That phrase has been overused both out loud and put on endless loop inside my mind for the past couple of weeks. Currently I’ve spent almost 2 months in the purgatory of life: completing one project, and waiting for the beginning of the next one. Except that lately I just feel like I’ve been in a doctor’s waiting room. Waiting. There’s not much that I can do between graduation and moving on to Dublin. I can daydream, I can plan, I can apply for jobs and go through housing websites to look for apartments. But when it’s all said and done, I can’t really do anything until July 11th. And then on July 11th, I know I’ll expect that whole “Rome wasn’t built in a day” cliche to pop into my brain. Because on July 11th, I will want Rome to have been built, prosperous, and securely thriving.
I’ve always struggled with having the most insanely ridiculous expectations, and moving and starting life outside of academia is no exception. I’ve already intellectually prepared for an impending mental breakdown per not meeting these expectations by paying a little extra for insurance to cover some costs of counseling, but I know I won’t know the full impact of whatever curve ball life is gonna throw me until it hits me squarely in the jaw. Exciting times lie ahead.
In the meantime, I’ve kept myself busy. Part of the chaos that works for me is keeping myself busy so I don’t worry too much about something I can’t control: such as not being productive while I wait for July 11th to roll around. I’ve kept my job as a housekeeper this summer and periodically work there when not on vacation or working on moving furniture or getting rid of clothes or packing boxes. I took a trip out to London to visit my high school bestie over the weekend, and I devoted an entire day to moving Emma all the way up to Amsterdam. Driving that moving van was scary, but I felt pretty adulty doing it. I have a week long trip to Italy on Monday, and in the meantime, I still need to move all my stuff out of Middelburg and unregister with the municipality. We’re getting down to the wire, and I’ve kept myself so busy that I also haven’t had much time to process or reflect on all of the little things and changes that have been coming and going whilst in the waiting room.
Am I not sad that Emma no longer is in Middelburg because I don’t feel like she’s “moving out of my life”? Or “moving on” even though clearly we all have to move on from graduation and college? I remember being so paralyzed with fear that I was going to lose all of my friends from high school when I moved over here. I felt like I was throwing my life away unnecessarily. Three years later, and I’m doing something similar: moving to a new country, and having to pack all my shit up and figure out what to do with it. Except this time around, I’m not panicky nor anxiety ridden. Maybe it’s because my university relationships are stronger and more dynamic than my high school ones. Maybe it’s because the distance between the New Country and the Old Country isn’t two continents and an ocean away, but just across the North Sea. Maybe I’m not upset because I haven’t had time to really think about the reality of what all these changes mean. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
Grad Week came and went, and I had a really nice time getting to know my family and myself in a different light. Learned many hard things, saw many hard things, and had to come to terms with some things I don’t want to be true. Sucks. But after a three day temper tantrum, I didn’t have any more energy to spend on these discoveries. Emma kept reminding me, basically annoyed with my whining, that I have more important things to worry about than something I can’t change or won’t actively participate in. They are there, and I am here. I have a life ahead to prepare for, it needs my full attention, and it’s going to be grand.
I was in the shower yesterday when Ed Sheeran’s “Gallway Girl” played on my stereo, and I admitted something to myself that was sort of hard, but also eye-opening. I’ve secretly had my heart set to move to Ireland for a year and a half, but didn’t actually put definition to this dream until last November. I would walk around Split or Hvar and hear “Gallway Girl” and laugh at the lyrics and how they would quite literally be me in a year if I wanted them to be. But now I’m owning those dreams. Yes, I’ve had this planned for longer than I’d like to admit. This realization just showed me that I need to be more firmly planted in voicing what I want. For a long time I didn’t want to imagine actually moving to Dublin. It was an idea, just like I have ideas about moving to London, New York, or maybe even back to LA. But I think there is so much more bravery in being bold about saying what you want. Yes, I do want to move to Dublin in a year, and it’s going to happen.
This is an exceptionally long and winding post, but I’m going to end by combining two thoughts already mentioned here. I’m going to be bold and say what I want even though I’m scared to do so because now I’m going to be held accountable for making it happen.
When We’re In Dublin I want to start my own podcast. I’ve gotten some experience in my last semester of university, and now I’m ready to put that practice into a higher gear. I’ve done my research, would like to publish it to iTunes, Spotify, and iHeartRadio, and have bought my very own portable recorder to take with me. I even started getting curious about this when I emailed my favorite show in October, Invisibilia about how to get into it. They actually responded, and I’m going to reread their advice over and over again until I can make something of it. I’m not sure what my content niche will be yet, so if you have any ideas comment below or message me your thoughts. I think I have too many ideas to choose from to keep a coherently themed show together at this point. I’m gonna create an Instagram account to help advertise it, and I’m hoping that it will help put me in the right direction of the answer to that ambiguous question of “what do you actually want to do with your life?” I like to write, and I really liked podcasting. Maybe it’ll be a promo podcast about stories, discoveries, and people who intrigue me, it’ll help me show the world some really cool things that are happening that you might not be aware of. Maybe it’ll be news-oriented or advice-oriented and help me get into journalism, or maybe it’ll be a comedic show where I get to let out all my goofiness just to be picked up by Saturday Night Live to write sketches for them. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
My life is changing at the speed in which light touches a prism and shows all the colors of the rainbow at once. I can’t sustain this level of energy, but luckily I won’t have to. Things should be calmer by August.
And we’ll see what happens.
I'm a California girl who wears her heart on her sleeve and always has her head in the clouds. I currently live in the Netherlands and am attending university at a small honors liberal arts college in the south. I have an artist's soul, a corny sense of humor, and a ravenous mind that hunts down the meaning of life everywhere I go. I love traveling, learning, questioning, experiencing, and am an anthropology and political science major who loves to write and make up stories about the absurdity of the world we live in. Like reading my posts? Please follow!