.  Less than fifty days left of this madness that I love and hate at the same time.  I'm trying to enjoy the present.  The precious seven weeks I have left on this magical rollercoaster. That's what life is, right? This.  Right now.  Today.  These next seven weeks will be awesome, exhausting, amazing, terrifying and at the very least memorable.  So instead of trying to control it and figure it out, I'm going to try to embrace it.  In all its messy glory. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Cry When I Travel

It started the first Christmas I lived in LA.  It was my first trip back to Detroit after moving to the west coast and I was a babbling mess.  My cheeks were tear-stained, my eyes puffy, my bags packed full of the presents I bought with my first big-girl bonus.  I tucked my iPod into the pocket of my fleece, got on the red-eye and hunkered down, attempting to catch a few hours (minutes?) of sleep. 

That Christmas I cried a lot.  I was thousands of miles away from my family for the first time, permanently.  Voluntarily.  Indefinitely.  Purposefully.  I knew exactly what that meant when I moved out here, but Christmas is always difficult for me.  The emotion was too much. 

Just about two years later, I took a trip to Chicago.  And I cried all the way home.  I again put on my earphones and layed my head against the window as tears streamed down my face.  I cried because my heart was breaking.  I had fallenn in love with a city and a way of life and new found confidence and I knew then that I needed to find a way to get back to that.  That place I'm looking to go back to now.

For some reason, traveling is emotional.  A long car trip to Vegas last year gave me space to think about some really important things that I eventually made happen.  I cry on long flights and get all riled up on train rides.  I even cried on the car ride from Detroit to Chicago two years ago because of all the memories of the life that I used to live and the dreams I used to have that eventually had to change. 

And my latest trip to Detroit and Chicago was no different.  If everything works out according to "plan", this will have been my last flight from Detroit to LA as a Cali girl.  The next time I get on that plane I'll have an MBA after my name, a new job, a new address

So I cried because I'm scared and lonely.  Because I'm afraid that my plans will actually work out.  And that they might not. I cried because I'm already nostalgic.  Because my heart breaks every time I even think about leaving my life and my friends here.  My love. 

But tears are OK.  I think they're good even.  I come from a long line of weapers, and it's a way of knowing that we're feeling.  And I feel intensely.  Sometimes I regreat that I'm so sensetive, but mostly I'm grateful.  Grateful that I have things to cry about.